Showing posts with label Maya Angelou. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maya Angelou. Show all posts

February 17, 2022

Twenty-Post Challenge: My Favorite Quote

This is the second post in a twenty-post series blogging challenge.

The challenge for this post was to share my favorite quotation. I’ve chosen to share a quote attributed to Dr. Maya Angelou.

Image by Amber Lee.

Dr. Maya Angelou was an influential modern American writer (to use her words, a phenomenal woman!) and fully understood both positive and negative human emotions. Her understanding of people is reflected in the quote I’ve chosen to share. In a world where everything material is treated as so important, Maya reminds us that how we treat others will be the only important remainder.

Think about your interactions with others: have you had an interaction with someone that left you feeling a little beat up? Sometimes the goal of a conversation is reached, but the participants really don’t treat each other with respect in the way they interact.

Feelings and emotional interactions are often dismissed as non-important in business and personal dealings. If feelings are prioritized, then you’re somehow weak and not focused on concrete goals. Feelings are not a reality of a situation, but simply an experience that can be controlled and thus should be easily dismissable.

But what happens when we look at our interactions with others from a long-term perspective - when we look back on our lives and remember what truly “matters?” When all we have are achievements and amassed wealth in material or financials, does this really make a life satisfying to live? Many people might say no…

Maya is teaching us in this quote that the only things that will really matter in life is how you make someone feel. Were you kind? Did you make someone feel accepted or take extra patience when someone struggled through something? Did you help someone that needed a friend or simply a kind word? Just like you, many people have shortcomings or their own obstacles that they’re trying to overcome and a little kindness may be greatly appreciated.

When we’re kind to others, the positivity radiates into our lives too.

Let this quote encourage you to treat others with kindness and respect. Realize that there’s more to winning at life than acquiring possessions and achievements. And as writers, we can utilize feelings to drive our literary goals with an audience.

Here’s an interesting point to end this blog post: although this quote was attributed to Maya for her 70th birthday wisdom in 1998, the original quote belongs to someone else, a preacher, who published it first in the 1970s. So Maya may have liked and used this quote, but she was not the originator! Regardless, Maya seemed to love this quote herself and used it in several of her speeches later in life. 
By Office of the White House - White [1], Public Domain,

The original challenge is from Writer’s Write.

#amberclee #20postchallenge

August 2, 2021

Role Models

There’s been a few times in my life where I’ve needed a new direction or guidance. One of the best sources of this life guidance comes from finding role models that mirror your own personal life goals and then emulating their success to then reach your own goal success. I’m always looking for great role models, most especially female role models - - as they share the same experiences that I have, like motherhood or being a wife, and they have still built immense (and unique) success in life.

As a great financial and business leader, Warren Buffett was really my start to this role models project. His advice advocates that you model your own leadership (and goals) after the very best: find successful people to admire, then simply repeat [or improve] on their methods to success. He also strongly advocates increasing your communication skills, learning something new every day, and to stop using procrastination and excuses to hold you back. Whenever I get stuck, I go back to his basic yet powerful advice to inspire me and get my progress on track again.

Choosing role models

I’ve found that it’s helpful to choose several role models from the different areas of life that you’d like to focus your goals in. Think about the different areas of your life and for what you’d like to set goals. For me, these major life-goal areas and basic guiding questions might be:

Work: Who do you wish to model professionally?
Relationships: Who enjoys and embodies the types of relationships you seek?
Health: Who is, for you, the model of health and wellness?
Spiritual Growth: Who can serve as a model for your spiritual development?
Personal Interests: Who represents “the best” in your hobbies and areas of interest?

Lastly, remember that it’s always important to be yourself. Set goals in line with who you are and your values. As Judy Garland once said: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” The unique contributions that you can bring to the world are too precious to waste by simply being a copycat. Strive to put your own spin on projects and never give less than your best effort: You’d be cheating yourself otherwise!

Some of my female role models

I highlight female role models in the list below because it was hard for me to find a good list online when I was searching for ladies I could look up to myself.

(In no specific order)

  • Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth
Duckworth is a professor, business woman, and researcher known for her work at the intersection of resilience and passion, coined as grit.
One of her quotes: “Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint."

  • Melinda French Gates

Gates is an influential businesswoman and philanthropist.

One of her quotes: “Philanthropy is not about the money. It's about using whatever resources you have at your fingertips and applying them to improving the world."

  • Michelle Obama

Obama is a lawyer, former first lady of America, and now a style icon.

One of her quotes: “One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals."

  • Simone Biles

Biles in an inspiring Olympic-level gymnast.

One of her quotes: “Do what’s never been done before”

And if you still don't think she's totally amazing, see this clip of her performance:

  • Mary Wallace Funk

Funk is an American aviator and currently the oldest astronaut (flying with Jeff Bezos in July 2021). 

One of her quotes: “You have to remember one thing. The only thing a woman needs to compete in a man’s world is ability.“

  • Kathy Ireland

Ireland is a businesswoman, model, and fashion icon.

One of her quotes: "I look at failure as education. In that respect I am so well-educated."

  • Amy Schumer

Schumer is a fun and outspoken comedian.

One of her quotes: “I know my worth. I embrace my power. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story. I will."

  • Maya Angelou

Angelou is an amazing writer and poet.

One of her quotes: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

  • BeyoncĂ© Knowles

Knowles is a singer, dancer, and business investor (she's currently working with Peleton).

One of her quotes: “Do what you were born to do. You have to trust yourself."

  • Serena Jameka Williams

Williams is a talented world-class tennis player. 

One of her quotes: “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does."

  • JK Rowling

Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter series. 

One of her quotes: “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”


  • Martha Stewart

Stewart is a business empire mogul, a queen at all matters of the home including decor and cooking; and a tv personality.

One of her quotes: “All the things I love is what my business is about."


  • Alyssa Carson

Carson is the youngest future astronaut (a Mars colony planned for 2030).

One of her quotes: “Believe in your dreams, appreciate oneness, and help others."

...and that’s just a start - what other role models do you find helpful for life guidance? Leave me a comment below.


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