Monday, December 27, 2010

Invictus

Invictus
One of the most powerful poems written is “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.  As stated in Wikipedia, At the age of 12, Henley fell victim to tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate directly below the knee. It was amputated when he was 25. In 1875, he wrote the "Invictus" poem from a hospital bed.
I first learned the poem “Invictus “while going through my process to enter into the folds of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.  Since learning this poem in Spring 2001, it has become one of my all time favorites.   During trying times, during hardships, I have learned to recite this poem.  In so many ways, it reminds me that when times are hard, I control the outcome – I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.  This poem has been on my heart the past few days and I encourage you to read the poem and really get an understanding of the message.   Lastly, I encourage you to apply the principles mentioned into your daily walk.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.



Stay Positive, Stay Driven, Stay Motivated.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Are you the next Susan Boyle?

I am sure a lot of you are wondering - Who is Susan Boyle?  Please click on the video link below. Afterwards, please continue reading the post.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OcQ9A-5noM

Now I pose the question mentioned in the title of this Blog – Are you the next Susan Boyle? We all have God given gifts and talents. However, when speaking of these gifts and talents, there are two challenges we face. The first challenge is: the ability to identify your God given gift(s) and talent(s). If you are one of the lucky ones and you are able to identify them, then you face a second challenge. The second challenge is: having the faith to step out of one(s) comfort zone and actually utilize those gift(s) and talent(s).  Today’s post addresses the second challenge.
Note: I will address the first challenge in a later post. “How to identify your Gifts and Talents?”
Just like Susan Boyle, we all have hidden gift(s) and talent(s) that the world must see.  However, for some reason(s), we do not allow the world to see these gifts. Sometimes we allow the “Golden Handcuff” to dictate our path. (Golden Handcuff is when you get use to a certain lifestyle and as a result, you are not willing to give up that lifestyle - short term to rep long term benefits.) Other times, we allow our current life situations to rule over us. Perhaps, we cannot identify our God given gifts or talents. Maybe just maybe, we have incorrectly identified what we perceive to be our gifts and talents. Perhaps, we allow outsiders to discourage us from living out our purpose.  Or, time prevents us from exercising these gifts and talents.   All in all, regardless of the reason, many of us have not shared our Gift with the world.
One of my main goals is to maximize my full potential.  In order for me to do that, I must utilize my gifts and talents in a way that impacts the world.  In doing so, the world will witness these gifts and talents – similar to the Susan Boyle story. In the past, I struggled with stepping out on faith and sharing these tools with the world. I used some of the same reason mentioned in the previous paragraph to prevent me from pressing forward. However, (whether it was maturity or my “Tim Tebow moment” see previous blog post) I now have the faith and confidence to share my gifts and talents with the world; regardless of the criticism or the negative backlash that comes with the territory.  I am who I am.
My hope is that this audience does not hesitate to share their hidden gifts or talents with the world. Once you have identified your gift, the next step is to use the tools around you (i.e. facebook, youtube, etc.) to share with the world your God given gifts and talents.  Once you begin to share your Gifts and talents with the world, your impact on the world will be so magnificent that your legacy will last forever.

