Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…

Focus & Aim: A Guide to a Productive 2017

Imagine you are standing center court at the tip of the free throw line ready to make the biggest shot of your life. The shot clearly determines your ability to move forward in life. It impacts how successful you will be beyond that very moment; everything depends on the shot. If you do not have a clear focus on your aim, it is highly possible that making the shot will not happen. If you do have a focused aim, it is likely that you will hit nothing but net and you will surely be ready to stake claim to all the success you have envisioned.


Your life and its successes is the distinct efforts in your ability to focus and have good aim. The focus being your clearly defined plans that you set forth. The good aim being your capacity to take action as precisely as possible; the form you use. As you prepare to move into 2017, it is important that you start taking evaluation in the way in which you will choose to focus and the aims you will make. Consider all of this when developing your New Year’s resolutions. Below are some formulated steps you can take for your focus and aim to help make 2017 as productive and successful as possible.


The key to the focus portion of developing your resolution is to be realistic and write down each goal. Be sure that the resources required to achieve the goals are attainable. Be honest in what you want to achieve. Do not set goals that satisfy someone else’s desires. They must be your own. Also, writing the goals down is like making a contractual agreement with yourself that you will do everything you can to actually achieve each one. Without them being written down it is easy to get off track and forget what you wanted to achieve. You can better hold yourself accountable with realistic and written goals.

  1. Review the goals you set for 2016. Did you succeed at all of them? Did some of the goals have to be modified, delayed, or even eliminated? If you have any unmet goals from 2016, determine if they should become goals for 2017. If you want to achieve those unmet goals, write each one of them down.
  2. Define the new goals you want to set for 2017. Who do you want to become? Where do you see yourself by mid-year? Where do you want to go? Think about every aspect of what 2017 looks like for you and write each of those goals down.
  3. Categorize each goal into the different areas of life. Aligning each goal with the similar life impact can increase the perspective of their importance. Write each goal under the respective category.
  4. You should now have an inclusive written and realistic list of all the goals you would like to achieve for 2017. For each goal you have established, now organize them by priority. Which are the most important to you? Which ones are you absolutely not ok with not achieving in 2017? Which ones are there consequences for not achieving? These are the goals that you want to put at the top of your list. The goals with less meaning to you or less impact should be placed at the bottom of your list.


The strategy behind the aim is knowing exactly how you will make each goal happen. If you have set a goal, there should be an action or actions required to implement the goal.aim

  1. Review your prioritized list and write a detailed action plan for each. What is the first step? What is the last step? What steps in between will make the goal achieved? If your goal is to begin a trade school program, then your steps should begin with researching schools that have your trade available and their requirements for enrollment. Then you would begin the application process, and so on until you have enrolled and begin classes. There is no such thing as wanting something and not putting in the work. Your action plan helps to start the work. It helps you to better visualize what is required and serves as a road map to completion.
  2. Assign deadlines to each goal. Some goals take longer than others to achieve. Just like writing a goal down, if you do not assign a deadline, it is likely that the road to achieving it could be never-ending. Determine if the goals should end during a particular month or quarter or even on a specific date.
  3. Be positive, believe in yourself and just shoot! There is no way you can achieve any goal with an unhealthy outlook. The road to achieving anything will come with some level of challenge, so a healthy and positive attitude is the ultimate counter action. As you work on each goal, be sure to keep things in perspective.
  4. As the year goes on, be sure to celebrate and recognize all of the milestones and completions of any goals that you set. Check the achieved goals off of your list. Doing so, enhances your ability to be positive in knowing that your goals and those you are still working on are achievable!

With the right focus and aim, your New Year’s resolutions have a greater chance of ensuring that you look back in the coming December feeling accomplished and complete; having hit nothing but net!





Dressing the Part

Life can be a big stage. A large production that includes several different roles with stage settings changing from scene to scene; requiring quite a bit of preparation to pull off the end result. It can be a huge mass of opportunity to take on many, many characters throughout your lifetime. Thus, there are many goals that I have set for myself for the big stage of life. In some respect, there are many roles that I desire to carry out. As a teenager I learned an invaluable lesson about becoming each of those roles.

