Motivational speaker Dr Barbara Young during the interview on May 23, 2012. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRUR
She has a warm aura around her that invites you to sit and listen to her for hours on end. Her hard-hitting statements, however, may drive you to examine not only your core values but your purpose in life as well
Dr Barbara Young, a motivational speaker, is a woman whose passion to see women succeed in both family and career has seen her traverse oceans and continents to deliver this very important message to sisters, and brothers alike.
For now she chooses to talk to women. She is in the country for a series of motivational talks, starting with one today at Zen Garden in Nairobi titled ‘From Coal To Diamonds; Mining Ideas For Entrepreneurial Success.’
Tickets cost Sh4,500, lunch/dinner included.
From her silver hair, a touch of colour on her lips and high heeled shoes, you could not tell her age. Then she drops it. “I am 74 and hot,” she declares.
So, what has kept her so young and bright? “My desire is to see professional women moving forward by using their potential,” she says.
Dr Young points out that to achieve this, one has to integrate not only one’s body but the soul and spirit as well, not forgetting divine connection from God. Nurture your mind by reading positive material and only keep friends who want you to grow.
But it has not been an easy ride for the woman who battled teenage pregnancy, two failed marriages and a stalled career.
Today, she is not only an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker but a loving mother and a wife of a person she describes as a loving and supportive man for the last 30 years.
She enrolled in college at 15, dropped out after two years due pregnancy, was married by 19 as a mother of two, and married a second time by 25. She put up with emotional abuse in her second marriage and walked out after 11 years.
Dr Young refers to this as her defining moment, when she decided to take charge of her life.
At 36, she enrolled for a degree and for the next seven years juggled three roles; a mother, an employee as a typist and a student. “It was not easy but by the time I was 51 I had made a great leap in my career,” she says.
With three children, she says staying in sync with the three elements — body, mind and soul — she was able to discover her meaning and purpose in life.
Pursuing one’s passion
“I am an ambassador of hope to women, men and children alike, trying to make them in realise that they have a purpose in this world,” she says.
She left a job that was paying her a six-figure salary in order to pursue her passion. “Following your passion is a process that goes through seasons,” she says.
She started out by being invited to talk to college students, prisons and hospitals before she later started working as a motivational speaker.
Dr Young gives five tips for women who seek to grow.