I had the honor and privilege of serving as Keynote Speaker for the @YMCATriangle Clarence E. Lightner annual Y Achievers Banquet the other night. Clarence E. Lightner was the first black mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina and the Lightner Y Achievers program helps minority teens learn valuable skills that help them succeed in high school, college and beyond.
The theme for this year (2013) for the Y Achievers program is Be. Believe. Become. The only requirement for my keynote was to connect my speech to the program’s theme for the year.
As I reflected on the program theme in preparation for crafting my speech, I had a bit of a revelation. The theme of Be. Believe. Become is not just a program theme for the year, it’s a 3-step process that millennials should apply throughout their success journey.
The more I reflected on these three words, the more I realized how applicable those words were to the successes in life that I’ve been blessed to enjoy. They are not just random words in random order either. This theme of Be – Believe - Become is a simple 3 step process that millennials can and should follow in the order in which it is listed.
Step 1: BE – BE yourself. This may sound self evident, but so often, so many of you attempt to do and become things that are not within your gifting and/or skill set. Don’t base your career choice strictly on a profession where you’ve seen someone else make a lot of money and/or be successful. We all have our own calling and purpose based on our respective gifts. Identify your gifts and BE who you were meant to be. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, even if being yourself means being different.
Step 2: BELIEVE – BELIEVE in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself then it will be hard to expect anyone else to believe in you. What you believe, is the bridge that transitions you to who you’ll become. If you believe that you’ll be successful then you will be successful. If you believe you’re a failure then you will fail. You will always have to build new bridges of belief on your success journey to sustain your successes in life. You also have the ability re-calibrate and strengthen your belief system to get yourself back on track when you experience failed attempts at something. Always remember though, that success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.
Step 3: BECOME – BECOME who you were meant to be. You were meant to be great! None of you were meant to be losers, failures or flops in life. You were created with a purpose to do good works and live a life of fruitfulness and prosperity. So why wouldn’t you? You’ll make some mistakes along the way and that’s cool, just don’t let your mistakes define you. Failed attempts don’t make you a failure; they just make you more experienced. Don’t let your history rob you of your destiny. Stay true to your calling and stop looking at yourself in somebody else’s mirror. Become who you were meant to be.
“Believe in yourself, for it is only you who can determine whether or not you are the achiever of your dreams.” ― Kishore Bansal