Tag: motivation

DSBC: Becoming Michelle Obama Book Club Discussion Questions

by Carjamin Scott on December 7, 2018 at 5:11 p.m. CST

Good afternoon friends,

I’m so excited about our inaugural book club meeting to discuss Becoming Michelle Obama. The discussion is scheduled for Sunday, December 16 at 2p at the home of Rosetta Miller-Perry, Owner and Chief Publisher of The Tennessee Tribune.

If you have completed the RSVP, the book club meeting address was sent to your email account. If not, there is still time to RSVP and you may do so at this link.

Below are the questions that we will use to guide our discussion.


To begin, please introduce yourself and select a character from the book that you feel most impacted Mrs. Obama’s #iambecoming journey and discuss why.

Discussion Questions:

1) In discussing her neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Mrs. Obama writes, “Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.” How did this insight shape Mrs. Obama’s work and mission as First Lady? What can we all do—as individuals, parents, and community members—to help break this cycle?”

2) Early in her senior year at Whitney Young High School, Mrs. Obama went for an obligatory first appointment with the school college counselor. Mrs. Obama was treasurer of the senior class. She had earned a spot in the National Honor Society. She was on track to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class and she was interested in joining her older brother, Craig, at Princeton University. The guidance counselor said to her, “I’m not sure that you’re Princeton material.” How did Mrs. Obama handle hearing that statement? How does one avoid having one’s dreams dislodged by someone else’s lower expectations?

3) In her early life Mrs. Obama writes about being a “box checker,” but as she gets older she learns how to “swerve” to adjust to life’s circumstances. What does it mean to swerve and how do we develop that skill in life?

4) In Becoming, Mrs. Obama describes a number of women who have served as mentors for her at different times in her life, including Czerny Brasuell, Valerie Jarrett, and Susan Sher. What do these women have in common? What lessons did Mrs. Obama learn from them about finding a fulfilling career as a parent? Who are your mentors and how do you cultivate those relationships?

5) As a young professional, Mrs. Obama seemingly had it all—a great job, a great wardrobe, and a clear path to great things in a top-notch Chicago law firm. But she writes, “In my blinding drive to excel, in my need to do things perfectly, I’d missed the signs and taken the wrong road.” She decides to change careers to focus on public service—a move that surprises some who were close to her. What is the value of listening to that little voice that suggests you might be on the wrong path even though the world thinks you are doing exactly the right thing? How do you support someone who decides to follow their own path or create a new one?

6) In Chapter 15, Mrs. Obama explains why she chose to support her husband’s run for the presidency despite her misgivings about politics. What made her change her mind? Would you have made the same choice? How do you balance the competing worlds of family life and work in your life?

7) Life on the campaign trail was a constant education for Mrs. Obama. Among the lessons was the power in people coming together to see her and to see each other eye to eye. “I’ve learned that it’s harder to hate up close.” How do we create spaces where people can come together to talk, listen, and share stories and ideals to build stronger communities, even when people might not agree or share the same history or perspective? How do we as a nation push back against cynicism and the “us vs. them” battles that so often divide us?

8) Mrs. Obama has surrounded herself with a strong and supportive circle of friends from an early age. In some cases the circle was within reach; as she got older and busier, she had to work harder to create and maintain her circle of support. She writes “Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses . . . swapped back and forth and over again.” How did she create the building blocks of strong friendships in her life? What is the value in creating and maintaining a circle of strength?

9) Why do you think Michelle Obama chose to name her memoir Becoming? What does the idea of “becoming” mean to you?

I am so excited about our discussion. I can’t wait to see you there! Feel free to bring your favorite champagne, wine, or beverage as we toast to the beginning of something greater for our lives, fellowship with each other, and create community.

These questions are from the official Michelle Obama Becoming Book Guide.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

3 Types of Self-Discipline you Need to Accomplish your Vision.

by Carjie Scott on September 21, 2018, at 9:55 p.m. CST

School season is in full swing for my husband and he is accepting patients, my daughter started Pre-K and has homework, my son is crawling and eating anything he can put his hands on, and I’m working while trying to complete my capstone to graduate.

Admittedly, this is possibly the busiest we’ve ever been, and quite frankly, we are all exhausted. However, it is during the busiest moments of our lives that we must remind ourselves why it is all worth it. Therein lies the value of vision.

Before I begin discussing the three types of self-discipline you need to accomplish your vision, allow me to use a conscious discipline method that my daughter taught me, I encourage you to practice it with me right now. The method is called STAR, which means, smile, take a deep breath, and relax.

Give it a try right now, smile, take a deep breath, and relax. 

Remember how that method made you feel because we will discuss it again shortly.

