Category Archives: Wednesday Word

HUMP DAY HOPE WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: INTEGRITY

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Integrity is so important when you are working to achieve your goals. In hindsight, do you accept the decisions that you have made? Are you content with your path toward greatness and are you getting there through hard work or climbing and stomping on the backs of others? I love seeing people succeed, but I have a problem when they do it underhandedly, especially my students.

I’d be hypocritical to say that I have always been ‘by the book’ while I was a student in school. I found my shortcuts to getting things done and my grade reflected it and not in a good way either. The outcome reflected my half-steppin’. But one thing I desire not to do is put someone in a situation in which I have chosen to be in, meaning, I am do bad by myself. I can think of one time I put my friends in a compromising situation and I still hear about it… 15 years later! To know that I affected them in a way that was lasting didn’t make me feel very good.

Integrity is such a big part of growth. It is learned. It is shown. It is witnessed. I desire all three, exercising integrity in all situations, especially as an adult and, even more so, as a parent. So what is my point? Don’t expect me to exercise a lack of integrity, especially as a professor. I have told my students SO many times that I do not ‘give’ grades! They EARN them. I remember one I received an email and the student was asking about a ‘C’ grade earned. I explained the grade and how the student received it. The student stated that this grade could prevent them from going to nursing school and that they wanted it changed to a ‘B’. I told the student to call me. When the student called, I said that I couldn’t change a grade that was earned. This student pushed and asked and almost begged for this grade change and I told the student, very calmly,

“Sorry, but I can’t live with such dishonesty. Can you?” The student said, “Huh?” I replied, “If you really want the ‘B’, please contact my director and let her know what you desire.” *silence* I continued to state, “You have plenty of time to do better in your other classes to help your GPA.” *silence* Then the students said, “Okay, thank you” and we said our ‘goodbyes’.

I thought that the situation would infuriate me. It definitely surprised me, but what made me mad is what situation occurred previously that gave this student the nerve to ask for a better grade? Has this been done before and if so, what professor would do that? So, they have tainted their own integrity and the student witnessed it and, apparently, thought this was okay. Again, this is speculation. Maybe this was the first time and they thought they would take a shot at it. Well, the student got SHOT DOWN! You will appreciate your journey to success when you travel the road of integrity.

REMEMBER: WHEN YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, AIN’T NO HALF STEPPIN’! INTEGRITY IS LEARNED; GRADES ARE EARNED!

Check out BDK ‘Ain’t No Half-Steppin” here


Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong
CEO, LiHK Consulting, LLC
Collegiate Success Coaching, Training and Development
“Discover what you LiHK (like); Become who you Love”

HUMP DAY HOPE WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: DETERMINED

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Charles Darwin, the father of ‘Evolutionary Theory’ suggested that humans have thrived on this Earth because their digits, mental capacity and upright statures have allowed them navigate the environment and figure out how to live.  His mantra, “Survival of the Fittest” is used in psychology and sociology as the basis for continued  research on human development and extinction of species.

Well, now that all sounds great and ‘scholarly’, but for real, we just have to do what we gotta do to survive in this crazy thing called life.  Mobb Deep said, “we livin’ this ’til the day that we die; survival of the fit, only the strong survive!” (Mobb Deep, “Survival of the Fittest” Song) Strength, which fuels determination, has helped us survive.  Those survival instincts that kick in when we are faced with danger include adrenaline so high that we are shocked by the strength we truly possess.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we are reminded of the strength of people who fought for their civil rights.  The determination of African-Americans and people of other cultures and ethnicities who support the fight and wanted their voices heard.  The strength of a man, who died at the age of a VERY young 39 years old, that provided a voice for millions!!  But we can’t help to think even further back to the determination of a woman, tired from a hard days work, who refused to move to the rear of the bus.

We have to continue to think about the strength of those teens in NC who sat right at the Woolworth’s counter because it was their right.  The African-Americans who gladly took their 40 acres and their mule to create a life for their newly freed families.  The selfless woman who made tracks on a very long path, many times, to free others!  And, need I say it, the man who shed his blood and gave his life, setting an example of what “Survival of the Fittest” truly means, helping his followers understand eternal life and love.

