Tag Archives: Jay-Z

Motivation Mondays: Empire State of Mind

For the last three weeks, I’ve gotten to walk through the streets of Manhattan on my way to work. As much as the congested streets and cold weather can be annoying, I feel extremely lucky to be walking these blocks and avenues. There is something about the bright lights of Manhattan that captivate me and bring me to life.

Since a very young age, I’ve walked (or ran on some occasions) through the streets of Manhattan. Both my parents brought my brother and I into the city, to bring your child to work days, to see the Christmas tree and to go to New York Rangers hockey games. My mother even took us to the Ground Zero memorial only three months after the attacks. I’m so glad I was raised in the city and am blessed to be a part of it every day.

Not everyone is a city person. Some don’t like the noise and others can’t stand the traffic. I completely understand that but there is something about the city of New York that rejuvenates me. When I walk through the city, passing Radio City Music Hall, glimpsing at the Empire State Building, I become inspired. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but the city speaks to me, telling me that anything in the world is possible. So many people came to Manhattan to start new lives; the city gave them the same hope and promise of opportunity that I feel everyday.

I can wholeheartedly say I am a city girl. I love the hustle and bustle of a city and find all the bright lights magical. This love affair with cities even impacted my decision to attend Temple University. As you probably know, Temple is right in the middle of Philadelphia, another city I left in love with over the last four years. The view of City Hall from Temple’s main campus was on of the best views I’ve ever seen. That being said, nothing will ever compare to NYC. Sorry Philly friends, but Manhattan will always be #1 in my book!

There have been several songs written about the great city of New York. However, I am partial to one in particular: Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. Both parts of the song refer to New York as a place where dreams are made and where people are inspired. Perhaps the most inspiring part is hearing these lyrics come from two artists who grew up in the streets of New York. You can tell that the city made them who they are; their passion for the city they love is contagious.

The next time you happen to be wondering around Manhattan, take a look around and see all the opportunities that lie ahead you. I can almost guarantee that some part of the city will inspire you. Until then, both parts of Empire State of Mind are below!

Motivation Mondays: Forever Young

Last night, I traveled to Brooklyn to see Jay-Z’s sold-out concert at the new Barclay’s Center. Never in a million years did I think I’d get tickets to this concert. I expected to be amazed but I wasn’t prepared for a life-changing experience.

Whether you like him or not, Jay-Z demands some respect. He is a lyrical genius, brilliant entrepreneur and came from nothing. He was amazing last night and spoke to the crowd like we were his friends, maybe even his family.

Before closing with ‘Forever Young,’ he told the crowd that each of us was special and genius, but that it might take some time to figure out how to use that genius ability. It was like he knew exactly what I needed to hear. It’s a daily struggle for me, retracing each step I took in college, wondering if I could have done something differently that would have gotten me a job. But I was reminded by a man who did struggle and who knew hardship to never give up and to never let anyone stand in your way. He said each of us would change the world one day and I plan to.

After his speech, Jay-Z ended with ‘Forever Young,’ a song that preaches about living life and enjoying every moment. I believe in the song’s message and was reminded to slow down and enjoy life’s moments, whatever they may be. Sometimes, it’s a Jay-Z concert but other times it’s smaller moments like watching the autumn leaves fall or laughing hysterically with your friends in the middle of Target. Yes, we’re adults but everyone needs to remember that having fun and enjoying life is what keeps us forever young.

Thank you Jay-Z for fantastic concert and for inspiring me last night!


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