You are Accepted: How to Get Accepted into College and Life

Carjie Scott provides a first-hand account of her experience as an administrator serving at trade schools, graduate institutions, and HBCUs. You are Accepted, is required reading for first-generation college students and higher education professionals. It encourages readers to own their story and accept themselves so that they can transform education for individuals who were historically excluded from attending college.

Enter code “Bulk15” to receive 70% off of your order of 5 or more autographed books.

Three types of Self-Discipline 

There are many ways that we can implement self-discipline practices everyday. Here are examples of three types: active discipline, reactive discipline, and proactive discipline.

Active discipline is doing what you need to in that very moment such as eating a healthy meal, limiting your distractions while studying, and exercising.

You were actively disciplined when you chose to eat healthy instead of unhealthy. You were disciplined when you took the time to study and turned your phone off. Another example happened when you decided to exercise instead of watch TV or surf the internet.

Reactive discipline is controlling your thoughts or behaviors when dealing with unforeseen situations such as getting a flat tire on your way to work, dealing with a rude person, and locking your car keys in your car.

Instead of complaining, you used these situations as opportunities to learn. When you got the flat tire, you got the tire fixed. In that moment, you chose to be grateful that it was just a flat tire and no one was hurt.

When dealing with that rude person, you turned the other cheek. You realized that their rudeness was their issue and not yours. You understood that “an eye for an eye” leaves everyone blind. You decided to treat that person with extra kindness because they needed it.

You locked your car keys in the car. You said to yourself, “It’s okay, mistakes happen.” You realize the importance of forgiving yourself and moving on. You know that this is just one minor setback during your full 24 hour day.

Proactive discipline is doing things in advance in an effort to better control a situation such as bringing an umbrella on a rainy day, creating a to-do list, and going to bed on time.

You watched the news that morning and prepared for the weather. You had goals that you needed to accomplish on a deadline and decided to create a to-do list to prioritize those goals. Instead of staying up late, you decided to go to bed early to wake up on time the next day.

Admittedly, it is hard to commit to self-discipline everyday. Self-discipline is no easy feat because we are constantly faced with issues that seem to occur at the most bothersome time.

It is true that we have no control over what can happen but we do have control over how we react to what happens. We also have access and opportunity to practice techniques that enable us to exercise self-discipline and reach our vision.

Become an Education Equalizer Scholar!

Get help with increasing your ACT/SAT scores, drafting your personal statement, acquiring scholarships and more.

Visit the You are Accepted shop.

You are Accepted, encourages readers to own their story and accept themselves. Shop for the paperback, ebook, and host an in-person or virtual book signing with Dr. Scott.

The Education Equalizer Foundation

The Education Equalizer Foundation works with middle through high school students and their families to demystify the college admittance process and provide scholars with the necessary tools to graduate.

A vision statement is what motivates you to reach your goals in life, don’t allow a lack of self-discipline stop you from reaching your goals.

Practicing Self-Discipline 

A vision statement is what motivates you to reach your goals in life. Lack of self-discipline delays us from accomplishing our vision and failure to implement self-discipline techniques causes us to stray away from our vision.

When determining self-discipline techniques, consider your vision statement and these six questions.

  1. What can you do in this very moment to achieve what you want to accomplish?
  2. If you encounter a set back, how will you react to it?
  3. What is the worst thing that can happen or what might go wrong?
  4. Do you have a method to deal with it?
  5. How can you prepare to achieve your vision?
  6. What should you begin doing today that can help you reach your vision tomorrow?

Now, recall the STAR method. Remember how that exercise made you feel? Good! I’ll share a secret that I’ve used for sometime to help with self-discipline and accomplishing my vision.

Secret: Practicing self-discipline well and achieving your vision happens when three things occur: 1. You feel good while achieving your vision, 2. You do not allow setbacks to control your feelings, and 3. You feel good after your vision is accomplished.

Now STAR, you’ve got this. Go out and accomplish what you’ve been put on this earth to do!

Request to publish or suggest a correction here.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

Carjie’s List of Inspirational Statements

by Carjamin Scott May 1, 2018, at 9:54 p.m. CST

These are some of the quotes that keep me motivated to do my very best every day.

What are you called to do?

“Everybody has a calling. And your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you were meant to be, and to begin to honor that in the best way possible for yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

Are you high on your priority list?

When I get up and work out, I’m working out just as much for my girls as I am for me because I want them to see a mother who loves them dearly, who invests in them, but who also invests in herself. It’s just as much about letting them know as young women that it is okay to put yourself a little higher on your priority list.” – Michelle Obama

Continue reading “Carjie’s List of Inspirational Statements”