Zora from Greenleaf and the Issues Teens Hide

I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to catch up with the show Greenleaf on OWN but it’s a really amazing show that chronicles the Greenleaf family. The Greenleafs run a mega church in Memphis and like any family as the season progresses all their scandal, secrets, and lies come to light. 

One of those is the story of Zora. She’s the daughter of Jacob and Kerissa who are pastors and now the leaders of their own ministry. So while her parents are preoccupied with heir own marital affairs and now found responsibilities, Zora is discovering teenage love.

Zora has a very level headed cousin named Sophia and they both seemed to start out as pretty good valued Christian girls but Zora is starting to become more risky and step away from the “boredom” that is Sophia who tends to play by the rules. Here’s the thing: Their family knows the girls to be good so they aren’t questioning a lot of their whereabouts and activities.

As parents be mindful that just because you raised your children right doesn’t mean that they won’t find themselves in temptation. Even the strongest of teens can find their match who just pushes, Pressures, and perseveres until they get what they want. For Zora this was her boyfriend Isaiah. 

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Why Fake It Until You Make It Is a Terrible Idea to Share

Tips for establishing a positive work ethic in youth

“Oooh girl I love your new ride.”

“It’s a rental. You know fake it until you make it.”

“Mmmhmmm I know that’s right.”

I’ve heard this and so many other scenarios of people who are just dabbling close to success but aren’t actually there and feel confidently justified in the “fake til you make it” syndrome. I think this is a terrible idea to share with anyone, especially our young people.

Why? It’s creates a false work ethic. You have some people who can understand how close they are to achieving a goal and are continuing to work hard in the midst. Then you have others who are okay faking their success period and aren’t working towards anything at all. They can make it look a certain way for their friends, social media and talk a really good talk but aren’t doing a darn thing.

If we want to help our young people become excellent in their work habits we have to kill this myth and kill it quick! Our

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How to Stand Out In A World That’s Okay With You Fitting In

I remember being a tween and well into my teenage years I loved looking in fashion magazines. I was tall and lean and adorable (hehe) and everyone would tell me I should model. I looked to the fashion magazines to see what I would wear if in fact I could ever become a model.

I was an only child but not spoiled. I knew my mom worked hard for every dime she brought in that house and I felt like begging for clothes was pointless. But my mom knew as a young girl I needed and wanted clothes so sometimes I’d come home to shopping bags on the bed and I’d excitingly rush over and see what was inside. Needless to say it wasn’t what was in those fashion magazines or to my surprise even what my friends were wearing.

I didn’t want to appear ungrateful so I would smile and say thank you and try them on anyways. My mom used to dress me for my height and size with clothes that fit well and looked good on me. However my appreciation for them at the time was little to none because it wasn’t the clothes my friends were wearing.

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[Youth] How to Make Decisions

Have you ever noticed that it is really hard to make a decision sometimes? There might be two really good choices to chose from and you just have no idea what to do? You call a friend and ask for their opinion and then you still try to decide what’s going to be best for you.


Check out these steps to the decison making process to learn how you make decisions:

1. Define the problem. You typically need to make a decision because you have a problem to solve.

What is the goal you hope to acheive when you reach a solution? Example: Problem: I really need an outfit for this graudation party. Solution: I will find something that looks good on me and is appropriate for the occasion.

2. Think about your other possibilities. You are stuck making a decision because you have multiple choices. Think about all the alternatives to the problem.

3. Evaluate your choices. Ask yourself is this choice in line with what I’m trying to accomplish with my life? If your answer is no, don’t do it. If your answer is yes, write it down until you’ve been able to narrow down your top choices.

4. Choose. Choose the best option that is in line with the problem. Make sure your choice makes you feel comfortable and makes sense after you’ve evaluated all of your choices.

5. Do it. Whatever your choice is, act on it!

There is nothing wrong with taking your time in making decisions. We are a result of the decisions we make so decision making is a huge part of who we are. It’s nothing to take lightly but it is something to take seriously, master, and utilize everyday. 

Question: What is a big decision you had to make today? 

Three Ways to Achieve Success IMMEDIATELY

1. Define your own success.
When it comes to success I find it interesting that people are always Googling how to make it big or how to makes loads of money. The only way to be successful under your own terms is to define success for yourself. What does it means to be successful? Does it mean a new position? A new salary? A nice car or a house is a fancy neighborhood? You cannot allow others to define success for you.

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What steps can we take today to build our youth for the future? What jobs are we qualifying them for? What relationships are we helping them establish? What goals are we helping them reach? What gaps are we creating bridges for them to cross? There are many facets of youth’s life’s we have yet to reach. Take your gifting and connect with a young person today!

 

11 Traits of A Memorable Mentor

For the People Who Desire to be Remarkable

In this day of instant information there is no doubt that you can perform an internet search and find everything you need to know about mentoring. However when I consult my heart about what the core of mentoring truly is there are several qualities that come to mind. When I mentor I have the goal in mind to have a lifelong effect on those whose lives I am impacting. If that resonates with you then check out these five traits of a memorable mentor.

1. Leadership. Mentors know the way and show others the way; this is true leadership at it’s core, and an essential trait of an effective mentor. Mentors also understand that it’s about serving others and equipping them with the tools and training needed to flourish both personally and professionally. As a leader mentors should set high expectations and walk alongside their mentees until they reach their new level.

