Have you been in a Pressure Pot before?

ImageYes, that’s exactly my question. Have you ever been put in a Pressure Cooker, spiced up  and cooked nicely till you are all soft and ready to eat?

If your answer is ‘No’ then you need to get someone to put you into a Pressure Cooker and get you cooked and done nicely.

This is because you are not going to really get far in life if you do not go through pressures that will bring out the best in you. Ever heard of the Refiner’s fire?

So instead of feeling discouraged, feeling low, feeling de-motivated or feeling down because of the things you are going through, you ought to stand up! Shake yourself up and move forward! It’s time to make progress! It’s time to make advancement and it all begins with your mind.

You’ve got to change your thoughts, don’t think victim, rather think victory. Instead of seeing your environment as an obstacle, see it as a stepping stone. Think how you can make things better.

See, a car is made to run irrespective of the environment it finds itself. Whether in New York City or in Haiti, a Rolls Royce would move, this is because it is wired to move from inside and not from the ‘poshness’ of it’s environs.

Take a moment to do this, bring out a currency note, what is the value of the note in your hand? Throw it on the floor and step on it. Pick it up again and crumple it in your hand (currency abuse you are thinking, right?) Bring it out and look at it again. Has the value changed?

The answer is NO! A hundred dollar bill is a hundred dollar bill no matter what you do to it. It would actually appreciate in value if taken to some environments.

What does that say about you? You are not an ordinary person, there’s more to you than the flesh and blood that everyone sees. It’s the inner man. That inner man does not depreciate in value ever!

You’ve got to make up your mind never to be discouraged or de-motivated for one more second! Don’t waste your energy being angry with the system. The system was created by men like you, look for ways you can increase in relevance and very soon you would have opportunities to positively impact the system.

Whatever you do in life, you are really doing for yourself.

Think about that for a moment and decide if you want to continue on the paths you’ve chosen.

If you decide to make a change for the better, then do so now! Stop the procrastination because the Clock is moving and so is the time.


Against All Odds: A Story of Tenacity, Hard Work, and Higher Education

jbheKenya Hicks, Tashea Stanley-Dixon, Khadija Darr, and Kenji Kuykendall grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, about 40 miles north of Chicago. They have all been close friends since they were 12 years old. All four girls became pregnant while in high school and all four gave birth to sons. All four fathers abandoned the teenagers before they gave birth. All four girls were obliged to go on welfare temporarily so that they could provide for their children. Kenya and Khadija dropped out of high school. One might have bet these four teenagers were doomed to a life of poverty in single-parent homes. If you took that bet, you would have lost.

The four teenagers made a pact to support each other and succeed despite the fact that the odds were against them. Through education and hard work, they were determined to give their children a better life. All four went back to school, worked when they were not in school, and received help and support from friends, family, and each other.

Today all four women are in their 30s. They all have graduated from college. By the end of next year, all four will have MBA degrees.

Kenya Hicks was supported by her parents, grandmother, sister, and friends as she completed an associate’s degree at Robert Morris University and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College in Missouri. It took her 12 years to complete college. She is currently pursuing an MBA at the Keller Graduate School of Management. She is in the process of starting up a home service agency. Hicks states, “We inspired and supported each other relentlessly to finish college no matter what challenges we faced so we could change the direction of our journey and rewrite our destiny.”

Tashea Stanley-Dixon enrolled in a community college and worked at night calling homeowners who were delinquent in their mortgage payments. It took her eight years but she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia College. She too, is enrolled in the MBA program at the Keller Graduate School of Management. She is now a certified paralegal.

Khadija Darr earned an associate’s degree at Robert Morris University and a bachelor’s degree at Columbia College. Almost 90 percent of her course work was completed online. She is currently enrolled in the MBA program with a concentration in accounting at Concordia University in Chicago. She currently operates her own T-shirt company and has a tax preparation business. She plans to become a certified public accountant.

While working various jobs and taking care of her son, Kenji Kuykendall attended a community college part time over an eight year period and earned her associate’s degree with honors from the College of Lake County. She then went on to complete her bachelor’s degree in 2008 with a specialization in workforce education development from Southern Illinois University. She graduated magna cum laude. Currently Kenji attends Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and will earn a MBA with a specialization in organizational behavior in January. It was a 14-year journey to complete her education. She now is works in human resources for a major pharmaceutical company in Chicago with aspirations of becoming a human resources executive officer. She lives by the motto, “Hard work does pay off.” She could not have achieved her goals without the support of her family and friends.

Excerpt from http://www.jbhe.com/ (The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education)