Lesson 19: If You Can Concieve It You Can Achieve It


“All things are created twice; first mentally; then physically.  The key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind, with a vision and a blueprint of the desired result”

Stephen Covey


Several years ago I read the above quote in Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I remembered it throughout the years, but it wasn’t until I undertook a project that I envisioned and made a reality this week, that the quote really resonated with me. In January of this year, I wrote in my journal that I wanted to create inspirational artwork to decorate my house.  I gave myself the deadline of completing this project by April 2017.

Today is April 15, 2017 and I finished the project on April 12th.  I created 5 canvas paintings for my living area and 3 for my bathroom to remind me to stay positive.  I learned many lessons about moving from conception of an idea to achievement that I want to share with you.

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A Metaphorical Suicide- Lessons Learned from the Death and Life of Robin Williams by Tasha Richardson


On Monday, August 11th, the world lost a gem in Robin Williams.  Preliminary reports reveal that he may have committed suicide.  His death caused a ripple effect of pain to travel across the world. Williams has touched the world with his gifts and talents, and we were made all the better for it.  We thank Robin Williams for all of the humour, authenticity, and light that he offered to us and send condolences to his friends and family.

While the world no longer has Robin with us, the question that remains is what will we do with our own light and lives?  Many of us commit a metaphorical suicide every day.  What does this look like?  This looks like us showing up half there or not there at all.  This means us being silent when it comes to voicing our truths.  It means us agreeing to arrangements and situations that fail to acknowledge our authentic self.  Suicide is defined as the act of intentionally taking one’s own life.  Are you able to identify those areas in your life where you intentionally kill your power, presence, voice, and all that is uniquely you?  Once you do so. what are you willing to do about it?  Unlike those who we have physically lost to suicide, we are still here.  Own your light, beauty, wisdom, and power and “dance and embrace the musicality of life” so that when you really leave this earth, those around you can truly lament your homegoing and benefit from all that you’ve left behind.  What legacy do you choose to have and create–beginning this very moment?  Wake up and live!  Be the YOU who you were created to be!  Grant us the awesome occasion of being surrounded by the you who makes yourself known, no apologies and no excuses!  Change begins now!

For inspiration and life lessons taught by Robin Williams, check out the following articles:

  1. 11 Important Life Lessons Robin Williams Taught
  2. 20 Lessons Robin Williams taught us about life and love
  3. 15 Lessons From Robin Williams Films to Make You a Better Human
  4. Robin Williams: Life Lessons He Left Us With

What lessons have you learned from the life of Robin Williams?  What ways have you been committing suicide in your own life?  Comment below!

Lesson #4: Passing the Test


Congratulations! You have written down your goals and taken steps needed to accomplish them.  You are in a state of mind in which you feel that you have successfully let go and are approaching a bright future.  Just when you take another step in the right direction, you are knocked back three more steps.

I personally can attest to feeling this way.  Often times, when we think we are well on our way to success, we are faced with obstacles.  The question becomes, what do you do when you come across that obstacle?  You are being tested to see whether you will continue on your path and not let that obstacle deter you or completely give up on your goals.


Back in 2011, I was casually checking a rarely used email account and I received an instant message from someone I used to chat with.  Before this incident, I had deleted this person from my Facebook friends, messenger friends list, and even permanently deactivated my Facebook account.  I was completely thrown off guard by the IM because it came out of nowhere.  In my mind, I had been on the right track.  I felt like everything was coming together for me and I was changing my life.  During our whole 10 minute chat session, I was reminded of all these negative feelings I once had.

Here I was chatting with someone I no longer wished to have in my life, whom I only chatted with when I didn’t want to study, and whom I never felt comfortable talking to in the first place.  I was reminded of the person I no longer wanted to be.  Then it hit me—although I had wasted 10 minutes of my life on this day–I DID NOT HAVE TO WASTE ANOTHER HOUR.  After this sudden realization, I decided to close the window and log out of my email account.  For the record, three years later, I still have not been in contact with this person.


When you are faced with an obstacle that you were sure you had overcome–what will you do? Even, if you revert back to your old ways, briefly, just know that you do not have to continue on a downward spiral. If you fall off the wagon, you can pick yourself back up again.  Anytime you are making a positive change in your life, you will be tested.  You can pass that test because you are continuously making positive changes in your life, you are equipping yourself with skills that will enable you to pass any test that comes your way!


How do you respond when you are being tested?  Let us know in the comment section.


Peace and Blessings

Love Always,

Tanika Monique

Always & Forever
Forever & Always


Lesson #2: Apples and Oranges

Photo credit: Tanika Richardson

Photo credit: Tanika Richardson

“Stacy has a better paying job than me.”  “Hector’s married by now! I’m 28 and still single, what is wrong with me?!” “Look at how much weight Mary has lost in a week! Man I’m struggling to lose an ounce.”  The list goes on and on of the types of comparisons we tend to make with others.  We look at the lives of other people and see all the qualities that we do not possess and we end up feeling inadequate.  I had an epiphany the other day, that there will always be someone who has something that you do not.  Yes, Stacy may have a better paying job than you, but at least you are gainfully employed.  Yes, Hector is married, but you are enjoying getting to know yourself and falling in love with you.  Mary may have lost 5lbs in a week, but at least you have consistently eaten healthy home-cooked meals and exercised for 5 days this week.

My point is that comparing ourselves with others is useless.  It’s like comparing apples and oranges; they’re both fruit but completely different. They are both delicious, provide nutrients, and have something beautifully amazing to offer the world.  Instead of comparing yourself to others and focusing on everything you lack, focus on the positive and live in a space of gratitude.  You may not have everything that someone else has, but guess what?  You have something.  I truly believe that we are all uniquely beautiful creations who have something to positive to give to the world.

We are all teachers, we are all leaders, and we are all magnificent.  Apples cannot be oranges and oranges cannot be apples.  Only apples can create apple pie, apple dumplings and apple juice.  Only oranges can make orange juice and cranberry-orange scones.  You may not be Stacy, Hector, or Mary, but there is only one you.  Appreciate who you are and what you have and I guarantee that it will change your life for the better.


If you want to hear more about the reasons not to compare yourself to others, check out link to the video below:

What is one thing that is unique about you?  How do you celebrate your uniqueness? Let us know in the comments sections below.
Peace and Blessings
Love Always,

Tanika Monique
Always and Forever
Forever and Always

Introduction: Lessons I’ve Learned Series by Tanika Richardson



Greetings and thanks!

If you are reading this blog, I want to first say thank you for your support. It has been such a pleasure to prepare this work for you. Throughout my life, I have learned countless lessons about myself and about life that have assisted me in becoming a better person. It is my hope to include a mere 365 of those lessons on this blog. Since 2011, I have been jotting down some of these lessons that have helped me transform my thinking and encouraged me when I’m faced with a challenge.

My hope and prayer for this series is that I can share 365 testimonials of my ups and downs in order to inspire you to make positive changes in your life as well. I am by no means perfect but I strive to be better everyday. I wrote these lessons for you, as well as for myself, as a reminder that we can learn, grow, and become our best selves.

I wish you all much success on your journeys of self-improvement. I hope I can assist you along the way.

Peace and Blessings.

Love always,

Tanika Monique

Always & Forever

Forever & Always