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Curly Nikki

Self- Concept Thursday

By January 27th, 202112 Comments

Self- Concept Thursday

On Callings, Careers, and Masterclasses
by Carmen of
God, Men, and Money

“If I was going to be successful, I had to be successful as myself. “I don’t know how you learn from success. I haven’t figured that part out yet.”
– Shawn Carter

I, like most of y’all folks, sat doe-eyed and gap mouthed when OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s new network, aired it’s first Master Class. Jay-Z was the first Master Student Teacher and his interview made me a different type of fan of his.

His self-awareness and his pockets of transparency made me say, “hot dayum,” he’s really on his path. He revealed a few dimensions of his brand of genius and for the first time, I was overly impressed with him. [Videos Here and Below]

When I watched the videos again, I realized that he is a great example of someone operating in his calling. What do I mean by calling? Well, I wrote to myself a few years back that I thought a calling was/is: “is less about an occupation, and more about being who you were meant to be. It’s the acknowledgment, and acceptance of you. It is walking in, operating in, and functioning as the person you were created to be. The fact is, we are all called. We are all called into our selves. You are called to be the who you really are.”

So, with alla that, I’ve made a list of observations/insights I notice from people [some famous people, some spiritual teachers, and a few light givers] who operate in their true selves.

Wanna hear it? Hear it goes…

  • They are Self Aware- Know who they are: gifts, talents, and such–and don’t make any apologies for it.
  • They are Authentic/chase their own dreams- “The worst thing to be, is to be successful as someone else. I feel sorry for someone who has to walk out of the house every day as someone else,” again Shawn Carter.
  • They are Comfortable in their own skinThese are the people who learn how to settle into themselves–and settling as in being peaceful in themselves. Not the ‘I’m complacent” type of settle.
  • They are Reinventors and Evolvers- Your “call” will most likely redefine itself and evolve itself the more you operate in it…. I bet that’s a challenge?

  • They Do stuff no one has ever done before- Welp, since every one of us has a unique contribution to make to this here world, just about everyone will have to do at least one some thing that no one has ever done before.
  • They Play themselves “Big”- At some point in time, people on their own paths stop playing themselves small. At some point if you’re gonna commit to being you, you have to stop pandering to people, places or things that don’t keep you centered in self. [not to be confused with self-centered]
  • They are Committed to the path and themselves
  • They Learn to Love- And by that, I mean they learn to love fearlessly
  • They Enjoy the process- And they look like they enjoy life
  • They have failuressometimes big whoppers. Those failures though, seem to pull them along their own paths quickly, though.
  • They inspire others to live better lives- They are committed to their paths and them selves. And they help people live better lives, too.
  • They are Driven, firstly, by internal motivations- “For anybody who is thinking about taking a risk, you have to always come back to: What are your fundamental principles, what are your fundamental beliefs about yourself and your reason for doing whatever? So I thought, Well, if it doesn’t work, that still doesn’t take away the reason I wanted to do it.”-O
  • They can see outside of them ‘selves’It’s hard to win in life and at life if you can’t get outside of yourself and your situation to survey the whole landscape.
  • Their calling is not defined by a career [they seem to have a lot of identities]

As I mentioned up top, a calling is not a career. But I’ve noticed that people on their ‘path’ seem to have a lot of sometimes seemingly disconnected identities. Identities you wouldn’t put into one person: The business person that’s a teacher, the mother that’s a budding entrepreneur with a lot of enterprises.

They operate in all of those selves. Fully.


  • Anonymous says:

    I personally don't care for anyone who has promoted the destruction of people (black ones in particular). Therefore, I am certainly not fan of Jay-Z-given his personal history and choices prior to becoming a rapper. Glad that he appears to have turned it around.
    That said, I guess its good that he is willing to reflect on life and do better. If that's his goal, then that's a success.
    Oprah, well, shes just doing Oprah. Cant fault her for that.

  • DvaAuNaturel says:

    Awesome! Jay Z was actually the first episode, on the premier weekend for OWN. He was awesome and it made me realize that people aren't who they always appear to be and that below the surface there just may be a little more to them. Very insightful.

  • The Beautiful Saffiyah O. says:

    I believe that Diane Sawyer was first on the Master Class. She came on the Sunday before Jay-Z. Her story was really great too. I absolutely love this series!

  • CurlyNola says:

    Great post….great lesson. Just what I needed today.

  • Carmen says:

    Thanks for posting Nikki!

    And if y'all haven't seen the whole epi, definitely check it out. It has me looking forward to the whole season of the show.

  • Anonymous says:

    This was awesome!!! Thanks for posting it! 🙂

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    I really like the list that you've put together of the things successful (or operate in their true selves) people do. I think it's pretty accurate. I personally don't care for Oprah or Jay Z though, but if I had to put together a list of ppl who were operating in their true calling, they'd definitely be on the list.

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautifully stated!

  • Namun says:

    I'll be looking into "Master Class" as soon as I get home tonight. Thanks for this article.

  • Clara says:

    This is amazing. Reaffirms that notion that you can and should be anything that you want. This gave me the extra motivation I needed to complete grad school applications so I can do what (I think) I'm meant to do.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    I hadn't seen it (or ever heard of Master Class) until yesterday. LOVE IT! Thanks again Carmen 🙂 New motivation!

  • dajewel1982 says:

    exactly!!! i have his master class on repeat and i watch it at least a couple of times a week!!!

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