****This blog is no longer updated at this address! Come check it out at http://thinkandgrowchick.com. All of the archives are available there as well****

This site is my online journal that documents my attempts to reach various goals inspired by the principles found in the book, Think and Grow Rich. Join me as I strive to meet financial goals, fashion goals, school goals, hair-care goals, and everything in between. I hope that other young women will relate and find my journey useful to read about; this blog is for me as much as it is for women seeking resources for personal development and freedom. To get a daily dose, follow me on twitter and facebook...and don't forget to follow my blog!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tyra Banks and the Personal Mission Statement

Jam-packed and hung very closely together, I forcefully waded through the racks trying to keep my composure as a mixed scent of moth balls and black coconut incense wafted through the air. Grungy jeans I'd never wear, grandma's old night gowns, and pilling maternity knits all got pushed to the side as I continued on my mission. With the sun shining and the weather slightly warm, I had carved out a chunk of my day just to come there and do what I was doing at the moment. I was in a thrift store...and I was in heaven. The great thing about thrift stores is that one way or another, they are all alike. Though I happen to be a strict secondhand clothing connoisseur, there always seems to be a never ending supply of knick-knacks barraging the first 20 feet of the store.

True to form, on this particular shopping trip, I encountered a large, old television set, propped up on a crate playing none other than The Tyra Show. Mildly intrigued, I listened on as I continued my quest for vintage treasure. This particular episode was dealing with teenage girls who are trying to escape abusive relationships. To encourage the young women, Tyra had brought on Jaslene Gonzalez, America's Next Top Model Cycle 8 winner and admitted survivor of an abusive relationship. As the conversation drew on (and I became more frustrated as I couldn't find one gem in the mass of "gently used" madness), Jaslene suddenly turned to Tyra, eyes full of grateful tears, and sobbed as she thanked Tyra over and over again for giving her the opportunity of a lifetime and "taking her all over the world". Maybe I was just moved by the moment and of course I'm biased because I've always been a Tyra fan, but right then and there, I really respected Tyra's business dealings more than I ever had before.

In her own words, Tyra's mission is to use her modeling career as a tool to get other women (and the fashion industry) to change the way they think about beauty and the way they see themselves. Say what you want about Tyra, and long before Top Model and the Tyra Show, she has worked towards that end. I think this is really critical, because in essence, Tyra is saying that she has a positive personal mission statement that permeates the mission of whatever endeavor she may be working on. In a world where everyone from Bernie Madoff to Karrine Stefans has a personal mission statement of "get rich by any means necessary", it's both refreshing and a good reminder to make sure our personal mission statements are both positive and bigger than just ourselves.

As rule, women don't generally have to be reminded to weave some "do good" into their businesses or projects because women tend to be more nurturing than men. What I do see a lot of women do, however, is swing to the opposite end of the spectrum and feel that they have to be totally consumed by helping others, so they never do anything for themselves. I praise Tyra for walking that line well; her modeling and talk show career were obviously for her and to fulfill her own interest and talents, however she allowed her personal mission to drive her to "do some good" at the same time. Another role model in this area is none other than Hill Harper. No, he's not a woman and no, his work isn't directed to help women (unless you count his charm and amazing good looks), but Hill has used his rising star to spearhead a self-esteem building movement for young, black men. Not only was this an altruistic moves on his part, but a strategic one I think. No matter how you slice it, doing the right thing is always the best choice—even to your bottom line.

So how do you identify your personal mission statement? Think about who you are, what's most important to you, then write it down! Also think about which of the world's ill's speak to you the most, then think about how your God-given talents can have a positive effect. Get inspiration from other leaders and role models who are making an impact in the field that you want to be in. Most importantly, live out your personal mission and use it to guide you in your everyday dealings. When you feel overwhelmed by your activities and can't even remember why you got started in the first place, let your personal mission statement be a reminder that your goal is bigger than the obstacles that temporarily lay before you. After all, if Tyra can do it all the way to the top of supermodel stardom, then so can you.


  1. I love Hill Harper! I read his first book a couple of years ago, "letters to a young brother" and have found it so inspiring, even though it was meant for the other gender.
    I am not totally into Tyra, she gets a side-eye from me on more than one occassion. However, I am quick to commend a sista who has her business game right and takes it upon herself to do positive things with herself a lot of her self. God knows we need some more people to at least be a little more like that.

    I love you site. I was reading an old copy of Essence and it had this full article on setting your goals and achieving them. I totally thought the "Think and Grow Chick."

    I'm a Think and Grow Chick, and I can't wait to see the fruits of my labor and where my life will take me. I'm just now realizing that I can do anything the hell I want:-D

    Great post, lady!

  2. I love your blog! Just in case you haven't heard it lately...."You are a phenomenal writer". Keep up the good work.

  3. @Chrissystina Thank you for your kind words! I love those "achieve your goals" articles in magazines, I'm glad it made you think of this site, lol.

    @Bevy Thank you so much! I'm really a "secret" writer, most people are surprised to learn that I do, in fact, write from time to time.