It is amazing how strong and determined we are when faced with situations of adversity!! So does this explain why some people aren’t as determined in the midst of their own dreams?  We talk about it, but you have to BE about it!!  You don’t have to rush toward your goals!  All of these pioneers had visions and strategically thought through how it should be implemented.  You have the power to do the same and it doesn’t have to be in the midst of turmoil, chaos, adversity, or challenge!

Confidence builds strength!  Strength fuels determination!!  Determination is standing firm in your purpose!!!  Go for what you desire!!  Even trying takes effort!!  So, be DETERMINED!!



Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong

HUMP DAY HOPE WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: MOVE!!!

·    While I am driving into work there are some drivers that I really think fall asleep behind the wheel!!  They sit idle after the light has been green for a minute or they decide to pull in front of you and drive slower than the speed limit because they haven’t had their ‘pick up’ in the morning.  Well, I am wide awake, driving the speed limit, or more, and my pick-me-ups are sitting in the back seat!  So now, you are in my way to get to my destination!  No, I am not rushing!  Most times I am on time or early, but I should not feel the consequences of your lack of motivation!  So, as I am driving, I shout, “Move!!! Geez!”  and my son, taking after his father, shouts, “C’mon Mannnn! ‘Outta Wayyy'”  I can’t help but chuckle because even a 2.5 year old knows that driver needs to get some pep in that pedal!

 

Anyway, when I think of someone shouting, “Move!”, it is said, mostly, in urgency!  There is a destination to get to or there is a barrier to that destination; therefore, the command has purpose, yet stated sternly for ACTION!  When I think about Ludacris’ song, “Move….” and a Baltimore Club Track, “Out My Way….” and how, at parties, folks would respond, moving each other out of the way, in fun, of course, the songs provoked action and a change in position, sometimes forced.  Most times being forced to move is not ‘welcomed’ or ‘preferred’.

Don’t wait to move on things you desire to do!  In these economic times, many of us are forced to move out of jobs and positions and it’s not comfortable.  Then we are forced to move to other desired levels in our careers and life, quicker than we would have wanted, and it’s, initially, not comfortable.  If you want to do something in life, then get started and… MOVE!  Whether baby steps, major steps or huge leaps of faith…. MOVE!!!  If you aren’t ready, that’s fine; MOVE when you are. If someone is in your way, then tell them to “MOVE… get out the way…” because you have places to go, things to see and people to meet! Don’t let the consequences of their lack of motivation affect your actions!  If someone is blocking your progress, say ‘Out My Way…’ and ‘throw them bows’ (i.e. elbowing someone out of their current position) because you are trying to move out or up and they are dead-weight.  Get assertive in your demands; get aggressive in your quest!!  You have a destiny!  You won’t get there until you MOVE!!!

“A ‘dead-weight’ in your progress will surely hinder your success” ~ Dr. Jai

 

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Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hump Day With Wednesday Word:Risk

HUMP DAY HOPE WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: RISK

I am standing at the top of this very, LARGE tree, looking about 100 feet down, wayyyy down. It may not have been 100 feet, but that’s what it felt like! I am being strapped into this contraption that is supposed to ‘protect’ me. This big, burly dude is in my ear talking about, “What you afraid for? Nothing’s going to happen. It’s perfectly safe! I’ve done it a thousand times!” I cut my eye at him so hard that he just stared at me with a look like, “hmmm, I won’t say another word”. The brain has two hemispheres and I think I was thinking with both: one in a very, prayerful language with hopes that I will make it through and the other was ‘speaking in other tongues’ that were far from spiritual and are not appropriate for this blog. How the two co-existed? I have no idea, but I was not ready for what came next!

The rest of the staff were FAR below, yelling up and cheering me on. As I looked down, something I never do since I am afraid of heights (could you tell?), the big, burly dude bumped me off the platform!!! I had NO CHOICE but to hold on for dear life as it continued to pass me by!! ZOOOOMMM! Down the zip cord I went, screaming to the top of my lungs, calling the big, burly dude every name but his own! About half way down, I just had to concentrate! I am in mid-air and I needed to land and if I wasn’t prepared, it was going to hurt! As I approached the end, and the other safety attendant waiting, I braced my upper body so he could catch me. The stop was abrupt and for seconds it was quiet. I heard, “Are you all right?” I said, “No”. He said, “What’s wrong?” I opened my eyes and pointed up to the first attendant and said, “He’s wrong!” He’s up there smiling and waving. After I was disconnected from the line, I laughed so hard! It was unbelievable. I took a risk to even get up that tree! Despite my fears, I had to face them. I had to trust that things would be okay. It was a risk, but one worth taking.

