5 Tips for Facing Giant Life Obstacles with Power and Grace
Keisha Blair has dedicated a great deal of time inspiring others how to powerfully recover from disruption. That’s because the economist and bestselling author has faced the seemingly insurmountable herself—and she prevailed. Blair lost her husband when she was 31, a mere eight weeks after she had her second child. She wrote about the tragedy and her lessons in an article—“My Husband Died at 34: Here are 40 Life Lessons I Learned From It”—that captivated readers around the world. Since, the mother of three has dedicated her learnings to helping women find their strength, own their voice, and persevere in the face of hardship. Her book, Holistic Wealth: 36 Life Lessons to Help You Recover from Disruption, Find Your Life Purpose, and Achieve Financial Freedom, focuses on the spiritual, mental, emotional, and financial components of living a life that is fulfilling, autonomous, and filled with strength.
The Sunday Paper chatted with Blair in 2022. The following are some takeaways from our conversation that highlight Blair’s keen wisdom on living an authentic life—and moving forward in 2023 with strength.
5 Tips for Facing Disruption from Keisha Blair
#1: Your life is worthy and meaningful.
Too often we conventionally define success in economic terms, says Blair. But there is so much more to a beautiful and successful life—especially when it comes to facing and overcoming major obstacles. “Redefining success on your own terms” is critical, says Blair. “We have to empower women to be able to see their lives as worthy and meaningful, even in the face of those setbacks. That's what I figured out during my setback.”
#2: “Wealth” includes our health and emotional well-being.
“We've all been through this collective time of grief and dislocation, and we're looking for purpose and meaning,” says Blair, who believes that building wealth in all aspects of our lives—including mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual—is paramount. “That's what holistic growth is.”
#3: We must face our “dry bones.”
When Blair’s husband passed, she says she felt as though she was harboring what she calls “dry bones”—self-doubt, regrets, and things she thought she “should” have done more of. “I remember having these feelings and I remember feeling, my gosh, did I do enough? I had all these regrets,” she says. But what she learned is that these dry bones were haunting her and as fair as they were to feel, she said she has to name them, face them, and come to terms with them to powerfully move forward. This is all about reinvention and making space for what’s new.
#4: Our learnings can help others.
“I always tell people that your purpose in life is never just based on ego,” says Blair. “It's based on how you can drive humanity forward,” Blair says that when we face intense learning and challenges, it can be soul-stretching to think: How can I use this experience? How can I use this to help someone else? There is always someone out there who can benefit from the wisdom you’ve gained. “The purpose is always humanity. It's always driving that forward. And I know that keeps us grounded.”
#5: Honor your values.
If you ever feel lost, it can be clarifying to acknowledge the things in life that propel you. “Write down the values that are most meaningful to you,” says Blair. “Whether it's community, loyalty, courage—there are so many. Think about not only your life and your unique story of self—where you come from your unique background, your skills, and experiences—but also what drives you and what your passions are.”