Rich 'N' Skinny
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My daddy always told me to dress for the part I wanted in life well before I even got the part. I used to ponder his advice; almost thinking it was a simple, non-complex group of words that simply meant to wear what defined where I was headed. From a blouse, to pants, to shoes, even my jewelry, I would consume myself with wanting each of them to be on point. I wanted each of them to make a statement that I was becoming exactly what I was wearing. I would ensure that if an executive position was what I wanted in the future that I dressed accordingly and consistently as my money could buy me. I did it for years and continue to do so. However, before my father passed it hit me as to what he really meant. My initial comprehension was not complete. I have learned that dressing the part on the outside was only a tenth of the calculation he spoke of.

His advice meant seeing the part, thinking the part, acting out the part, and then looking the part. Each of these components brought together the entire role that I desired to be cast.

  1. Seeing the Part – Being who I want to be, even ten years from now, means that I have to envision myself in my desired role. If I want to be an executive or nationally recognized author, then I needed to actually see myself in those roles. Essentially, I have to choose to become a visionary of my own life. For everyone, if can not see yourself in a particular space in life, getting there or becoming that role is less likely to happen. How is it possible to see yourself in a role? It is easier said than done, this is true, but take a moment, close your eyes, and see what you look like carrying out the role you want to be cast. Be it a designer, business owner, fortune 500 company exec, or even a professor; whatever it is, visually put yourself in the shoes of that role or roles. What does the role do? How does the role carry out its responsibilities? How did role develop? What does the role require for dress? What behavior is required for the role? What thought process is required for the role? How does the role interact with others? All of these questions can help you see how you will actually become the character.
  2. Thinking the Part – After I could see, then I could start thinking in terms of achieving the roles that I set out to become; believing that the role or roles were attainable. If the saying ‘your altitude is determined by your attitude‘ is not true, then I do not know what is. My attitude towards the roles I want out of life means everything. If I am negative or slow to be optimistic about a situation, nine times out of ten, the outcome of what I wanted does not happen. When I am positive, the outcome is more acceptable even if it does not happen exactly as planned. Once my thought process became the thoughts of who I was to become my father’s advice made that much more sense and my actions that followed aligned accordingly. Do not fall victim to blocking your own desires by becoming your worst enemy. Believe that you are capable of becoming whoever it is you want to become and that the process may include both desirable and undesirable moments that must be embraced to move forward. Think according to the role you are looking to be cast and be positive in that process.
  3. Acting Out the Part – Your best foot forward should always be your daily choice. So what you have not become the well-known actress, company exec, or world-renowned chef, JUST YET? You still have to act as though you are. If your hopes are to become a company exec and currently you are an intern, every day act as though you are already the company exec. If you know there is a certain level of skill, management technique, integrity, decision-making required to be a company exec, start sharpening those skills today. Acting out the part prepares you for the day that you will actually carry out the role. It is a way to truly develop your potential. it is an intentional way to go after what you want. That is what I try to do every day. Every single day, I consider myself stepping onto a stage; a platform ready for dress rehearsal; practicing for the moment that I see coming in my future. It is a dress rehearsal that will eventually lead to opening night.
  4. Looking the Part – Finally, or so I thought, I was able to do the easiest part of dressing for the part I wanted. It was necessary to see, have the right attitude, and carry out the part before I was able to actually focus on the blouse, pants, shoes, or jewelry. Who cares about the attire, if you do not believe in yourself, have the right attitude, or are not equipped to carry out the role? But get this, just recently, ‘looking the part’ became even more expansive in meaning to me. Looking the part also includes seeking out individuals and resources around you that help you eventually become the part. Mentors, industry leaders and experts, supportive friends, and helpful associates are key to pulling off the role. Know that these individuals will not necessarily fall in your lap. They will not come running to you to help you. Research, ask around, seek out those close to you that you admire and have made great choices in their industry. Get their advice. Get their feedback. Incorporate their choices into your rehearsals. Those individuals will develop help pull your role together. You have to be intentional in looking the part.

