Monday, September 28, 2009

Motivational Monday: "Get Yours" Girls

What better way to start a Monday than with a bit of motivation? This book has been a huge inspiration to me, and I share with you in hopes that it will guide you further along your own journey as well.

In Get Yours! How to Have Everything You Ever Dreamed of and More, Amy DuBois Barnett addresses just that. She creates the quintessential handbook that steers young women through life’s critical transitions. With personal anecdotes and interviews with some of our favorite celebrities, including Sanaa Lathan, Kelly Rowland, India.Arie, and even Hill Harper, Barnett emphasizes discovering the beautiful woman inside of you and allowing her to shine through every aspect of your life.

Barnett addresses every major aspect of a young woman’s life from attracting positive friends to zealously pursuing your career. The text opens with a chapter dedicated to simply finding happiness, which remains the underlying theme. The author emphasizes the importance of finding what makes you truly happy. In sharing her own path to happiness, Barnett discloses her gripping experience of losing her mother but also reveals how her loss forced her to find herself.

This girlfriends’ guide answers many of the questions we have struggled with: how to grab your dream job; how to turn your house (or apartment, or even room) into a space that makes you feel good; how to become financially independent; how to find your personal style. She promotes getting healthy the happy way, without the taboo and stress of abusive diets; She also challenges the reader to reach beyond her comfort zone and to use fear as a motivator rather than an inhibitor. Yes, ladies she even offers advises on relationships. She concludes the book with a chapter on spirituality. Endorsing no religion in particular, she encourages the reader to ground herself with an appreciation of not her existence but also the existence of the life that surrounds her.

Barnett presents her life as an open book as she candidly shares her less than glamorous moments—her dreadful high school style, countless bad boyfriends, divorce, her bummy New York apartment and awful first job, situations that we all experience but which she conquered to become the woman she is today. The reader can trust Barnett’s wisdom because her success serves as a living testament of the advice she shares. A Brown University alumna, member of well-known Black sorority, former Editor at Essence magazine, former Editor -in-Chief of Honey magazine, the first African American as head of a major consumer publication as Editor of Teen People, and happy wife and mother, her achievements speak for themselves. Sharing her own rags to riches story, her perseverance serves as an even greater inspiration than the tips she shares.

Barnett’s approach to the text makes this not just an informative but also an effortless read. She includes quizzes to personalize the message and promise pages at the end of each chapter to help each reader take active steps in applying the wisdom shared. Barnett also enlists the support of well respected celebrities—Kelis shares her bold approach to her personal style and India.Arie conveys her take on spirituality, just to name a few. This book is well worth your while to read, and you will become a better person because of it. Living as an example that we can all admire, Barnett shares information to help us get there ourselves. Grab a pencil because you will want to take notes, take the quizzes and complete the promise pages in each chapter. By the end of it, you’ll trust her as if she really is one of your girlfriends.

The take home message: It’s about you and what you want. Go get it!

I found comfort in knowing that the warm and sharing personality is consistent with the woman behind the book. After hearing her speak and having the wonderful opportunity to meet her, I was even further encouraged by her sincerity and her words of encouragement.

This post also appears on Miss Journey's blog.

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