As you pursue your goals, you will have to do the following:
face your fears
climb ‘tall trees’ with the feeling of the climb being a never-ending one.
trust that you will be protected.
accept that people push you into places that you wouldn’t dare go on your own. You will side eye people and curse them out, verbally or non-verbally, but you will possibly thank them later for challenging you.
confront barriers and realizing that the only way to overcome is to just brace yourself and take it!! If you are not prepared, it can hurt!
experience things that will make you so mad, but after it’s over, you can do nothing but laugh and actually be happy that it happened because, as a result of that moment, you grew up.
TAKE RISKS!!
Taking risks may start our nerve-wrecking at first, but will become the thrill of your life when you realize that you needed to do it!

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Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong

“HIP HOP HOPE” WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: ATTENTION (Kendrick Lamar Commentary)

OH MAN!!! Kendrick Lamar has stirred up the pot now!!  And you know what? He has ALL OF OUR ATTENTION!!  The thing is, NOTHING that he has done or said is anything new!  Kool Moe Dee started calling people out long ago and many other rappers have followed suit.  The rap game has a voice and with that voice, folks speak truth.  What is funny is that a lot of people are MAD now because of his one line:

“I’m Makaveli’s offspring, I’m the king of New York
King of the Coast, one hand, I juggle them both”

Okay, some are mad for more than that but tweets have been off the hook because of his ‘claim’. What is even funnier is that he got their attention, got them mad and for what?!?!  From my research of hip hop history and reading the lyrics to his part in Big Sean’s “Control”, I would venture to interpret the line above as the following:

Kendrick, in my opinion, is saying that he is like TuPac Shakur.  A rap artist that rapped and dominated BOTH coasts (juggle them both)!!  From what I gather, Kendrick is not saying that HE is the king of New York, specifically, but if you research you will find that TuPac’s initial rap pen name was “MC New York”.  As a lyrical ‘offspring’, Kendrick is crowning himself king of both coasts!!  In my mind, it is not a diss against anyone who had or has dominated the NY scene.  

Now let’s skip forward to calling folks out.  Shoot, it’s needed!! I won’t agree with all called out, but he has his reasons… if anything to get that attention and wake folks up.  How is that different from giving donations and doing a challenge to other organizations to match what you have given?  He is laying the cards on the table, waiting for the pick up!  

When did the same lyrical mouthpiece that gave our people a voice and a sound get wrapped around a bottle top?  When did that SAME mouthpiece become more important wrapped around a roach?  When did the SAME mouthpiece start to demean and degrade women?  Well, when society changed and THAT was what people wanted to hear or talk about.  Is it wrong?  No, it’s storytelling and marketing at its finest.   However, when that is ALL your brand has become or has grown from, then you have deviated or separated from REAL HIP HOP.  This ‘marketing’ has expanded the business, but tainted the message. It’s ‘bubble gum’ and folks are getting chewed up and chewed out by a man that wants to bring REAL HIP HOP back.  Does the ‘coast’ really matter?  Surely it didn’t as one of rap’s icons succeeded on both, East and West, and a newbie to the mainstream is just trying to fill the gap that has been empty for a minute.

“I’m dressed in all black, this is not for the fan of Elvis
I’m aimin’ straight for your pelvis, you can’t stomach me.”

He got our attention; he’s mourning Hip Hop.  He’s fighting for it!  He has stirred up the pot and everyone is ready to eat now, except for the wrong reason because they are mad!! Now rappers have something to prove, right?  It took getting the ATTENTION to make them move!  Well, I’m not mad at it at all.  Thank you Kendrick Lamar.

So how will YOU get the ATTENTION of those interested in what you may have to say?  Are you chillin’ in the corner observing silently or yelling to the hills that something is needed and something has to change and you are the person to do it?  Stir up the pot then!  You may be a jack of all trades, but be an EXPERT in one!!  Get that ATTENTION that you desire.  WHAT YOU HAVE LOVE FOR, YOU WILL FIGHT FOR!  That’s what Kendrick Lamar is doing… just loving Hip Hop.

Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong

HUMP DAY HOPE WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: QUIT

I remember when I had my first boyfriend in high school.  Oh man. was I ‘in love’!  I went to his basketball and football games when I could.  We’d talk on the phone because our houses were on two different sides of the city and neither one of us drove.  He bought me candy bars and cheese steak subs and told me that he ‘loved me’… and I ‘loved’ him too!  We would go on hot dates: meeting up at high school parties to see each other!  Man, young love is awesome!  No ‘real’ clue to what loving relationships could ‘really’ be, but it is fun while it lasts… the way YOU know it to be.  

All was fine for months… and then, it happened.  I guess my calls were too much and he wanted to explore his options.  One call, a very awkward call, included the words, “I QUIT YOU!”.  He said it over the phone, in my ear… not over Twitter, Facebook, or text… it was durn near, face-to-face! (Kinda… not really).  I was shocked and hurt!  I asked, “Why?” and he said, “I just have to.”  Well, what was I going to say to that?!?!  Nothing, because ‘he just had to’.  After a few tears and wondering, “Why?”, it was over.  It didn’t resurface; it was a done deal.

Most motivational speakers will say, “Don’t Quit!” or “Don’t Give Up!”  True and I have said it myself, but, in this blog, I say, “QUIT”!!  That’s right, “GIVE UP!”  

To your lack of motivation, say, “I QUIT YOU!”
To giving up on your dreams, say, “I QUIT YOU!”
To the negativity that you face, say, “I GIVE UP!”
To the naysayers, say, “I WANT NO PARTS OF YOU!”
To the hurt, guilt, shame, despair, depression, I want you to SCREAM: “I…QUIT… YOU!”

 

AND MEAN IT because you just have to!!

That’s it.  *drops the mic; exits stage left*

Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong

CEO, LiHK Consulting, LLC

HUMP DAY HOPE WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: REFRESH

These past couple of days have wreaked havoc on my brain!!  I have been thinking about my next steps and made decisions based on my gut that I truly feel has been best for me.  By brain was going through a mental spiral, causing for later nights, awakened by stress and worry.  I reached out for a listening ear and a kind word and realized, that is NOT what I needed to hear.  “Tell me like it is…” and one of my best friends did!  That best friend’s name, for me, is “Mommy”.  Mommy simply stated, “Um, you’re doing too much!”  My immediate response was, “No, I am not!”  *pause*  “I have so much to do and I just need to find ways to get it done!”  She replied, “Ok, so you said, “you are not doing ‘too’ much” and then you tell me that “you have so much to do”.  Again, *pause*.  A dead silence as an admission that I was called out!  Then a friend of mine confirmed that, yes, I am trying to do too much.  So essentially, I had to admit, that I was doing too much!

For me, I am a pretty, even-tempered person, until I get stressed out and my words and tone are that of pure frustration.  Others recognize it, but I brush it off, which has been my challenge.  In my mind, after all that I tend to juggle at one time, there is no such thing as ‘too much’; in my world, “it is what it is” and “you do what you gotta do”!  I preach a good word to those who want to hear it, but sometimes, I am not the ‘doer’ of my own advice.  

So what do I do when things get like this?  Like a computer that has stalled on a page, I hit my own ‘refresh’ button.  I start again.  When you hit the refresh button, you don’t necessarily go ALL the way back to the first log on page to access EVERYTHING again, you simply see the page just before, checking that particular area with better focus.  No, I don’t desire to start ALL over again with what I have accomplished thus far; there is no need, but what I have learned is to push the refresh button to determine what has caused my uncertainty, change in pursuit, or stress and make a change.  My page still remains but the content has changed.

Don’t be afraid to start again; you don’t always need a dramatic ‘fresh start’, but refreshment is just as satisfying.  Want to be your best?  REFRESH!


Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) ArmstrongCEO,
LiHK Consulting, LLC

HUMP DAY HOPE WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: INSPIRE

I often sit at my computer, trying to figure out what my next move is. I try to think about the ‘next best thing’ that will propel my vision forward, bringing it closer to a full-time reality. I watch money fly from my pockets as I invest in what, I feel, will help me take this ‘thing’ to the next level. “Trainer-Speaker-Coach” is now a part of who I am and what I do, but I want it to be truly WHAT I DO! I am often left to make decisions of what is truly important. No matter what, my family comes first! I have been presented with opportunities that, in the grand scheme of things, could have put me further than where I am, but I rejected them because, again, for me, family comes first! I figure, if it is meant to be, it will come around again. Sometimes I am presented with really hard decisions that actually suck the life out of me. I am presented with situations that truly take my energy, but I will fight to get through it because, essentially the work is what I desire to do, the vision is moving forward and the outcome, especially that of monetary value and return, can be brought back into my household to be recycled into my craft and to support my first love… my family! It all comes full-circle at some point; however, with many personal sacrifices in between.