The caveat to each of these steps is that while you are busy believing, thinking, acting, and looking the part, the brick and mortar or production set is being stabilized for what is to come for you. If you keep yourself busy working on each of these steps, one day you will look up and find yourself actually cast into the role. Before I became an author, I once saw, thought, acted, and looked like an author. Before I became a business professional, I once saw, thought, acted and looked like a business professional. And before I knew it, without a lot anxiety and impatience, I became each of those roles. The dress rehearsals became opening night, every day of my life. Dressing the part is much more than just wearing the right blouse, pants, and shoes. It is about the total package required to play the lead character in life’s production!

Concerned Visionary for Your Life

Quick post alert:

It is that time of year again for me and my daughter. December is always our time to reflect and really begin digging into the goals for the next year. By now I have already revisited my ‘written’ (cause that’s key) annual and long term goals several times throughout the year. I used to throw my vision boards away but three years ago I decided to start keeping them. It has become a great way to hold myself accountable but also to help me stay on course and keep a good perspective on what I have achieved, am achieving, and will achieve. Some people call it corny, I call it being a ‘concerned visionary for my life’. Whether you choose to try it out for the first time or maybe you have done them in the past and have plans for doing one for 2017, do it with the intentional thought that everything you dream can be achieved. Sometimes its just a matter of seeing it before you see it!

Happy Vision Board season!


How many times have you heard the saying, ‘life has no limits‘ or ‘live limitless‘? Now think of how many times you have probably thought or said you could not do something because of some defined limit. To take it a step further, consider how many times YOU were the person that defined those limits. As humans, basic emotional and sometimes black and white thinkers (as if gray does not exist), we can be guilty of limiting ourselves from achieving our goals. Many of the things we want to achieve rely solely on our belief that we can get it done. We can not always blame external factors on keeping us away from our destinies. We may look at a situation with a one-dimensional or limited perception and assume there is no work-around. When in reality, there is often a work-around; a path that we had not considered and must wait for the perfect timing to seize the goal set forth.

We are capable of fooling ourselves into practically accepting mediocrity and believing certain things are not to be attained for our happiness. In all actuality, WE place limits on ourselves and merely accept the lies that we perceive. Yes lies. We believe something that is not true or purposeful for our lives. I believe in the slogan, “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.” I’ve learned, however, the caveat is that one must be willing to think in, outside and around the box to truly master their goal. It becomes a matter of re-thlimits-liesinking and realigning the possibilities; simply changing the perception of how something will be achieved.

Here is a practical example. When I was in my early 20’s I was convinced I could not publish my first book because I did not have the money. Therefore, I did not put a lot of effort or thought into determining alternatives for securing the money needed to publish my book. Before I began to really dig into what it took, I looked at my bank account, looked at how much money I made a year, and concluded publishing my book was not an option. I tucked the dream away for a while. I continued to write, but I did not push the idea of publishing my first project. I tucked it away not having decided that I did not want to publish the book, but tucked it away while somehow convincing myself that I was not capable. I spoke the limit into my life. And for a while it became so.

My view was completely off. It was not until a few years later, when my perception about life and what I truly wanted out of it changed that I’d finally figured out a way to make the publishing of my book happen. Let me be frank though, I did not figure it out alone, but because of the change in my perception the investor that was always present over those years of limiting my dream, stepped up to help me make my vision come true. I wonder did you catch that. Did you? Read it again. The investor who invested in my dream had been present in my life all those years that I was sure I could not afford to publish my book. It was not until I began making conscious efforts, to perceive life in a way that was conducive to my success. I had begun viewing life positive in thought, positive in action, and positive in reaction. I stopped telling myself LIES about what I was not capable of and began penetrating truth from my mind and lips to the idea that there were no LIMITS to my life.

As you move throughout your day, keep a close reminder that your perception determines the limits in your life. Seek out and/or continue nurturing your mental capacity to succeed in a way that completely removes negative thoughts which in turn can conclude negated outcomes. Empower yourself to move forward with positivity, ready to seize all the limitless opportunities life comes with. Speak all the limits out of your life. No more lies. Just higher altitude.

Until the next post, may your day be filled with passion and lived completely out loud!


