I receive emails quite often from people telling me that my story (in music and/or weight loss) has inspired them to push towards their dreams or to congratulate me on my success thus far. Following that statement is usually a request for advice on how to excel in their own paths. The fact that I’m in a position to give anyone ‘advice’ on anything is still amazing to me and I’m so grateful to be able to do so. I’m always willing to share advice with people because it was through the advice of others that I was able to achieve what I have thus far. So if you’re asking me what the staples of success are, I’d likely say it includes having impressive skills at what it is you’re pursuing; honing those talents through training and education; monitoring the trends and operations of your chosen field; networking heavily so that those with the power to help advance your career are within your reach and exercising resolute commitment towards your endeavors. I definitely think all these traits/actions are critical to obtaining any goal. But we all know that there are people who do all of this and still don’t seem to get a break right?? And others, who seem to get an easy break and don’t put in all that hard work, right? (Sometimes I feel that way). At the end of the day, favor isn’t always fair. When reaching for a dream or goal, there is one key tool you MUST possess and its the only thing that will keep you sane after months, years, and in many of our cases, decades of pursuit. To capture a dream, you must have concentrated FAITH.
This morning, I reviewed a video of Tyler Perry’s entitled “How To Be Successful”. This video was a very inspiring and powerful testimony of what it takes to achieve success in any endeavor. Surely, Tyler Perry’s rags to riches story is inspiring with humble beginnings that many of us can relate to and an ending we all aspire to have. He discusses his path which included years of performing in nearly empty theaters, saving and investing great deals of money only to see his efforts go up in smoke and being homeless. Despite all of his setbacks and discouraging moments, Tyler Perry had faith that his time would come. He planted and nurtured his seed of faith despite the climate of the world around him. He never stopped nurturing as he waited for God to grant his increase . He knew that he could not stop believing for ANY reason. Though I’m still waiting on a success story comparable to Tyler Perry’s, I see myself in this testimony and can relate in a very personal way.
As you read in last week’s blog, ‘Brave The Storm…Seize The Day’, I was working as a glorified admin at a pharmaceutical company when called upon to sing background for Beyoncé. Surely, being an admin was not on the path to my dreams. There were many discouraging moments where I felt foolish for desiring something so desperately that seemed so unlikely and impossible on the surface. Nonetheless, I KNEW that I was destined to sing and would do so on a large scale. I saw myself performing before millions, on television and the radio. I saw…and still see Grammys and Behind the Music documentaries. I knew then that my circumstances were solely provisions; my journey through the wilderness as I moved towards my Promised Land. So even at my job, I found myself singing, writing songs and preparing myself for what I believed was on its way. I was planting and nurturing my seed while waiting for God to send the sunshine and rain. Faith.
Thankfully, that seed planting also came through my attendance and performances at the Village Underground in NYC. It was because of this seed planting that Melonie Daniels even knew who I was and thought of me when she received a phone call looking for a soprano. By singing at the venue’s Sunday Night Open Mic, I had planted a seed in the minds of powerful people . By returning each week and networking with others, I was nurturing that seed. Although my path was diverted with the need for me to return to work, I continued to fight through fear and fatigue and attended open mic on Sunday evening before going to work on Monday morning. Nurturing my seed. Nonetheless, I knew that the only thing that could cause this seed to actually grow was sunshine and rain. And God was the only one who could provide that. When I least expected it, God sent that sunshine and rain. As a result, the seed that I planted began to bear fruit and freed me from the corporate rat race and onto the path of my dreams. Ironically, I had been turned down for a job promotion at that job that very same day. Then came the sun…
I could go further, but Tyler Perry’s words in this video can explain and inspire you far more than I could. Once you’re done, go out and nurture your seed.