Moments that Matter with Robin Roberts
Written by: Michelle Emmick
What if you woke up every day believing it was going to be a “Good Morning”?
You start your day with a positive mindset, positive self-talk, and surround yourself with people that uplift you. You take on the day knowing that not everything is cotton candy and rainbows, but you choose to take it on with optimism and opportunity. You start with a plan – not a big one, just enough to keep you on the right path and in a positive state.
What if you were greeted each day with someone who always puts you in the right mindset and inspires you to achieve your day’s goals?
Well, say Good Morning to the woman who does just that – the one and only Robin Roberts.
She’s the anchor of Good Morning America, ABC’s #1 morning show for nine years running. Every weekday for the last 20 years, Robin has been in our living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms (wherever you can find media these days) and has brought us sunshine, even during our darkest days. Robin Roberts has shared heart and humility as well as happiness and heartache. She’s overcome significant health issues and included us in some of life’s biggest milestones. Robin’s presence is a true gift, and she eloquently honors and appreciates even the most sensitive subjects, and does it with unbelievable civility and grace.
In her new book, Brighter by the Day, Robin Roberts presents a recipe for living the good life.
The book is divided into three parts:
“The Joy Mindset,” “Positive on Purpose,” and “Stronger Than You Know.”
All parts equal, all parts needed.
“My intent was to give people a roadmap for their journey and put some meat on the bones behind my mantras, focusing on faith instead of fear. I wanted to share examples of things I’ve said and that have been shared with me and how I was able to apply it to certain situations. My hope is that people will find a way to apply it themselves to whatever their dreams may be. There are so many things I’ve learned in my life, one being that success leaves clues, meaning if you find somebody who’s living a joyful life and you want some of that secret sauce, I hope to share some of that.”
That secret sauce starts with good stock.
Over the years, Robin has shared that faith, family, and friends have brought her through life’s defining moments, some of which she shares throughout the book. However, I would add a fourth “F” to those three greats, foundation.
It is clear that the New York Times bestselling author’s upbringing, built on love and support, has constructed principles over the years that have guided her and are deeply woven into the fabrics of her life.
Her father, Lawrence Roberts, was a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen unit during World War II, and her mother, Lucimarian, a graduate of Howard University (the first in her family to attend college), served for years on the Mississippi State Board of Education. Both parents were visionaries and played a crucial role in Robin’s “brighter by the day” mindset.
One of the principles Robin talks about in her book is leaving a legacy of optimism.
“Someone in the Roberts’ family made the decision along the way to choose hope, faith, and positivity. While not everyone comes from that same background or foundation, we all have a choice of optimism. I never apologize for being the daughter of present parents that poured into their children. I’m grateful for the childhood and the foundation that was laid.”
Robin’s important message to all is that regardless of your situation, the legacy has to start somewhere. “If it’s not the family you were hoping for, that’s okay; let it start with you.”
Her words on paper can speak volumes.
“Wouldn’t it be great if generations from now, your tribe could look back and say optimism began with you? Wouldn’t it be an honor to launch that tradition, to leave such a light-filled legacy?”
“A mighty oak grows from an acorn; you could serve as your family seed.”
Speaking of tribe, Robin’s book includes a chapter titled “Your Tribe Determines Your Vibe.” “I’m blessed to spend my days with my ‘Glam Fam’: Petula Skeete, Elena George, and DiAndre Tristan,” the team with whom she starts her day in morning prayer and to whom she dedicated her book. “They feed my soul.”
Inside Brighter by the day, Robin shares the difference between basement people and balcony people.
She writes, “Ever notice how after a conversation with one person you feel lighter and freer, while an exchange with someone else clenches your jaw? That’s your body’s way of indicating the type of vibe exchanged- a visceral thumbs up or thumbs down. We become not just what we believe and think about; we also mirror those we regularly dine with, dance with, pray with, cry with, and rub shoulders with. Your tribe becomes your vibe. Look around your life. Who’s in your inner circle? Surround yourself with the people in the balcony. Everything boils down to choices and the company you keep.”
Can we get an amen!
Throughout the chapters and all the great takeaways in Brighter by the Day, Robin’s stories easily identify how much of a role model her mother was in her life. She shares with us some of her mother’s wise and witty words of wisdom that have been bestowed on her.
“Putting some context to some of the things my mom has said over the years has been great, and it’s so beautiful to see it well-received. My mom came from humble beginnings, and her and my father built a wonderful life for themselves and their four children. When my dad was first in the service, he was a low-ranking officer living in Mississippi. My mother was denied entry into the officers’ wives club. Twenty years later, we go back to Mississippi, and my father is a Colonel, and my mom becomes President of that wives’ club. She was never boastful but an incredible example of a woman with a clear and strong mindset.”
Robin shares that she often tells young mothers with whom she speaks, “Don’t think your kids aren’t watching and listening.”
In her chapter “Get Ready for Your Suddenly,” Robin demonstrates how, even with the level of professional success she’s achieved, she is still out there putting in the work.
“I am always, always grateful, but never content. Sometimes as women you may think that makes you a bad person if you’re not content. I don’t mean it in a bad way. I’m the first person to raise my hand and say I am blessed and highly favored. I want to increase my territory, so I can do more good. Not be more, do more! I never want to become complacent. I’m about to celebrate 20 years at GMA.
Saying ‘Good Morning America’ means as much to me today as it did 20 years ago. Technically, I’m doing the same job, but it changes every day. I want people to know that no matter what you are doing, whatever position you hold, the importance of finding new goals within and finding things to get excited about is crucial. I am so grateful for the athlete in me, who is always pushing for more, but I say that with complete gratitude that I have the opportunity.
I set goals, I’ve experienced winning and losing, and I continue to reach and strive. I always want to progress, and I believe in progression, not perfection. We can all get a little better each day.”
In her 20 years on GMA, one of Robin’s most memorable moments was flying a plane, just like her father had years ago.
“My father was still with us during this time. I flew a vintage World War II T-6 over Morton Airfield in Tuskegee. I wanted to fly like my dad did, and to get to see his expression with his daughter was amazing. I was in tears coming out of the cockpit. It was so special to see him, the Tuskegee airman, and share their story.”
As we wrapped up our conversation on the book and about life’s milestones, Robin emphasized the importance of the choices we have and honoring the moments. “So often, we romanticize the past. I don’t want to look back at this time and not have enjoyed it. So often, we are looking back. Let’s enjoy today.”
I couldn’t end this article without sharing my strong conviction for this book. I told Robin during our conversation that I call this a “get your highlighter out” type of book because it’s one you will want to reference daily. There are so many beautiful stories and key takeaways, and she’s providing a gift of her words and her experiences.
I also want to mention that although both of Robin’s parents have passed on, their spirit lives and is still shining bright. As she describes her parents as rays of light and pillars of faith, I can’t help but smile and think we would all describe Robin the exact same way.
Her advice, knowledge, and optimism are shared in such a beautiful and personal way, that anyone reading this book should feel “brighter by the day”.
You can purchase Robin’s book here on Amazon.
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