GCM 79 | Finding Your Purpose

 

In order for us to achieve success and to live a happy, healthy life, we have to know our true selves first. To know one’s purpose points us to the right direction towards fulfillment. In this episode, host, Rodney Flowers, interviews author and inspirational speaker, Shaniqua Cousins. Listen to this episode as Shaniqua shares us her inspiring stories and valuable advice about finding our purpose and achieving our dreams.

Listen to the podcast here:

Finding Your Purpose, Achieving Your Dreams With Shaniqua Cousins

I have Shaniqua Cousins. She’s going to be dropping some game-changing knowledge on us. For nearly two decades, she has been a leader and inspiration to many via her speaking, training and literary writings. She is the host of the international Seek Purpose, Live Dreams TV web series. She is also the author and publisher of the book, Life, Experiences, Preparation and Purpose. A book that focuses on someone using life experiences as tools to prepare for the purpose of our lives. Welcome to the show, Shaniqua.

How are you?

I’m wonderful. We’re ready to receive from you. We’re ready to know what you have going on, what you’re doing in the world, how you’re changing the world. We’re glad that you’re here. Thank you first of all for being here with us.

It’s my honor. Thank you for having me. I don’t take these opportunities lightly and I know that whenever you have an opportunity like this, you’re ultimately speaking into the lives of people. It’s a privilege for sure and an honor to participate. I’m happy to be here.

You’ve done some wonderful things. I love the Seek Purpose, Live Dreams TV web series. I want to know what your philosophy is behind that.

For me, it was a matter of understanding that everyone has a purpose on Earth. We should discover what that purpose is. It’s the bridge between purpose and living out those fantasies we see in our minds, living out those possibilities we see in our thoughts, in our dreams. It became a reality when I started to seek purpose dreams that I would have. They started to unfold. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a method to the madness. It’s how I navigate the world as an adult. It’s how I show up and what I would encourage other people to do. Find out what your true purpose is. It’s not one thing, it’s multifaceted. When you find that thing and that niche, I guarantee, your dreams will start to unfold because it takes the grit out of that trying to make it happen and it puts it on the plan and the purpose that was already divinely orchestrated for your life. You take all of that off of yourself and you place it on the method that was already in place for you.

When you say it takes it, I guess what you’re saying is the actual purpose. When you find your purpose, it’s not a grind anymore because it’s supposed to be doing this naturally. Let’s back up a little bit because what’s difficult for people is finding their purpose. A lot of people don’t know what their purpose is and when you’re trying to determine what is that, it can seem a little challenging. Have you cracked the code on that? How do we determine what our purpose is?

You have to look over the story of your life and look at the storyboard of your life. You have to get in tune with what is natural to you. I don’t think that anyone can tell us what it is. I wouldn’t say that I could tell someone what their purpose is, but I will say you have to figure out what comes natural to you. What is that thing or those things that only you can do and that you do them effortlessly? In the age of social media and the internet age, our own purpose and intentions can become diluted because we’re looking for the external to validate. If you get quiet and you become still, it’s already in us. It’s already there. We just have to be courageous and bold enough to step out and do the thing that only we can do and not try to make it look like everyone else’s thing. It’s your unique stamp that you’re putting on the world. When you become still and quiet within yourself, it will be revealed.

I can imagine that as a challenge for a lot of people as well. We did a podcast and topic of stillness came up and it’s such a powerful thing because there’s so much going on in the world. We’re busier than ever. When you did a study, you see that people are getting less sleep, this whole philosophy of do more with less cause friction. Everybody is on the grind. When you talk about stillness, it’s like, “I don’t have time for that.” There are so much power and clarity and just being still in what you’re saying is you perhaps can find out your purpose, find out what you’re here for, what’s your contribution. What is it that you can contribute to the world? You get this feeling that feels good about contributing and you can do it all day.

Stillness and your contribution have to become a priority. Put first things first, that’s always been my thing. I will never contribute to the world without contributing to myself and my family first. In order to be better at being who I am as an individual, to be better at who I am as a member of my family, as a member of society, I have to go back to the blueprint all the time. If I’m out here running a mop and doing whatever, I’m going to be worn out. Things are going to be fuzzy for me. There’s not going to be clarity because I’m searching and I’m on a quest that I wasn’t predestined to be on. Stillness has to become a priority.

