Michael Luther King was born on this day in 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his father’s name “Martin” at the age of six. Dr. King’s LAST SPEECH was his famous “I’ve Been the Mountaintop”. What is not well known, is his LAST SERMON – “The Drum Major Instinct” delivered to his congregation from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 4, 1968. Of all of his speeches & sermons, “The Drum Major Instinct” is by far my favorite. This sermon defined for me TRUE LEADERSHIP as well as to seek greatness through service and love.
So many think leadership is based on your obtained position…WRONG. TRUE LEADERSHIP, as Doc, teaches from Mark 10:35, is based on SERVICE. He tells, Jesus said to his disciples, he who is GREATEST among you shall be a SERVANT. He who is SERVANT of all, shall be CHIEFEST of All. This has been my guiding principle.
Now he tells us about this INSTINCT within us all, he says, “We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade…this quest for recognition, this desire for attention, this desire for distinction is the basic impulse, the basic drive of human life, this Drum Major Instinct.”
He goes on to say that as babies we cry for attention because of the Instinct. As adults, he said we love the attention from being praised and that only time we don’t like praise is when that PRAISE is going too much towards someone else (Doc, did you just call out HATERS?). He says that every one of us likes to be praised because of this Real Drum Major Instinct.
In effect Dr. King, is saying in some form or fashion we want to be FIRST because of this Instinct that is naturally inside of us. We want to be The Drum Major and lead the Parade. Right now I can hear some of you saying, “that’s not me, I don’t want to be out front”. This may be true BUT, YOU LIKE PRAISE…you lying if you say otherwise.
In the end, The Good Dr. says its okay to want to be FIRST, but be FIRST in LOVE. Be FIRST in GENEROSITY. Be FIRST in SERVICE to humanity (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, etc). Be FIRST in UNDERSTANDING. Be FIRST in putting YOU LAST. Teach me Doc, teach me!
We are all better having had such a Drum Major. But what of his Marching Band? What manner of people were they? His Marching Band was VISIONARY. His Marching Band was UNSELFISH. His Marching Band was COURAGEOUS. His Marching Band was DETERMINED. My Mama was in his Marching Band, that’s how I know!
My Mama told me WE had to take Literacy Tests and interpret the US Constitution from people no better educated than US! If WE passed, THEN WE could pay $2.00 to vote for a candidate on the ballot, none of which gave a damn about US! Why? Because my Mama and millions like her were UNSELFISH enough to subject themselves to that humiliation for the greater good. Next, they were VISIONARIES, cause even though their day was far from DEMOCRATIC, they KEPT THEIR EYES ON THE PRIZE. That’s why we saw so many folks from our parents’ generation and older were crying at the election of President Obama. He represented the manifestation of their wildest DREAMS. (Quote by Carl)
So let us take this Day to remember
Remember this phenomenal man,
Let us learn from me
Let us be inspired
Let us go and make change!
Thank God for MLK
Thank God for our leaders
Thank God for life.
Thank you God, for MLK
Happy Birthday Reverend!!
Truly successful people don’t leave much to chance. They are disciplined and focused. They constantly seek new methods to achieve more, in bigger and faster ways. Listed below are eight different practices that will help you concentrate your efforts on rising above the tide.
1. Make Materialism Irrelevant
Fancy cars and houses are all well and good, but many foolishly focus on the byproducts of success, rather than concentrating on building sustainable success in the first place. Establish a bare minimum for your material needs, and then you can enjoy the benefits of success, debt and stress free.
2. Enhance Knowledge
Success comes faster to those who are open, active learners. The higher up the success ladder you climb, the more complex the systems and opportunities that are presented to you. Absorb all the information you can and if you sense a gap you can’t fill, connect with people who have the knowledge you need.
3. Manage Relationship Expectations
People in your life require time. Successful individuals attract folk and so they have to carefully regulate the time they can spend with others. It’s hard to limit the time you share and still make people feel important. Make choices about the people who matter to you and determine how you each can get value from your interactions. Then make sure they understand your limitations so they don’t take it personally when you can’t be present.
4. Practice Emotional Self-Awareness
Not all successful people are calm and nice. In fact, many can be volatile. But most are very aware of their tempers and idiosyncrasies. They know how to use their emotions to get what they want from life and work hard to make sure feelings don’t become a detriment. Know yourself and learn how to let your emotions work for you in positive ways.
5. Commit to a Physical Ideal
Everyone has a vision of their own perfect body. They don’t have to be fashion models or athletes to be happy. But physical health is a consideration in their life and it’s a big distraction when it gets out of whack. Determine the body you believe is worth working for and set a game plan to achieve and maintain it.
6. Gain Clarity About Spirituality
There are many highly successful people like Richard Branson and Warren Buffettwho don’t consider religion to be important or relevant. But they have a clear point of view as to the role spirituality plays in their life. Find your own way to be at one with the universe and be clear and deliberate in how you practice.
7. Adhere to a Code of Ethics
Really successful people live by rules. They may not be the rules of others, but consistency is important for them to maintain power and stability. Their individual view of how the world works is the basis for how they believe people should be treated and they will defend it until their dying day. Determine your ethical lines and broadcast them loud and clear so people around you know where you stand.
8. Focus on Time Efficiency
Prioritization is a key component of success. You can’t reach your pinnacle if you are wasting time on distractions. Integration of activities frees up time for greater achievement. Spend your time on activities that are fun, enlightening and productive and soon you’ll have gained hours to reap the benefits of success.
Ultimately, really successful people live their lives by design instead of default, so if you want to be one of them, dedicate time and effort to determining the plan for yourpreferred future and execute that plan in a focused and consistent manner.