Beyond the Lights we can feel like we are suffocating in the middle of the street and no one can see us dying

By November 19, 2014Blog, Daily Declarations

Your skills and talents can take you to levels of success that your character can’t sustain you.
I cried at the end of the movie Beyond the Lights, written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. The movie was good, but that’s not what bought me to tears. I was emotional because this movie highlighted my life’s purpose.
Noni, the lead character, spent her life building her career, while at the same time losing herself.

She was driven to achieve career success as a world renowned recording artist but didn’t commit the time to discovering and living her own truth. She had the house, access, and fame, but desperately needed to find herself, in order to live with her success. As her career was prospering, she was dying on the inside. As Noni said in the movie, “I feel like I’m suffocating in the middle of the street and no one can see me dying”. BTL2jpg

Though this was a line from the movie, it’s been my experience with many entertainers and athletes I’ve known and worked with during my career.

When I launched my business, over 17 years ago, I knew my life’s work was to lead the “Noni’s” of the world to not only career success, but also life success. The entertainers and athletes I’ve worked with know that I am just as concerned with who they are as a person as I am with who they are as a brand.

Entertainers, athletes, and other high achievers know how to ACHIEVE success but are challenged with how to LIVE successfully. In this age of TMZ and social media, high profile individuals are limited in their safe place to hear themselves think, pursue their personal peace, and make life choices from a place of clarity.

Sport agents, managers, and record label executives spend thousands of dollars on the best trainers, nutritionists, make up artists, fashion stylists, hair stylists, publicists, and media training to ensure their artists and athletes are successful. From the time athletes play pee wee football, little league baseball, and AAU basketball they are trained to develop their athletic abilities. Recording artists and actors spend countless hours in rehearsals. Yet, very little time is dedicated to their personal development.

So many times, the higher levels of success one achieves, the smaller their world becomes. There are so many people applauding at the mention of their name, when all they really want is a moment of silence to hear their own thoughts.

“Look around you. You have nothing to cry about.” Noni’s Mom said to her.

Where do the world’s most successful people go when life is beating them down and they become a casualty of their own success?

As stated in the movie, “You have to make the decision to live”.


And not just live. You have to commit to Exponential Living. As a Life Strategist, my purpose is to influence Influencers and lead them back to their truth and their place of PEACE.

Peace is our power and the more we move away from that truth with our external success the more we die inside. In the movie, Noni’s mother said, “7,000 people are screaming her name that’s all the help she needs.” This is the lie that fame and fortune tells us that keep our hearts broken and our careers growing.

The truth is we can have external success AND internal peace.   We have to put forth the same effort that we use on the practice field and in the rehearsal studio to have more than success, but to achieve a GOOD LIFE.

Everyone needs help. That’s what drives me daily with Exponential Living. I have lost too many friends to success. We can change jobs, maximize new opportunities, and start over, but we only get one life.  All of us can achieve the highest levels of career success AND a have GOOD life.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your comments below.


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  • I agree 150% Sheri! This too is my life’s purpose. The elusion of success can leave you money rich and emotionally bankrupt, if inner success & development is not a priority! What ever happened to great A & R’s that actually cared about developing the “entire artist.” Whatever happened to athletic coaches like Phil Jackson that tried to help Athletes develop their Authentic Identity and life purpose? We have work to do….

  • Olamiji Pearse says:

    “And not just live. You have to commit to Exponential Living” Sheri, this simple point is one of the most profound lessons we must learn while submerged in the ‘human experience’ we call life; at any level. It’s a recurring honest self assessment and recalibration of one’s purpose for exisiting. Your inner truth; the answer to the question: who are you? And the movie portrayed it correctly; be it emptionally or otherwise, you DIE without this is anchor. Because the truth of who we are is meant to ground us. The industry is filled with huge ego, and false realities that, if not careful, can validate a untrue version of you. I mean it REALLY challenges every fiber of who you claim to be. Your committment to Exponential Living has to run deeper than this. Or unfortunately, you loose. KUDOS Sheri for the work you’ve been doing and continue to do. We are grateful for you!

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