Literally, it’s being still within yourself and finding validation and going back. Think about when you were a kid. There weren’t any obstacles or limitations placed on us. We become adults and we started navigating this world and we’re told not to, can’t do this, won’t do that, this shouldn’t look like that. When you become still, that child-like imagination is there. The courage and the bravery to go out and conquer it, it’s there. We have to be willing to do it. That’s what game-changing is. When you’re able to show up in this world and be who you are and contribute in a meaningful and positive way that is game-changing to me. We have to do it.

We all have a purpose in this earth, and ultimately we should discover what that is. Click To Tweet

I love what you said, be who you are. Be who you are unapologetically. People feel like they need to apologize for being themselves. There’s such a disconnect with yourself because you’re beautiful. You’re meaningful. There’s so much about you that is needed in the world that you are the way you are because the way you are is what you need.

Because of the intended purpose for your life. I’m not going to be the way that Rodney is because it might not be the intended purpose of your life. Although we have crossroads, it’s not the same intended purpose for me. I have to show up and deliver the unique way that is impressed upon my DNA and we all have that. What we try to do, and we lose it when we start to mimic and become who we believe people think we should be and how they believe we should contribute to this world. I went through that phase too, especially early on in the business. I didn’t know what to do, where to do and how to do it. I started to mimic and fake it until I felt like I could make it. Things didn’t start to unlock on the inside for me until I got back to first things first. If you get back the first things first, who you are, your natural, authentic self, then you’re adding value to the lives of others.

It’s funny because we own an airplane and they’re going through the safety requirements and they talk if we ever need oxygen. The oxygen mask comes down and they say, “Make sure you put the oxygen on yourself before you put it on someone else.” It’s a wonderful analogy because you have to take care of yourself. You have to have that stillness with yourself in order to be able to bring that contribution forward.

It’s a scary thing for us to come to the truth of who we are at times. There’s a lot of unscripting that we have to do. There are lots of stories that we’ve told ourselves. The truth is revealed when we ask for answers and we’re willing to receive. If you’re on a quest to change games and you’re on a quest to live a purposeful life, there are some truths that have to be unfolded and revealed to us, but we have to be willing and open to receive.

It sounds like you speak from experience. What is your personal story? What can you share with us that is an example of what you’re stating there?

My personal story and who I am at my heart, I’m a Southern girl. I’ve always felt connected to people. I’ve always felt like an encourager, a supporter and a teacher. I was never afraid to get on the stage and perform. If it was a talent show or pep rally or you need to get the crowd going, I’m your girl. Literally voted most popular in high school. I was always in the midst of it all. I had a lot of unscripting to do because the stories that I was told about who I was as a Southern African-American girl in this world. For me, I remain connected to that young girl who was always willing to encourage others, who was always willing to show up as her own unique self in this world. It’s the same thing that I’m doing now as an adult. Whether I’m speaking on stage or I’m sitting on my talk show platform or if I’m on social media, the person that I am, I’m still encouraging people. I’m still trying to motivate and inspire people.

GCM 79 | Finding Your Purpose

Finding Your Purpose: Find out what your true purpose is. When you find that thing and that niche, dreams will start to unfold.

 

At this particular juncture of my life to live life on purpose, I know that same girl when I was five years old singing in a talent competition or if I was seventeen years old and I was at a pep rally. I’m in my 40s when I’m on a stage with a microphone, I’m that same girl. I had to look at the connection between who I was back then and who I am now. That never changes. At the heart of it all, I love people. I’m a lover of God. I’m a lover of all things positive and motivating and that hasn’t changed for me. I do it within my family. I do it for myself on a daily basis. I do it in interactions like we’re having. I’ve figured out a way to use that to serve a greater purpose for my life and ultimately live out my dreams.

What prompted you to write the book, Life, Experience, Preparation, and Purpose?

I was in the Navy for eight and a half years and I was transitioning out. I wanted to find a way to stay connected with people. I started having little nuggets dropped on me throughout my Navy career. I would always host like a girls night in and parties for my friends and stuff like that. I was like, “I felt this prompting inside to reach a broader audience.” The book became a natural thing for me. In my early twenties, about 23, the purpose and nugget started dropping in me. I’m like, “What’s this purpose thing?” I grew up in church but I never knew about purpose.

