Wednesday, July 10

Motivating Yourself to Success

(I wrote this 2 years ago but it's still relevant. Enjoy!)

We are always encouraged to be our own biggest motivator in life. However, there are those who will judge what we are going after, without even knowing our driving force. 

I was reading a Rolling Stone article about Nicki Minaj and she stated what her motivation to succeed in life was. Her father abused drugs, alcohol, and her mother. So she credits her ambition to that.

"When I first came to America, I would go in my room and kneel down at the foot of my bed and pray that God would make me rich so that I could take care of my mother. Because I always felt like if I took care of my mother, my mother wouldn't have to stay with my father, and he was the one, at the time, that was bringing us pain. We didn't want him around at all, and so I always felt like being rich would cure everything, and that was always what drove me".

Unfortunately, her money has not coerced her mother to leave because "her parents still live together, and her father isn't happy about her airing his past". Now that she has a successful career as the current leading lady in hip hop, I am sure she is not just going to give up because her driving force has changed. She has a "five-year plan [that] includes a film career, a perfume line, a clothing line and maybe record that feature her singing as much as rapping". 

[UPDATE: Nicki has already accomplished everything in her five-year plan mentioned above. She's been a voice over in a movie, slated to be in another movie next year; was the executive producer of her own documentary, Nicki Minaj: My Truth; starred as herself on several television shows; we've definitely heard her singing on her own albums as well as features on others.]

I am not highlighting these things because I have thrown on my cape to come to Nicki's rescue. I am sharing these things because it is easy to look at someone like her and attack them for the obvious. She is doing what she feels is necessary to succeed and even though we personally might not go that route, it IS working. So who are we to really say it is wrong? Who are we to say that she wasn't blessed with the very thing she prayed for? She was a child, probably saying that prayer every chance she take that from someone is essentially shitting on another person hopes and dreams.

For those who cannot get past the character that Nicki presents herself to be, consider the following example.

Millions are inspired by the success of Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) and that speaks volumes. Some of the people who idolize him, despise their neighborhood drug dealer. Morally, ethically, and legally, we know that selling drugs is wrong. However, if your contribution to society is larger than what you took from your neighborhood, people are quite forgiving. Shawn has ALWAYS been Shawn but he only became Jay-Z when he made an effort to remove himself from the drug game. His end, justified his means.

I used these two megastars as examples because morally, they can be easy targets but still relative to people we know. Many individuals will pardon the struggles that celebrities have experienced to get what we believe is their final destination of success. Are we that understanding of 'normal' everyday people we rub elbows with? Unfortunately, I see far more judging.

When we see certain routes that others take to accomplish their goals/dreams, we should view it no different than how we see those who've already succeeded. Everyone has a different journey in life and we get there the best way we know how...or the best way we can.

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