Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Golden Ticket

So, I have been searching my brain for more blog ideas and as I searched through my phone's photo album, I realized that I didn't mention attending the 2012 Commencement at Spelman College, my alma mater. I didn't know anyone graduating but at the same time, I saw myself in all of the young women receiving their degree. The best part besides supporting my alma mater, of course, was that Oprah Winfrey was the commencement speaker.

Let me give you a run down of how I received my golden ticket, who knows, it may make you chuckle! So checked my email as usual and I notice an email announcing who will be speaking at commencement and a petition to reply to the email if you would like to be considered for a ticket. I thought to myself, "Why not?" So I replied and few days later I received the confirmation email. Some people may laugh at what happened next.... But I had to sit down! My knees were weak, no joke. I was acting like I was going to meet Oprah instead of just hear her speak. This makes me wonder what will happen if I actually met her? My heart is racing just thinking about it...  Moving on.

So, I go to pick up my ticket on the Saturday prior to the commencement, which worked out well because it was Mike's 10 year college reunion weekend. So my daughters and I walked to the grounds of Spelman while hubby gathered with his old college friends over at Morehouse. I get my ticket and guard it with my life by placing it the only place I know is near, dear and secure.... my coupon holder!

Fast forward to Sunday morning...  I am feeling festive and simply because I can't help myself, I wear the customary white dress and black shoes. I arrive about 30 minutes before the doors open at the Georgia International Convention Center and the line to enter is already at the end the block!!! Doh! I get in line and stay positive. As the line starts to move, I realize that the line has almost tripled in size. Now, here is my rationale for finding a good seat: I only needed one really good seat because I went alone. It cannot possibly be hard a respectable seat. Of course, I was right. I found a seat right behind the section for the graduates. Translation: I could see Oprah without looking at the jumbo projector screens. YES, with a fist pump!

The title of Oprah's message was " Three things that I know for sure." I have listed the highlights and major points below:

  1. Knowing who you are! She said, "Ask yourself, Who am I? and What do I want?" This is tricky because a lot of times we identify ourselves by roles, responsibilities or titles. Oprah stated that this is the way to fulfill the truest expression of oneself as a human being. That's deep right!? That's the primary reason why I don't watch reality TV anymore. What kind of life am I living if I continue to let time pass watching someone else "live"? I can't enjoy things that merely entertain me. I have to strive to find activities that edify.
  2. Find a way to serve. The main tagline for this talking point is, "Your greatness is determined by your service and your significance." I thought it was extremely helpful when she mentioned branding yourself. This seems to be a prevailing theme among successful people. Oprah stated that using your product or brand to be a service to others. How will others remember you when you have been of service to them... a problem solver or problem starter?
  3. Always do the right thing. Be excellent! This talking point sounded an alarm in my head! "Let excellence be your brand. When you become excellent, you become unforgettable!" Oftentimes, in this society, everyone wants the shortcut or abbreviated path to success, stardom, wealth and fame. I always make an attempt to put my best foot forward in all situations but, at times, I have others around asking me why do I go to such lengths for even the most trivial things. Why? Because my name is on it, that's why. I told my husband recently that if he thinks that my final product of a project that I have been working on is over the top, then I should have shown him my original plans. I have tried my best to drill this into my daughters: Always try your best and do the right thing even when no one is looking because God is watching.
Oprah's closing remarks are as follows: "You will be rewarded with peace in the end. Be sure to surround yourself with people who fill up your cup and avoid "pint" people. "Pint" people are individuals that don't have much to offer you and only take from you. Periodically, ask yourself who do you want to be in this world? The answer can be found by being connected and aligned with the Source. Remember to honor yourself first. You want to the sweet life. So, even if the storm comes, this too shall pass and Grace and Glory will follow."

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