Iyanla Vanzant: Fix Your Life & Get Happy
Gus Bennett

Iyanla Vanzant electrified the audience with her words of wisdom during the “10 Ways to Fix Your Life & Get Happy” Empowerment Experience at the 2013 ESSENCE Festival. During her half hour chat, the motivational speaker and television host imparted her advice on how to live the happiest life possible. While her hearty sense of humor earned her tons of laughs, it was her tough talk that elicited the most cheers.

When asked by an audience member how to handle detractors, Iyanla used sports as a metaphor to get her point across. “When athletes are playing on the field and pieces of trash may roll onto the field they don’t stop, they keep going for the goal line,” she said. “So the message is don’t stop for the trash on the field. Gossip, that’s trash on the field. Criticism, that’s trash on the field.”

At times, the crowd’s thunderous applause threatened to drown out her words, especially when she touched on the topic of making oneself a priority over others. “When you sacrifice yourself to help other people, you make them a thief because they’re taking from you from what you need to give to yourself,” she offered, leaving the audience with plenty to ponder.