2. Purposeful. Mentors who enter the relationship with a clear cut direction and a plan have the most effect. Every interaction, assignment, and meeting has an objective. But the difference between great mentors and exceptional mentors, is the greater understanding of pushing beyond the written goals and objectives they may have planned, to seeing that they can achieve anything they can conceive.

3. Anticipative. Great mentors are able to anticipate the needs of their mentees. Their gift of foresight is what’s needed for a mentee to truly grow in areas that they’re unaware of.

4. Empathetic. Empathy is the ability to see the world as another person, to share and understand another person’s feelings, needs, concerns and/or emotional state. Be able to identify your mentees way of thinking, feelings and attitude and how those affect his/her overall goals.

5. Orderly. When you are well disciplined it’s creates a model for self-discipline in others. Self-discipline is one of the hardest traits to develop but seeing how others model this will at the least give your mentees a positive example to simulate.

6. Passionate. Memorable mentors are passionate about their work. Passion drives excellent habits.

7. Principled. Operating with integrity is essential as a mentor. Everything that you do is built on the foundation of your principles and is a reflection of your principles; showcase them proudly.

8. Selfless. Memorable mentors show that success is not about fame, position or money. They are devoted to the cause and find ways to be helpful  and loving. A famous saying says “I may not remember what you said but I will always remember how you made me feel.” Your mentee will never forget how they felt as a result of your selflessness.

9. Wise. Memorable mentors understand that it’s not about sharing knowledge but it’s about sharing wisdom. Wisdom comes from understanding and understanding comes from experience.

10. Authentic. Mentors have to possess a genuine love and spirit for people. They have to have a certain level of realness and relatability. Mentees want to have mentors who not only want to share their successes but their failures. Being authentic isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being real with yourself and sharing that with others.

11. Great Listener. Mentors have the blessed ability to listen and hear the needs, complaints, frustrations, and joys of their mentees. Through listening we truly learn about others and have a perspective into their world. Exceptional mentors are able to effectively tap into their mentees unspoken needs and guide them through meaningful conversations.

 

Letter To Your Younger Self Project

handwritingIf you knew better you’d do better, right? That’s what our young people deal with everyday. They make mistakes or carry regrets because they simply didn’t know better or they didn’t understand the consequences of their actions.

They didn’t have the luxury of having people share honest truths about their experiences. Sometimes people are ashamed of sharing their experiences for fear of being judged but it’s critical for our young people to know that there are situations they might find themselves in, that there are people who’ve been in them before, and there is another side!

They need to know that there are overcomers and that everyone’s story isn’t clean and perfect. They need genuine, authentic, transparent, honest individuals who are willing to help infiltrate their minds with stories of resilience and strength.

There are sometimes that we wish we could go back and tell our younger selves what we know now to save ourselves from making poor choices or to have made a better choice. I decided to create the “Letter to Your Younger Self Project” to collect letters from people who have sat down and been very intentional about giving quality advice to themselves and compiling them into a book. So here’s what I need for you to do.

Take about 5-10 minutes and go to a quiet place. Take out a blank sheet of paper or take out your tablet or laptop and write a letter to your younger self. Write to the “you” that was rebellious, invincible, stubborn, and independent. (You know the “you” I’m talking about). Think back to the most challenging times in your life and share what it was like in that moment for you. What were you thinking and feeling? How did you come to your final decision? What was it like when you overcame that challenge?

Our youth need to hear your story! Once you’ve completed your letter please email to regina@reginacoley.com. If your letter is selected you will need to sign a release waiver to be included in the book.

I look forward to reading your letters and I thank you in advance for your commitment to empowering the lives of today’s youth.

How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Luke 6:42

What Happened to Youth Voice?

lost-my-voice

Recently there was a girl who on Spring Break and was gang raped on the beach while others recorded on their cell phones and did NOTHING to stop her attackers. When I first heard this story it made me extremely upset to know that anyone had the audacity to violate a young lady in public. The moment that sent me over the edge was realizing just how many witnesses were there and did nothing to intervene!

Since when did young people become so complacent and so comfortable that they can’t step up to the plate when someone is being done wrong? Since when do they run their mouths about young black men who are shot by police and shout “Black Lives Matter!” but can’t show it in their actions?

Since when did they learn about their ancestors who have sacrificed their safety, security, and their lives for them to have opportunities and not seize them? Since when did young people get to the point of complacency that it’s okay to just “go with the crowd” rather than stand up and be the leaders and change they so desperately need?

I have a huge problem with this and I’m sure you do too! So what can we do about it? We’ve got to teach them better. We have to remind our young people WHO they are and teach them to be accountable to each other.

They are more than “likes” on Social Media and more than “followers”. They are leaders, they have voice and they have purpose. They have to be as on fire as we are about matters that affect their lives.

When I think back on who started movements, it was young people who pulled together and worked collectively under one vision. We have lost our way as a people but our young people need responsible people like us to guide them, teach them, have patience with them and not grow weary. They need me and they need you!

Here are several ways we can embrace youth voice:

1. Give youth a safe, non-judgemental environment in which to share their thoughts and ideas.

2. Allow them to use language that is comfortable to them. They aren’t us and will express themselves using acronyms and slang that’s generational; that’s okay.

3. Create or allow the young people to create a platform to share their voice. This may  be an online magazine or YouTube channel.

Let’s not forget our responsibility to them. Be present and show they way! Let’s help to restore their fires.

Question: What will you do this week to help youth find their voice?