Tag: Vision

Words of Wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama

TheAfter5Edge - Words of Wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama

Two great men who have stepped up to the plate to lead in the best interest of others.  They’ve taken on a challenge most of us couldn’t even imagine so that they could steer others in the right direction and do what they can to create a better tomorrow.  In their roles, they’ve put others first in a bold way.  With the steps taken by Martin Luther King, Jr. decades ago, how fitting is it that the first black president of the United States is taking his oath for a second term on King’s nationally recognized holiday?  It is also noteworthy that it is only the second time that Inauguration Day has fallen on King’s holiday.

It is moving.  As we’re celebrating progress and looking forward, we’re reminded of where it all started.  Personally, I’m reminded that you never know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re coming from.  In the spirit of reflecting, I wanted to share some words of wisdom by these two men:

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.  – President Barack Obama

It is easier to have someone else be the catalyst and lead.  But if we truly want something, we need to get started and make it happen.  If something is making you restless, do something and make necessary changes.

Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential. – President Barack Obama

What is your purpose for being here?  How do you want to make a difference?  What legacy do you want to live?  Once you figure that out, start “doing” and see the impact, you will feel more fulfilled.

It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today. – President Barack Obama

Yes.  Martin Luther King, Jr. did his part.  President Barack Obama is doing his part.  But don’t forget that each of us is responsible for doing our part too.  It is all about passing on the torch and working together.  That’s the only way we can have a better tomorrow.

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress. – President Barack Obama

Success has a lot to do with persistence and staying the course.  Don’t give up.  Keep pushing and keep working hard.  You will see results.

Even when folks are hitting you over the head, you can’t stop marching. Even when they’re turning the hoses on you, you can’t stop. – President Barack Obama

Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t stop marching.  And neither should you.  Negativity, adversity, and criticism should never stand in your way when you have your eyes on the prize.

I just miss – I miss being anonymous. – President Barack Obama

We give our leaders great responsibilities and we expect a lot from them.  All the while, we forget how much work it is.  When we’re sleeping, they’re planning and thinking up new strategies.  We’re focused on quick results and we forget that things take time.  We also forget that they are simply, humans.

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

These words have special meaning to me and for this blog.  Thanks to these words, I had the courage to begin this journey.  I took the first step.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

It take a lot more courage to stand up against the majority than to go along.  If you know and believe something is right, stand your ground.  Integrity is respectable and commendable.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

A great leader has a vision and is able to communicate this vision to others in a way that helps them understand its importance and moves them to act.  It isn’t easy to motivate others to carry out an idea that isn’t their own.

Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Think of those who have made a change in business, technology, medicine, life, etc.  It takes being bold, creative, and going against the status quo to think outside the box and explore innovative solutions.  Don’t ever be afraid of being different; you may end up changing the world.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Make it a priority to be a resource to others.  Ask them how you can help.  It may be a small task for you but it may change someone’s life.

We must use time creatively. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

We aren’t here forever.  Our time here is short.  Find a way to maximize your time.  Pay it forward.  Dream big.  Leave a lasting legacy through others.

What are your thoughts on President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr.?  And them now sharing a special day?  I would love your comments below!

How to Take Advantage of Inspiration from Home and Your Past

We all need a little inspiration every once in a while.  Sometimes it comes to us as we’re carrying on with our day.  We may be inspired by someone’s personal story that we hear or by another person’s action that we witness.  Other times, we actively seek inspiration.  In these instances, we may reach out to someone who we find inspiring or we may even look to ourselves, our past or our inspiration book.

Personally, I find a lot of inspiration when I spend time with family.  Amidst the laughs and good food, there are always stories being told.  Many of these stories came before my time and relate to crucial events that helped build my family’s foundation.  I have a deep appreciation for the sacrifices that were made by my family members so I’m always moved by these stories and take them to heart.  As my grandpa always said, “if you don’t know where you’re coming from, you’ll never know where you’re going.”  I believe this is true so when I’m with family, I’m always soaking up opportunities to get back in touch with the basics and be newly energized and inspired.  This helps put things in perspective, my vision becomes more clear as I look forward and I gain a greater appreciation for the big picture.

As I’m spending time with family this week, I’m taking in my usual dose of inspiration – not only by hearing but also by seeing.  Here are some of the inspiring pieces I’ve found around the house that reinforce the lessons I’ve been taught at home over the years.

This is on the wall in one of the bedrooms as a friendly reminder that you’ll see as the first thing the morning and as the last thing at night.

This is on the wall in a guest bathroom. It is a reminder that it is possible to defy the odds.


This is also on the wall in the guest bathroom. This reminds us that it is ok to stumble, fall, and make mistakes as long as we get up and push onward.

The truth is that you never need to go far to find inspiration.  Pay attention to the small things.  Listen to stories of those around you.  Talk to your elders and find out what sacrifices they made for themselves and their family.  Look back to your aspirations from when you were a kid and didn’t understand the concept of limitations.  You may be surprised by the power of these seemingly simple things to move you in the moment and going forward.

Where do you get your inspiration from?  I would love to hear from you!


Effective Leadership Isn’t About The Leader



During the 2012 election, I was moved to take action

Effective leadership isn’t about the leader.  It is about the people and mobilizing them toward a communicated and mutually beneficial goal.  That is not an easy task.  You have complete control over your being but you don’t have that control over another individual. Yes, you can make an apathetic person do something but you can’t make them feel the need to take action.

A leader needs to do more to create this sense of ownership.  It is not enough to be decisive and have the ability to execute.  In addition to that, an effective leader prioritizes human fundamentals and is able to move people by relating to them, appealing to their emotions and clarifying their sense of belonging and purpose.  People like to know when, how, what, where and why.  In telling the full story and with honest communication, an effective leader shows respect for the individual.  When people feel respected and like they are part of the team, they are more likely to be engaged, initiate and proactively do.

Think of leaders you’ve interacted with.  Have they taken the time to know your name?  Do they know where you’re from and your story?  Do they know what your favorite food is?  How do they make you feel?  How do you react to the ones who have taken the time to get to know you versus those who haven’t?

Euphoric support. Cheering. Chanting. People openly and willingly express their positive sentiments about an effective leader.  The responses and reactions speak for themselves.


President Barack Obama, Leader of the United States from 2008 – 2016

“Whether you voted for me or not, I’ve listened to you.  I’ve learned from you.  And I am better because of you.”

– President Barack Obama

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