Little by little, it became revealed to me. If I use my life experiences, they ultimately are preparing me for the various purposes that I have. Through various obstacles, relationships in and out, little by little things were being dropped on me. The title of the book was birthed out of my experiences and how I was able to use things that I had gone through to ultimately be able to sit on platforms like this, to host shows and different things. It was like a 360 of my life. It was another way to share with a broader audience outside of my girls’ night in and different people that I knew. It was another resource that I’m hopeful will help people along their path.

I want to dive a little deeper into it because I was doing some reading on your book. I found that one of the objectives for the book was a quest for purposeful soul searching, leading to fulfillment. It sounds very interesting to me. I want to dive into that and get your thoughts behind that.

We all desire to live a fuller, richer life. That’s innate in all of us. I think we become lazy in our quest. The thirst is still there, but the desire and the drive are sometimes diluted by the realities of life, but if we thirst that quest and that thirst becomes our driver, ultimately that richness and that fulfillment that we’re looking for is going to be there. We are all desire in something and we’re all desiring growth. A tree doesn’t stay small, does it? It’s always reaching. That’s the evolution of our human experience. We’re always reaching for more. I live around a lot of trees and I love going out and looking around. Something that I noticed is that because there are so many trees and we haven’t done a lot of shaving around us, if one tree is dampened by another tree, it’s going to still find its way. Somehow it’s going to curve. It’s going to twist. It’s going to do whatever it needs to do to ultimately reach up to the sky because it’s reaching for the light. That’s our human experience. We are on that quest and we’re on that journey.

We have to be courageous and bold enough to step out and do the thing that only we can do. Click To Tweet

We’re thirsting, but obstacles come in our way because we want that full life. We want that rich life. We have to shift it to the right or shift it to the left. Sometimes we remain at the right and at the left and we forget to get back on the path. If we have that hunger inside, it ultimately will deliver us that fullness and richness that we’re looking for. We have to be willing to do it. We can’t stop. There are many times in our lives and many obstacles that may happen that we think the obstacle and the delay is the denial, but it’s not. It’s in an intended roadblock to ultimately somehow get us shook but not to stop us but we take that as a stop. We have to keep going. The book is one of those things. There are many resources out there that we can use. I’m grateful that I had the courage to write it and share it. My ultimate prayer is that someone would be able to use it on their journey.

That’s so beautiful because I can relate to the story about the trees and I love trees as well. They have a DNA inside of them. The seed even has a DNA and the tree is attempting to fully express the DNA that implanted in it. Whether it’s a small tree or a big tree, it’s trying to fully express its DNA. That’s us, all day. We have a DNA inside of us that wants to be expressed. God is so clever because we get these desires. Those desires are fuel to express the DNA so you want this thing and that thing, but it’s a setup because, in order for you to get that thing and that thing, there are things that you have to become. You got to tap into your source and your contribution in order to express yourself. Everyone benefits from that.

We have to allow that DNA to fully express. We can’t get caught up in all of the minutia and the facts of life because it’s deterrent. Getting back to what you said about when we faced those deterrents and those obstacles, the obstacles are purposeful. Think about the person years from now. You probably not the person that you need to be in order for you to fully walk in and be that person that’s contributing years from now to be that person. If you don’t have the obstacles, you will never grow into that person that you need to be in ten years in order to fulfill that purpose, fully express that DNA. The obstacles in my mind are all part of the plan because without them, there’s no growth.

I totally agree and I’m glad you mentioned the 10-year person and the 20-year version of yourself. I literally live my life like that. Let me go back to myself. I think about the person when I was in my twenties. I needed to be that person in my twenties so that I can tell the stories of that person in my 40s. I needed to go through those experiences in my twenties because I needed to be able to benefit from that in my 30s and so on and so forth. I literally live my life at those 5, 10, 20-year viewpoint. When you’re able to live that way, you start the stories and the obstacle starts to drive you and motivate you in a way that adds more meaning and clarity to your life. I’m amazed at some of the things that I thought would break me in my twenties. I look back at it and I’m like, “Girl.”

I needed to go through that. At that particular point, I was thinking, “I’m never going to make it.” When I look back on it, I was like, “That helped me to go here and that helped me to do this.” This is what I’ve learned to do over the years, not resist obstacles because, in resistance, we stop moving. We don’t even realize that we’re not moving any longer. When you’re in resistance, you have stopped the boat, you have stopped the train, everything is at a halt. Everything is in stationary mode. When you are able to accept, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you love it and this is the best thing for you, you are still moving along the way. Resistance keeps us bound.