Tim Tebow Moment

Tim Tebow Moment: A point in time when you acknowledge that you are tired of mediocrity, you are feed up with the status quo and as a result (from that moment moving forward) you pledge to reach your full potential.
There are a number of ways college football fans will remember Tim Tebow. By the end of Tim’s career, many would consider him one of the greatest college football players to every play the game. He had won two national titles, a Heisman trophy and had used college football as a platform to minister the gospel. He had become the face of college football.
In the 2008 FedEx BCS Championship game, the Florida Gators defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 24 to 14. Tim Tebow had won his second national title - Florida won the national championship in 2006. Most college football fans would remember the 2008 football season and the BCS championship game for Tim’s second half performance. “Tim Shook off two first-half interceptions and passed for 232 yards and two touchdowns, capped off by his trademark jump pass to David nelson for a 4-yard touchdown to pretty much seal the Sooners’ fate with 3:07 to play. He also rushed for 109 yards on 22 carries. The most he’s carried the ball all season” as described by an ESPN analyst.
With all that being said, the one moment that I believe represents Tim Tebow can be seen during his post game interview after the Florida Gators lost to Ole Miss during the 2008 football season. During the post game interview, Tebow gave a speech which has been named “The Pledge". During that speech, Tim, pledged to work as hard as he could to become a better player. He pledged that the team would perform better. After that speech, Florida never lost a game that season and as stated above won the BCS National title that year. The pledge was so prophetic that The University of Florida has posted a replica in front of the stadium.
Taking a look at that post game interview, I have used it as a teachable moment for my life. So much so, that I have had what I call a “Tim Tebow Moment”. Throughout my journey, there were times when I could not “get over that hump”. There had been times where I felt my success was limited because of a “glass ceiling”.
My Tim Tebow moment occurred a few months after I relocated to DC. While I was reevaluating my career, reevaluating the decisions I had made along my journey, doing inventory on my life, it was then where I realized that I had reached a point where I was pledging to maximize my full potential. That moment was actually different than any other moment I had “attempted to experience” or “attempted to declare” in the past. That moment was real; it was genuine, it was a moment of clarity and that moment is manifesting into reality.
I believe that we all have intentions of doing what’s right and we all have intentions of being “successful”. However, I believe that life tends to derail or yield our progression to reach our full potential. There has to come a point in your life where you pledge to maximize your potential. I believe that the sooner you “buy” into doing what it takes to maximize your potential, the sooner you will reach that goal. My hope is that you reevaluate your current journey and pledge to reach your potential. GOD BLESS!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Daily Meditation - A way of life


“He saw the best – Marvin Sapp”

A task, I have developed over the months is reciting bible verses, spiritual phrases, encouraging songs and positive quotes throughout the day.   Even though I have done this task in the past, the challenge was consistency – being able to repeat this exercise daily without thinking about it. I can confidently say I have overcome the challenge mentioned. Now, I can speak on the power of my meditation task and what it has done for me.


For the past few months, the lyrics to Marvin Sapp’s “The Best in Me” has ministered to me like no other – so much so, that I have posted the lyrics below.  Throughout the day, I continuously repeat to myself “He (God) sees the best in me. “  Declaring those words throughout the day, provide a standard for how I should perform at work and in my life - accountability.  My belief: God sees the best; therefore we should offer him our best. As a result, those words motivate  me daily to perform at my highest level.  Secondly, after I meditate on those lyrics, I am refueled and I immediately get a burst of positive energy that helps me to keep going.  Daily meditation helps me to remain focus on the task at hand because I feel that sense of accountability. Lastly, this meditation task helps to renew my mind by getting rid of all negative/counter-productive thoughts that try to penetrate it.


