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ABC of Motivation

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

Do you ever feel LOST in a new environment? Here’s Kyla Sokoll-Ward’s ABC solution

Kyla Sokoll-Ward is a coach and mentor on a mission to help college students fall in love with their campus experience. On November 1st, 2018, she came to our campus and held a talk especially for Lincoln University students. If you missed it, here is a summary of her constructive and inspiring speech. Her advice can be a great help to those who ever feel lost. She provides a practical method to adapt in a new environment. Using her “ABC Model” helps people connect with one another, eases the process of finding new friends, and even helps one become a leader in a new setting.



The key element to understanding your surroundings depends on your own perception. The way we feel inside about the world is actually a reflection of what we see in the external environment. We create our own reality with our thoughts, words, and images, followed by actions. In order for a transformation to take place, “the filter” needs to be converted from negative emotions to positive and/or neutral emotions.

Kyla, who is originally from a small town in Maryland, narrated a story about her experience in a big university in the east coast. It was her own decision to move there, as she decided it was the best choice in terms of finances and geography. However, she was used to being in a small community and wanted the same setting, but it was a big school with a population of more than 20 000 people which made her feel completely lost. After her first semester break, she decided to never come back and instead go to the community college near her home. This story reflected her fear and how she opted to run away from her problems by hiding in the safety of her parent’s house, instead of solve them. But after some time she realized that it is vital to challenge herself and build connections with others. So she came up with the PLAN to make friends.


First of all, it is essential to understand and love yourself: what do you like? what are you good at? You should stop pleasing and prioritizing others and instead pay attention to yourself. As a result Kyla joined clubs that sparked her interest –book clubs, music clubs, even an economic club. Her advice is to join people with the same interests, who are alike. The core value is not quantity, but rather quality of the friends you make. And, the key is to discover what you are really passionate about is, so to start by befriending yourself.


After finding the circle that she belonged to, she started to take leadership positions and challenge herself. That said, she also believes that it is important to recharge yourself in your own way. For example, she recharges by spending some time alone.

Why did Kyla start to lead instead of going with the flow? She realized that we all are interconnected, influencing and leading each other constantly. She told another story, of how years after college she met her classmate Calvin, who said he’d always remembered a comment she made to him about being insensitive, and how that had changed the way he thought and spoke. It was this moment that she understood the positive impact that you can leave on people. They remember how you make them feel. This gave her a deep insight on how connection impacts and bounds people together which redefined her concept of leadership. It is vital for a leader to feel the connection to someone or something.

By Maria Boukhval

Graduate Student, Lincoln University



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