GCM 79 | Finding Your Purpose

Finding Your Purpose: We all desire to live a fuller and richer life. However, we become lazy in our quest because the drive is sometimes alluded by the realities of life.

 

Embrace it. Number one, if you are through some type of obstacle that was painful and as uncomfortable it is, it means that you are alive. The fact that you were born, if you go look at the whole conception process, it’s a struggle. It’s not an easy thing to be here. It’s one out of millions. Life from the very beginning is a battle. That’s what life is though. We have to change our perspective. The mindset towards obstacles is what holding us back. If we can understand that an obstacle is all about opportunity, life is all about opportunity. Even life at the highest level is the opportunity to live life at the highest level. In order to get to that point, growth must be had, change must occur.

Things must happen within the process in order to experience that opportunity. That’s the thing. Some obstacles are hurtful, uncomfortable and hard to deal with. Some things we call obstacles aren’t obstacles. They’re the process of life. It’s part of life that we don’t like to deal with. I don’t think it’s necessarily an obstacle. Some things that we have to deal with is the other side of the coin. It’s like sunshine and then there’s night. You like the sunshine but then dark is coming soon so you got to deal with that too. The mindset is being able to balance these things, have balance and be emotionally intelligent enough to deal with this type of stuff.

I want to hit back on opportunities that you mentioned. On the other side of opportunities when we’re given opportunities that we have to be willing to create opportunities for people. I believe that we all have a purpose and a calling and there’s a unique path for us. Along that path we’re going to be given opportunities, but we have to be willing to create opportunities as well. We’re not here to live in a vacuum. When you are courageous enough to live life fully and live it and add richness and meaning, part of that is that you’re creating opportunities for others to do the same. You’re the creator of roadblocks for people.

You’re opening doors for other people and you’re allowing them to live on purpose. That’s one of the richest parts of doing the talk show for me. I meet women and men from all walks of life. I’m always looking for that unique thing in another person that I could connect to and that I believe other people could benefit from. I’m not going to say I’m worldwide, but I’m always looking for a connection with other people. There’s someone out there that could connect to you as well. I love creating opportunities. That same girl that was back in South Carolina doing whatever she was doing, encouraging, motivating. I believe that that is a part of my unique purposes to create opportunities as well.

What is your personal mantra?

It has to be seek purpose, live dreams. For me, purpose is everything. It’s why I got married. It’s why I’m a mother. It’s a part of how I’ve been able to navigate marriage, navigate motherhood and as individuals, we can go through this phase of not understanding our worth and value. Purpose has added a richer, fuller meaning of value to me and worth to who I am as an individual. I say that there are some things I had to get away from. There are some things I can no longer do. It made me show up different. It is about living life on purpose. When you live life on purpose, you show up as a different individual. I think about the person who I was compared to the person that I am and the person that I would like to grow into be is all connected to why I’m here. Why are you here? I think about that, not at the superficial, I don’t want to look like I’m living something. I want to experience it. For me, it’s like, “Why are you here?”

When you become still, that child-like imagination is there. The courage and the bravery to go out and conquer, it's there. Click To Tweet

I’m a mother but it’s more than making sure she has a meal. It’s about rich, deep conversations because I have a direct impact on a life that will ultimately go out into this world. She’s already out into this world, but she is impacting other lives. I think about that, how can I be a better person in front of her? How can I be a better person for myself? She’s going to model some of my behaviors. There’s a unique purpose for her, but how can I show up and be a better person? How can I show up and be a better sister? How can I show up and be a better employee? To me, it’s all connected to lives. Whether we know it or not, whether we want to accept it or not, we’re connected to people. We don’t live in this vacuum. When you understand that you’re connected to people. In the smallest way you’re impacting their lives, you navigate the world differently.

Is that your big ‘why?’

It’s my big ‘why’ now. I want to be a good steward over everything that I have an opportunity to have ownership of, even over my home. If you come into my home, I want to make sure my home is clean, my home is presentable, things being attended to. Even as small as my vehicle. I want to make sure my vehicle is well-kept in, how I’m showing up, taking care of my own self. There was a point where I got off of not maintaining who I was. It’s a part of life. You can lose focus on taking care of yourself and the importance of taking care of yourself. I had to get back to that because when you feel great and when you’re showing up, you’re going to ultimately impact other people.