Faith Walking


Following your passion; doing what makes your heart smile the biggest can be a scary experience. Whether you are trying to follow your passion full-time or just want to incorporate it within your daily living, the bumps and toils that may appear or try to keep you from doing so can be more than daunting. Even more so, because following your passion does not come with the perfect map, taking that 1st, 2nd or even 20th step can come with its own form of disorientation or outright discouragement. However, you have the greatest power within yourself. What’s that? It is your faith. It’s knowing that you are more than capable of accomplishing and seeing your passion through to fruition. Sometimes the only thing you have left is to close your eyes and take a leap or step of faith knowing that whatever the road ahead looks like, your faith will guide you almost perfectly. Close your eyes. Tighten them as much as you can. Ensure you can see nothing before, around or behind you. Keep them closed. Without taking a breath or even giving anything a second thought, now take a step. Take another step. Another step. And another. Don’t stop walking. That’s what faith looks like – it’s moving forward even when you don’t know how your footing will be placed, but knowing that your footing grounded in your belief of success. Now keep walking. Keep stepping. Keep those eyes closed. The tighter they are; the more steps you take; the stronger your faith becomes. Your passion was not given to you to shy away from it or allow doubt or unclear paths to keep you from reaping all the happiness that it affords you. When faith is all you have, you’ll keep walking without knowing the road ahead.

PLOL Podcast #1: 4 Tips to Live a Passionate Life


Click the link below to listen in on the first Passion Living Out Loud (PLOL) Podcast.

Podcast #1 – 4 Tips to Live a Passionate Life

Thankful Report


What am I thankful for? I am thankful for the continued provisions that I have been afforded. I am thankful for the greater understanding and relationship that I have built with Christ. I am thankful for a family that loves and cares for me. I am thankful for my beautiful daughter that loves me to no end and that I am willingly responsible for nurturing her through Christ and all other life matters. What am I thankful for? I am thankful that I continue to pursue being the greater me in which I was created to be. I am thankful for the talents and gifts that I inherently possess. I am thankful for those that support me when I do not feel I deserve any of it. I am thankful for the belief that there is good at the core of most, any, human being and that their ability to love on others exists. I am thankful that I want to love on others, can, and do. I am thankful for my health and my ability to work to improve it. What am I thankful for? I am thankful that on most days I realize that I have more than enough to be thankful. I am thankful that through my darker days I have increased faith to move me forward and believe that greater days are coming. I am thankful that I have the life I have and will continue to love myself unconditionally exactly how God created me.

From everyone at Passion Living Out Loud may your Thanksgiving be a day full of memories to add to your list of thankfulness!

Dream and Dream Again

dreamsHave you ever grasped a hold of a dream; tasted the goodness of your fruitful labor in attaining that dream; reveled in the glory of finally having that goal or dream under your belt? When all the fanfare was over did all you want to do was sit down and take a break? If you have not, I can honestly say I have. Think about it. Some dreams take quite a bit of time and energy to achieve. They can require so much of your spirit and soul to make it happen that when it has finally been actualized, you may feel overwhelmed. The important thing to keep in mind though is that your last dream can not be your last dream. You have to continue dreaming and then continue preparing and activating that energy to obtain that next dream. You have to dream and dream again.

It is important to know that life is a cycle. There are ups and then there are downs and everything in between. That is what the cycle of chasing your dreams should be. Just because you achieve one dream does not mean any other dream that you have should be delayed in reaching. It is ok to take a break, but keep in mind that the break should be short; not lengthy. Do not let the break be so long that you miss the window of opportunity for that next dream. Yes, pace yourself, but know that your pace should be as steady as possible. You do not want to burn yourself out or overwork yourself, but you do want to keep your stamina up in order to move forward. The time you are on break should be treated as a time to rejuvenate yourself and prepare for the next thing on your agenda. Heck, you owe it to yourself to see what else you are capable of achieving.

So again, I implore to you, just when you’ve reached one of your dreams, keep dreaming. Don’t stop. Let the last dream be the foundation for the next dream and the future dreams thereafter that you’re destined to reach.


Passion Grinding: Thankful Thoughts

Think of all the many things you have to be thankful, embrace them and let them carry you into your next blessing…

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