So why do I say all of this? After I put maximum energy in preparing for a training, it can be really exhausting. There is A LOT of ‘behind-the-scenes’ work that goes into preparing for a few or a lot of hours of training (and into my teaching as well). I think about a recent training I had where I was preparing the training packets and my little man came around into the dining room, wanting to play with the colorful items I had on the table in front of him. My husband calls him back so that I could continue to work, but little man wanted to be in Mommy’s presence. So I folded up a piece of construction paper that I was putting in the folder into a diamond shape. My little 2 year old looked at it and said, very excited, “Yell-whoa KITE, Mommy!!” and he proceeded to ‘fly’ his yellow kite around the table where I was working. The excitement in his eyes and the smile on his face made me, again, think about what was truly important as I pursue this vision- I was preparing to inspire! The seconds I took to make that ‘kite’ got him motivated! If I could do that in SECONDS, imagine what these hours of preparation can do for a student or client or participant in MINUTES TO HOURS!!

Now, make your decisions wisely, according to your health, but also keep in mind that sometimes we have to put our physical situations aside for the emotional outcomes of the masses! When I hear people say that my training or talk was inspirational and/or something that I stated motivated them, I get excited because I can clearly see their excitement! It’s a win-win situation!! Remember: the bottom line to making an impact on people is to ensure that you inspire and motivate them. The bigger picture is that a positive voice can change the world!! Prepare and seek to INSPIRE!


Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong
CEO, LiHK Consulting, LLC

WEDNESDAY WORD FORGIVENESS BY DR. JAI

forgiveness

Did someone do you wrong and you haven’t forgiven them? Have YOU done something to someone and haven’t forgiven yourself? Have you stopped pursuing something you desired to do and you haven’t forgiven yourself? Well, don’t you think it is time to do so? Whether the situation occurred recently or long ago, the process of forgiveness may take time, but you have to FIRST decide that you want to forgive. It takes more energy to hold on to that toxic past; re-energize and detox yourself of that situation! Some say, “I will forgive, but I won’t forget!” Well, you are still harboring the negativity that is associated with the circumstance, and frankly, that is a way for you to validate your emotions. FYI: It’s not solving the issue.

Forgiving others can take time, but forgiving yourself can happen instantaneously! As you are doing that, make forgiving the other person a part of the process and forgiving yourself for not forgiving them is necessary too (Did you get that?!?!)! Anyway, you’ll be and feel better for it.

I remember I had a cool friendship with a person and it fell apart because I felt betrayed by something that occurred and I felt that the person did me wrong. We didn’t talk for years, not on purpose, just based on circumstances of growing in different directions. One day, I got a facebook message, “Hey Janice, how are you?” Of course my heart raced; I was like, “Really, dude?”, while raising an eyebrown. Then I immediately thought about the feeling I was having, instead of the circumstance that was presented. So I said, “Hey, wassup? How are you?” We proceeded to chat and he shared some things with me that he had encountered over the years and the blessings that he had received from the Lord in reference to life, love and happiness. The conversation ended in his apology to me and I couldn’t be mad because we both made dumb mistakes in our younger years. The situation seemed relatively minute afterwhile and I felt that I had to apologize because of the initial resentment I felt when I received that message. The entire situation had to be forgiven. We are really cool again and I am proud of his progress as a person! 🙂

Dr. Jai

HUMP DAY HOPE WITH WEDNESDAY’S WORD: TRUST

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What is your trust level? For me, I trust anyone until they prove that they can’t be trusted. I use the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ approach. Some folks do not trust anyone, which is fine for the individual, but may ruin relationships with those with whom they encounter. Surely, I can understand that gaining trust can be huge for some people, so taking those baby steps to establish rapport first is helpful. It is one of the first rules in #leadership. As you desire to lead a better life for yourself, try to offer some emotional flexibility to others; it shows normalcy, which can help your rapport! Just be true (normal/genuine); tell and honor the truth (rapport/harmony) and establish trust. You will thank yourself for it!

~ Dr. Jai