I noticed that you used to have #BeTrueToYou. What’s the messaging behind that?

I still use it. That was my intention for 2019. I was so over social media about a year and a half ago, like, “What’s happening? What’s going on?” Everyone’s telling you how to be and what to be. I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed. It was a reminder for me, be true to you not to be concerned about other people. Not that I’m overly concerned about the opinions of others about me, but it was impacting me a little. It was a reminder for me, be true to you. If you are true to yourself, people will know it, you will know it. You will feel the energy that you bring and the energy that you maintain within yourself. It will be undeniable.

You bring up an interesting topic. There are so many people that are living with this. It’s a sense of anxiety because they’re feeling like they can’t measure up to what they see on social media. Social media paints this picture that, “Look at me, this is the lifestyle I’m living.” A lot of it is fake. It’s only someone that you can glean from the pictures and the postings on social media. It’s not so much what you see, it’s what you don’t see that’s more important. There are a lot of people that’s dealing with this. They have lost their sense of identity. They’re living vicariously through the lives of other people and they feel like, “Why isn’t my life like this? Why can’t I do this? Maybe I should be.” All of these questions come up and they lose themselves.

They’re not still inside. I’m very happy when I’m able to impact and speak into people’s lives. If I got an accolade for something or a recognition for something, I’m happy about this stuff. It does not define who I am as a person. It helps to validate some things, but it doesn’t define who I am. If you’re not still, you look for definitions and other things. You look for the recognition, you look for the applause. If you’re not still and you’re not connected to the unique purpose that’s on your life, you’re going to feel like you don’t measure up. You have to take a blind eye to a lot of things. Even if you never discovered it, it’s so important that you do discover who you are and what you have to offer yourself first, then others. If you’re looking for recognition, validation, and applause outside of everyone else, it’s going to be tough when you’re not getting it.

GCM 79 | Finding Your Purpose

Life, Experiences, Preparation, and Purpose

You talked about putting the time in your schedule for planning stillness. A lot of people when they get spare time and they’re not doing stuff that they have to do, they spend that time on social media. What I’m finding through my study is that they’re losing that connection. Not only the stillness, it provides connection. Connection with yourself, connection with spirit. The time that you’re looking at all of this stuff, you’re spending all of this time. I’m not saying it’s all bad. There are ways that social media is very beneficial. It’s making sure that there’s that balance and you don’t lose that connection with self. You don’t lose that connection with spirit. A lot of this spare time that we have, it’s been filled up with this stuff. I can’t say that it’s as beneficial. You still have to have that connection with yourself.

For instance, Monday through Thursday, I’m up at 4:00 AM. I’m working out at 4:15 in the morning. I’m done with working out by 4:45 or so, I’m giving myself about 15 to 20 minutes to work out because that’s me working out, being still, saying my prayer, everything that I need to do before anyone else is up in my home. That’s what works for me. That’s how I am still. I’m not on social media. I may take a video clip here and there because again, that’s just part of my social media platform as far as I’m working out. My downtime and my quiet time is the sacred part of my ritual in the morning. I’ve found that for myself. People have to find it. It has to become a priority. If it’s not a priority, it’s going to continue to be this unconscious thing that we’re chasing. We’re looking for answers and looking for validation when it’s really on the inside of us.

You have other empowering beliefs that you live by such as believe all things are possible. Love because you are loved. Seek wisdom in all things. Stand on your faith. Why do you live by these particular beliefs? What’s the story behind them?

First off, I’m happy that you did the research because I almost forgot some of the stuff that you bring it back. I was like, “Rodney have done his research.” If you’re not operating in love, you’re operating in fear. That’s the bottom line. If you’re not operating in faith, you’re operating in fear. If you’re not willing to stand in that space of love and faith, then there’s something you’re afraid of. For me, I’m learning more and more every day how to operate in love. It’s as simple as a compliment. If you’re able to deliver a compliment to someone you and you’re operating in love, you understand that that doesn’t take anything away from you. When we hold back from giving people what is due them, there are some underlining fear there. When we’re suppressing and we’re not letting people in our world and not letting people in our circles, there’s some fear there.

