|*Photo Credit Alexandra Figueredo, taken at Frost Museum, Miami, FL, 2011|
During the 1960s Civil Rights movement in the U.S., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not only spoke of freedoms granted to black Americans, but about universal rights for all humanity. He exhibited powerful success and leadership qualities which can serve as inspiration to us all.
After reflecting on Dr. King’s life, these are my five main takeaways that can be applied to become successful as a leader, entrepreneur or in any challenging pursuit you are facing.
1. Having a "dream" and vision for the future: Dr. King’s iconic "I Have a dream" speech lays out his desire for a world where freedom “rings” and we are empathetic toward our neighbor. Creating change started with his dream, which he was very clear about and held on to with ruthless intent.
2. Taking action with determination: the Civil Rights movement didn’t happen overnight and certainly did not prevail after Dr. King gave just a few letters and speeches. It took many years of sweat, toil, pain and relentless action... a series of small steps forward which led to something much greater over time.
3. Courage to face fears and take risks: Just the thought of Dr. King delivering his speeches and leading marches in some of the most discriminatory parts of the country gives me chills. He was walking a very dangerous path; yet it is in facing our greatest fears that we find our inner strength to overcome them and find the right path to our dreams.
4. Finding a support system: Although Dr. King was an inspiring and powerful leader, he knew he couldn’t pull off a movement alone. This unified dream, sense of community and strength in numbers propelled the movement forward and fueled Dr. King’s efforts even when he was down.
5. Persistence to pursue one’s mission despite obstacles: Dr. King, along with his supporters, encountered criticism, persecution, imprisonment and assault continuously throughout the pursuit of civil rights. Certainly he also faced self-doubt and inner criticism. But he continued his mission and believed in it so strongly that he was willing to die attaining it. The unified dream was so powerful that it continued to inspire and motivate change and progress even after death.
I hope that we can remember these same lessons whenever we feel ourselves challenged and facing our own struggles, to continue to move forward.
Remembering some lines from his famous "I have a Dream" speech:
“We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back."
Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM) discusses these and many more success strategies based on great masters from the past. Although not specifically cited in my book, Dr. King is certainly considered one of the great masters in our history. This e-book program presents 12 strategies for success and is designed to motivate you to increase your productivity, reach your goals and ultimately fulfill your purpose and lead a Masterpiece life!
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