In closing, establishing a daily consistent meditation pattern throughout the day has become a way of life for me.  We all have the ability to meditate and I encourage all readers to incorporate daily meditation into your lifestyle.
Lyrics to “The Best in Me” by Marvin Sapp
He saw the best in me, when everyone else around, could only see the worst in me can. I tell ya’ll one more time, one more time? I said he saw the best in me, When everyone else around, Could only see the worst in me, I wish I had a witness tonight All I need is one Hey He saw the best in me (When everyone else around me) When everyone else around (oohh) (Could only see) Could only see the worst in me Does anybody have that testimony? When folk walks you off Said you would never make it, what did he see? He saw the best in me (When everyone else around you yeaa) When everyone else around (Ooohh, could only) could only see the worst in me Can I tell ya’ll one more thing? I just need to tell you one more thing (Listen to this) See he’s mine, and I am his It doesn’t matter what I did He only sees me, for who I am Does anybody know that  today? Oh… Ohh See he’s mine, and I am his It doesn’t matter what I did He only sees me, for  ho I am Does anybody know that today? (Help me sing it) Said that he is mine See he’s mine I’m his And I am his It doesn’t matter what I did It doesn’t matter what I did Cause he only sees me for who I am, yea.. yea.. He only sees me for who I am I’m so glad That he is mine He’s mine Yeahh..And I’m his It doesn’t matter what I did It doesn’t matter what I did He only sees me He only sees me for who I am He saw the best in me When everyone else around Could only see the worst in me I wish I had a witness tonight Can I ask ya’ll one question? The question is simply this…What did he see? He saw the best in me (When everyone else around me) When everyone else around (oohh) (Could only see)) Could only see the worst in me I can’t get no help us in here Because there are some folk in here People have walked you off Said you would never amount to anything Said that you would never end up being anywhere But tell them one more time He saw the best in me (When everyone else around me) When everyone else around (oohh)
(Could only see)) Could only see the worst in me When mama said you would never be nothing
When aunties and uncles said you would never amount to anything When daddy didn’t come home anymore he didn’t look at you and said that You wasn’t going to make it God looked at you And what did he see What did he see? He saw the best The best The best The best The best The best The best The best I said what did he see I said what did he see I said what did he see I said what did he see I said what did he see I said what did he see He saw the best in me (Oh lord, oh, lord) Can I sing the verse one more time, listen to this ya’ll I love this, I love this See he’s mine, and I am his It doesn’t matter what I did But he only sees me for who I am Ohhhhhh, Lord, Yeahh….He’s mine And I’m his It doesn’t matter what I did He only sees me, for who I am Sing it one time (He is mine, ooohh) He’s mine And I am his (Oooohh) It doesn’t matter what I did
He only sees me for who I am He only sees me for who I am And the reason he sees me for who I am Because he created me in his image and his likeness He’s mine He’s mine And I am his And I’m his It doesn’t matter what I did It doesn’t matter what I did He only sees me He only sees me for who I am He saw the best He saw the best.






Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Nick Saban Philosophy

“Who you are is who you are everyday – Nick Saban”

Blog World – I’m Back. My time away from the blogosphere was bittersweet; however, it was time I needed for myself. During my two year hiatus from the blogosphere, I spent a lot of quality time doing the following: reading and studying about people I admire, reevaluating my personal goals, taking an honest inventory of my current lifestyle, and truly trying to understand how I can maximize my potential. While I can honestly say, that this self improvement journey has not been the easiest nor has the path been the clearest, during this two year period, there have been times were I have experienced “moments of clarity”.

What I call “The Nick Saban Philosophy” was formed during one of my “ah ha” moments. The Nick Saban Philosophy can be summarized as: taking each day one day at a time – focusing on the things that you need to do daily to be successful. During the 2009 college football season, (the team I hate the most) Alabama won the Bowl Championship Series National Championship title. As much as I hate the Bammers (slang for The University of Alabama) and yes I HATE THE BAMMERS, I have to respect their head football coach. In two years, Nick Saban had taken a poor Southeastern Conference Team and turned them into a National Champion. How did Saban turn this program around in two years? My passion for greatness and thrust for knowledge, forced me to find the answer to that question. Therefore, I studied coach Saban. While studying the coach, during most of his interviews, I learned that he repeated a number of clich├ęs and phrases over and over again – one of which I listed above. In addition, throughout the several interviews, his message remained the same.

I believe that in the game of life, we all want to be “National Champions” – reaching our full potential. However, I believe a number of things prevent us from reaching such goals. I believe we allow distractions created by the media (covering and reporting on gossip); society (us trying to keep up with the Jones) and the internal battle we all face from within - prevent us from concentrating on our goals. As a result, we are unable to focus 100% on who we are and what we want to do. I believe that if we discipline ourselves and practice the “Nick Saban Philosophy” we can reach our full potential.

The video below captures every element of what I call the “Nick Saban Philosophy”. If you plan to watch the video, regardless of how you feel about Nick Saban, Football, or The University of Alabama, please watch it with a keen eye. I ask that you are open to what he has to say –not how he says it. I believe coach Saban has a message we all can learn from. Listen, Learn and apply to your way of life.

I have summarized key points from what I believe the Nick Saban Philosophy to be.

•One game at a time – Focus on the things that you need to do daily to be successful
•Play to a Standard - It’s not about winning a game but playing to a Standard.
•Be accountable to a standard
•Aspire to Be the Best you can be at what you do
•Consistency in Performance
•What happen yesterday does not mean anything to what happen today.
•When Dealing with Adversity
- How do you Respond?
- How do you prepare?