When you see another individual, their accomplishments, their success and even sometimes their failures and we have that little thing on the inside of us that precludes us from even delivering the thank you and the wow, it is fear and there’s intimidation. I stand on that I have a purpose in this world. Because I stand on that, it’s not always visible. I have to operate in the unseen. The unseen is the faith and actions working and moving in a direction that I believe is true for my life. That is faith in action. My personal belief is I have a purpose. That means I have to beat in action and that means I have to walk by faith. Faith is an active thing. It’s not this spiritual in my head thing. It’s an activity. Because I’m active, there are things that have been unfolding and different creativity, things that have spun on the inside of me and connections that are made. If I sat back like, “I don’t know. Maybe not,” I’m operating in fear. I need to operate in love and I need to operate and move on my feet.

I hear the faith all the time. When we talk about purpose, you have to have faith that when you make a decision or you feel within yourself that something is your purpose, you have to have the faith that, “No, I’m supposed to bring this board.” As you develop and you cultivate that, you have to have that faith because something’s going to come that make you feel shaky, make it difficult. Let’s not paint a picture that it’s all easy just because it’s natural. It still takes work to cultivate your gifts, cultivate your talents, cultivate your contribution and cultivate your growth, all of that stuff. It’s work. Faith plays a big part. It gets hard and difficult and all those things that you’re cultivating. You need faith in order to keep going beyond that, especially when you know that this is your contribution. You want to bring that forward. How do you develop your faith?

It is game changing when you're able to show up in this world, be who you are, and contribute in a meaningful and positive way. Click To Tweet

It’s a matter of what you believe. You can’t act outside of what you believe but you cannot act long term outside of what you believe. For instance, I could believe all day long that I have a purpose and there’s a calling on my life. There may be something that gets me upset. I may act ugly or I may act a certain way, but my predominant behavior, my predominant way that I navigate this world has to be rooted in what I believe is true for me. Your belief is the faith unseen. Because I believe that all things are possible for me, I shouldn’t be walking around sad, depressed, moping because all of these things are active. I believe that my talk show will be seen around the world and lives will be changed and impacted. I can’t walk around saying, “Nobody knows me. I don’t know how this is going to happen. I don’t have the resources.”

I can’t say those things because that’s an activity. I believe it’s possible. I don’t speak against what I believe. Over time, what you’re doing is you’re developing your faith muscle. You have to have reinforcements. The church, the things that you put around yourself, what you read, what you’re listening to, show like this. How you start your day, how you end your day. The words that you speak have to line up with what you believe. Here’s what we do. We believe something on the inside that unbelief that we have on the inside will dictate the words that we speak on the outside. If you want to know what a person believes, listen to them. If you want to know what you believe, listen to yourself. If you want to know what you believe, don’t scroll to somebody else’s social media. Scroll through your social media and look at the story that you believe about yourself.

Speaking of social media, if they wanted to learn more about and work with you, find out more about your TV series. How can they connect with you?

The number one way to connect with me is on my website, ShaniquaCousins.com. On social media, it’s Shaniqua L. Cousins, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, as well as YouTube. We have the talk show series running on the YouTube platform, which is the Seek Purpose, Live Dreams platform or Shaniqua L. Cousins as well as on my website. Those are the ways to stay connected to me.

Could you tell us about your annual conference?

South Carolina girl understanding the purpose, understanding business, understanding the economics behind the business. When you plant something in a community, what that ultimately does for the community. I said, “If I’m going to host the conference and I understand the money that’s coming back through this conference and the lives that are being impacted, I want to have it in a place that makes my heart smile.” The Women Seeking Purpose, Living Dreams experience is my annual conference that was birthed out of an idea that I had back in 2003. In 2003, I was writing out some thoughts about how I would navigate this world and how I wanted to reach people. This was one of the things that I wanted to do. In 2017, it was birthed. This is where we come together to ignite and inspire and transform the lives of women in the community. We’re going on year three and it’s been a blast. We have entertainers that come in and lives are being changed. It’s a way to unite with the women in that community to remind them that you have a purpose and you will live out your dreams.

This is the Seek Purpose, Live Dreams Annual Conference. 

Not that the men can’t come.

Could men attend this conference as well if they want to?

Men can. We’ve had men that I have attended in the past and we’re open to it. I feel like my unique reach is to the hearts and lives of women. Being a woman myself. I understand the struggles and the trials that we have and even the victories that we have. I feel that it’s placed within me to speak into the lives of women and that’s part of why birth that particular conference.

