GOOD ADVICE: Life coach and motivational speaker Ona Brown. —Photo: VERDEL BISHOP

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A woman of change

Life coach Ona Brown: Be part of the solution

By Verdel Bishop

Life coach and motivational speaker Ona Brown recently came to Trinidad and Tobago to impact others, but instead, she has left T&T soil with a tremendous impact on her own life.
The daughter of world-renowned motivational speaker and author Les Brown is carrying the torch of a motivational legacy that was initially ignited by her father years ago.
Brown was in T&T from January 6 to 9, in which she spent her time working alongside various corporations and organisations, including Guardian Life of the Caribbean, The Rotary Club and the Youth Empowerment Foundation.
Her engagements gave her an opportunity to motivate and train 700 sales representatives and 650 administration staff. She has also devoted time to working with various at-risk youths. Brown’s messages are similar to other motivational speakers. Basically it is this: Own your dreams, get out of your comfort zone, let go of who you are to become who you can become; live life with purpose and passion and work toward your goal and in all that you do to get the most out of life.
The Express had the opportunity to chat with the amazingly dynamic and electrifying Brown, at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, who at the time was minutes away from her last motivational session and mere hours from leaving the island for her Atlanta home.
Dressed in a pink shalwar, the personal and professional transformation expert, author and consultant discussed her passion for motivating others, her excitement about coming to Trinidad after years longing to come to the islands and she also offered a real and profound solution to the escalating crime issue and other social ills affecting the country.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back here again but I know that while I was here it was good. I got paid but I didn’t just come to get a cheque. I came to do good and if we all get involved in doing good we can make a difference and turn around the challenges we are facing in life. My father is adopted so we don’t know who his birth parents are and so we always joke that he has roots in the Caribbean because when we get to the Caribbean we feel a sense of home—there is warmth and peace and joy.”
She said: “There is a sense of home in this place. The people don’t have much but they have a certain pride about them and a love that exudes from them. I’ve been around people who have everything and yet they can hardly smile. I have been hearing about all this amount of deaths here and it saddens my heart. I want to think about solutions because I am solutions-oriented person. I’ve asked how we can resolve this and I keep hearing the answer is more police but I don’t think that’s the solution. This solution is like putting a Band Aid on cancer. We need to get to the root of the problem because it’s not a police problem—it’s a mind-set problem.”
Brown continued: “Evil prevails when good men and women do nothing. I came here to do my work; I could easily be liming now and I would love to lime but I know that there are things that this place needs and if I can contribute to that then I should and it’s the least I can do. I don’t have any children of my own but I feel that all children of the world are my children and that’s a sense of neighbourhood that we somehow lost along the way. There were people in my neighbourhood who spoke life into me and encouraged me when my mom was on her second job. I would go to Miss Lietha’s house and she would be telling me the same things that my mother was telling me. I felt that my mother was taunting me but Miss Lietha was telling me the same things my mother was but she was just saying it different. It didn’t sound like my mother, but I would listen to her.”
“That’s the thing that I think some children are missing is another voice because we have taken on this solo mentality about me, myself and I; and that’s not my child so I’m not going to get involved. But no, get involved, you have to get involved. Try to be a Miss Lietha to someone even if it’s not your child because you never know—if you don’t take care of that child that child may be the one to take your child’s life. We owe it to ourselves to have a sense of collaboration and make a difference together. We need to do what we can from where we are with what we have,” Brown said.
She added: “How can we develop a spirit of hope of pride and joy and knowing that our lives have value and that even though things are challenging and tough we can get to a place of adjustment to learn how to turn to each other and not on each other? I hope to come back to do more work here. I hope that I can somehow be a part of the solution. If young people do not see themselves in the future then they will act like a misfit in the present. If they don’t see themselves as being able to ever do anything of any worth or achieve anything then often times they would sabotage themselves and those around them. I think that comes with workshops and training.
“Corporations know the value of that that’s why they will pay money to have me or my father come in and train their top executives and train their CEO’s to learn how to expand their vision. This has been an amazing trip. I didn’t get to lime but I’ve done some really good work. I am thankful for that. I’m thankful to have been here. I’ve met so many different Trinis in different parts of America and I’ve always liked their energy so to come here has just been like a dream come true.”
For further information on the Ona Brown visit www.OnaBrown.com or info@onabrown.com.
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