While I was doing researching for the post I wrote on author Dr. Dennis Kimbro, I found out that singer Tyrese Gibson had collaborated with him. Tyrese did at least one talk with Dennis Kimbro’s “Take a Millionaire To Lunch” series. In this series, Dr. Kimbro arranges for black millionaires to speak to the students of HBCUs and teach them how to think like a high achiever. As I listened to Tyrese speak, I was highly impressed. He was personable, self confident and articulate, with a commanding presence. He imparted very important information that is too often not taught to young people, especially black people.
He spoke about his own experience – about being young and seeking the wisdom to create a better life for himself. He told the students about the hardships he dealth with of his mother and father mired in drug and alcohol addiction, and how he decided their negative choices would not define him. He encouraged the students to decide who and what they would be in life and think and dream and plan to become just that. Too often, in the chaos that surrounds young people who grow up in the hood, that very environment robs them of the peace of mind necessary to imagine a better tomorrow for themselves.
Tyrese shared with the youth that an important aspect of success is being able to handle it once they achieve it. We have many examples of young black youth who have developed success, but don’t know how to maintain it. They don’t have the right mentors to teach them how to protect their talent and wealth once they achieve it. That’s why so often we see young rich people become the victims of their own lack of understanding of wealth. As Iyanla Vanzant states, “they are millionaires with a welfare mentality”. Their minds are blown by having so much money: they feel false pride, superiority or even guilt about having wealth and end up spending it on “Bling”. Some want to use their wealth to build their self esteem, so they cover themselves with their wealth – gold chains, diamond grill, furs, expensive clothes and shoes. And dont you know, there are many businessmen who get rich offering expensive and useless blinging crap to these insecure youth. TV’s, videos, stereos, built inside super expensive cars they cant even drive without getting hated on by everybody.
As Tyrese taught, it’s up to us to change our circumstances. We have the ability to become successful if we develop our talents, and seek to learn from the right people. We have to seek to be excellent in whatever we choose to do, and we have to change our relationship to wealth. When we become successful and wealthy, we can reach the next level and also properly manage our wealth. It’s all a mind game and we can choose to be winners or losers.