Thank you so much for coming on the show, Shaniqua. This has been a wonderful conversation. I love your energy. I love what you’re doing. Seek Purpose, Live Dreams. That’s something that we could meditate on and pull out a lot about ourselves, bring forth that contribution that the purpose that we are here for and live a wonderful life in the process of doing that. It’s such a wonderful thing.

If you're not operating in faith, you're operating in fear. Click To Tweet

You’re going to have to come to my kitchen one day, Rodney because your girl likes to cook.

I’ve seen you on YouTube cooking stuff. I definitely have to do something like that. Are you vegan or are you doing the all plant-based diet or what are you doing?

I’m not vegan. I tried going vegan for three days. That’s as far as I got. Whole food is how I live. I love to cook and have a variety and I believe that if you’re going to be out here living on purpose, you have to have a vehicle that will support it. Taking care of our bodies, having control over what we eat and how we eat it and how it’s prepared, that’s important to me. I’m a home cook and I love it. I created a platform for others to be able to come out, show their skills and talents in that area as well.

Where can people find that?

It’s on my Facebook. We do it live. I have a monthly cooking show. I’m preparing meals. We’ll be celebrating 25 shows.

As we depart, what is the game-changing message you would like to leave with us?

I would like for people to have the courage to live your life like you always imagined you would live it. Think about that child that wasn’t afraid. Think about that child that didn’t see obstacles. Think about that person who is brazen, go out into the world and be who they are. Have the courage to do that. One step at a time. One decision at a time. Be courageous. Be bold about who you are and doing so, you’re changing the game.

Be courageous enough to be the person that you’ve always imagined yourself to be. That is absolutely game-changing. 

Thank you for having me. This has been great.

I want to thank you for reading and finding some time to be still and think about that person that you’ve always wanted to be. Build up the courage to take that one step, that first step, the game-changing step to change the game for the rest of your life.

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About Shaniqua Cousins

GCM 79 | Finding Your PurposeAuthor, Leader, and Inspirational Speaker Shaniqua Cousins was born and raised in Charleston, SC. Her parents Sonya Nelson (deceased) and Allen Wilson (deceased) are both described as her first loves. She is the “middle child” and has two lovely and loving sisters, Lateasha and Carinn. When she was twelve years old she moved in with her aunt Joan Nelson, who would help to raise and prepare her until she graduated high school.

Shaniqua discovered comfortability and a love for inspiring people at an early age, performing on stages large and small around the city of Charleston throughout her youth. Simply put, if there was a stage in range she was willing and ready to get the crowd on their feet.

At the age of eighteen she left Charleston to join the United States Navy. Cousins proudly served as a Navy Sailor for eight and one half years and quickly distinguished herself as a superb leader, mentor, outstanding manager, and one truly concerned for the betterment of fellow sailors and civilian employees alike. She continues to serve her country as a proud member of the Federal Civilian Service. At Southern Illinois University, Cousins earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Management. In December 2017, she will earn her Master of Science in Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology.

For over two decades she has been a leader and inspiration to many. Shaniqua is a speaker on numerous topics ranging from purposeful living, enjoying life, goal achievement, and self-improvement. To date she has self-published & authored Life, Experiences, Preparation, and Purpose; Co-Authored My Name is Mommy, Stories of Motherhood and the Lessons it Taught; Founded Shaniqua Cousins World Group LLC; created the ShaniquaCousins.com website, launched an international Newsletter, Seek Purpose Live Dreams and produces and host the international Seek Purpose, Live Dreams TV web series, airing regularly on the Social Media Platforms. Shaniqua has been interviewed by both television and radio personalities across the country, allowing her to share her message of purposeful living to thousands.

Lastly, Shaniqua believes whole heartedly that God predestined and continues to equip for two major life roles. As such, she considers it both a privilege and an honor to be a wife to her husband Desmond (15 years and counting) and mother to her daughter Jada (13 years old). She is elated to be doing life together with her family, #FamilyIsEverything!

Are you ready to shed your past, rise above your present, and go confidently in the direction of your dreams? The first step? Decide. Choose right here and now to make a move. Set your intention. Then simply ask Rodney for help. https://rodneyflowers.com/mentoring/  Want an inspirational story and a magnetic personality plus interactive actionable strategies to transform your audience? Book Rodney for your next event. https://rodneyflowers.com/speaking/

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