New Album From Shelly Massey

Shelly is a very talented, gifted and anointed artist. I have seen her perform a couple times and she has blown me away with her voice and presence. She is mentored and produced by the great Jazz artist Ben Tankard. Shelly is one artist that is going to amaze you from the beginning to the end.

Shelly Massey’s new album titled, “You’re All I Need” is so inspiring! Go to http://www.shellymassey.com and place your order today! Shelly is a new and upcoming artist you will simply love this album!

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Fear verses Respect

I awakened this morning with leadership thoughts running through my mind and two points in particular jumped out: fear verses respect. As a result I pose this question…

Do you achieve true success by imparting fear to those you are called to lead or should you take the approach of being respected?

I remember growing up and being the typical inquisitive child. I was very bold and lacked what my mother constantly reminded me of as: T-A-C-T. That pretty much meant I always said the first thing that came to mind and no one ever left my presence questioning what I thought about any subject. Not only that, but I questioned everything. I always wanted to know the WHY.

– WHY can’t I eat more candy?

– WHY do we do things this way?

– Why? Why? WHY?!

What I learned however, was the combination of those traits were frowned upon in my culture, so I was trained to think before I spoke and to not question the way things were done, but to just do what I was told. These life lessons were enforced at home, confirmed in school and in church. It seemed as though no adult knew what it was like being a kid! I questioned things not because I was rebellious, but curious. I wanted to understand the reason we did things, how we operate, why we operate in that manner, etc.

However, instead of receiving answers to my many questions, I typically heard statements that I still overhear parents saying today…

– “Because I said so.”

– “Do as you’re told.”

– “Or if you don’t, I’m going to whoop you”

You may have been told the same thing. Honestly, I think we may all even be guilty of saying it at least once as well! 🙂

Here’s the problem with those statements. Do they breed fear or respect into the person it’s directed at? Think about it.

I still encounter this type of leadership as an adult. While I’ve learned to refine my thought process. I am still bold,and probably even more inquisitive now. Yet, in most work environments, some churches and other places, I still feel like we’re acting out the role of the parent warning their child to do as they say. Don’t get me wrong, I can relate to situations and times when immediate obedience without an entire dissertation is absolutely necessary. My question however, is do we make that the rule, or the exception? I guess that depends on how you define leadership.

Leadership defined (my definition) – someone who inspires, guides and motivates others to fulfill a specific purpose or goal.

Based on this definition, I’m concerned that we as leaders are failing in our basic duties to inspire others to fulfill long-term goals. Fear and respect both act as motivators, yielding results, however only respect gets you long-term results.This is what I interpret as the basic results of using fear or respect…

FEAR

  • yields short-term cooperation
  • causes a lack of confidence
  • diminishes respect

RESPECT

  • causes long-term cooperation
  • mutually builds confidence in the relationship
  • produces loyalty

When I look at life and the areas I’m called to lead in terms of long-term success and legacy, I’m convinced that I would much rather act in patience and diligently build relationships (mother/daughter, husband/wife, friendships, coworkers, etc) in a manner that breeds mutual respect. That means, I must use tact in guarding my tongue from destroying others. Be patient and proficient in communicating the WHY behind what I do. And in every situation, to remember that trust is built over time, nourished by love and confirmed by respect.

HIS – Purpose

They always say your dream as a kid is what will make you happiest. Well I wanted to be a superhero. I planned to have my armor made of chain mail, which I found out was used to stop knives and swords from piercing the skin. I would buy some grappling hooks and train myself with all the martial arts I could think of. I would have moved to a big city and work from the alleys and back streets so I would know how to escape and hide from the criminals. I had a plan. Then I grew up and realized that was a ridiculous thought. People are crazy and kill for the dumbest reasons. So I gave up that idea and thought I would just play football. That dream ended when I became a 6 foot 225 lbs line man. If you don’t know that is not big enough to be an NFL football player. I got bigger after college smh.

I went into college knowing that I could not make it in this world without using my brain. I worked hard to do the right thing in high school and I did. I received a 4.0 in my final year. I did not get a scholarship but was happy that I had the opportunity to go to college. I was from a blue-collar town and saw those people work so hard for businesses to go up in smoke and their pensions with the flames.  I just did not have a good plan going into college and that lead me a stray. I picked a major based on what my family wanted for me. I figured if I made them happy they would be happy. Wrong! I was not happy at all but I was still trying to make my family happy. It took a while for me to realize that I was not going to make it by making them happy and I am not.

It was not until recently that I realized now I was out of purpose. Living in purpose you are doing what you would do if you did not receive any money for it. When you are in purpose you are enjoying what you do. When you live in purpose everything goes right. Purpose is what we exist for. To find what it is that you are living for you must find out who you are. With that everything will go right and you will be an achiever.

HERS – The Journey of an Achiever

Journey to being an Achiever

As a kid I had one goal that dictated my every action and decision…to go to college. Why? Because it was a means to get me out of my current reality and into the life I dreamed of.

Childhood for me was not an easy walk in the park. I grew up in circumstances that are not picture perfect yet, like many children, I adapted to the harsh realities of living in the ghetto.  I was continually presented with contradictory lifestyles. On one hand there were TV shows like the Cosby Show and 7th Heaven which portrayed the picturesque family where both parents lived in the home with their children.  Then there was my life. I grew up in a single parent home where I recall finding out hard truths about the people who were most influential in my life. Most of which shook me to my core, yet formed my moral standards and birthed a determination in me to live better…in essence, it gave me a desire to be an AchieVer.

I learned many principles along the way including the art of using my imagination. As I dreamed of the picture perfect life, I found my imagination became a shelter, protecting me from my surroundings. I was innocent in many ways, yet made to mature quickly in many others. Reality painted pictures of people using drugs, sex and other means to escape life. Not to mention acts of violence, rape and other crimes. Yet, I had a way of escape as well – I had vision, which allowed me to see past my circumstances and hope for a brighter future.

Don’t get me wrong, overall my childhood was pretty happy. I learned to adapt to ever-changing circumstances and succeeded in most everything I put my hand on. I learned about gifting and talents I had and was “adopted” by many great people who taught me fundamentals and helped mold my belief system.

Most important, I had two loving parents and siblings who became a life line for me. Regardless of their own shortcomings, each managed to ingrain great foundational principles in me. Like 1: How to love people unconditionally. 2: How to forgive those who do you wrong, even when they don’t deserve it. 3: How to take care of your brothers and sisters and look out for each other.  4: Just because you grow up in the hood, doesn’t mean you have to act like it.

The last key groomed me into becoming an Achiever. It taught me that no matter what circumstances you grow up in and around, you ultimately have to choose whether to become a product of your environment or to become a game changer. I will admit, the latter will cause you to stand out and is not the easier road to travel, but isn’t that what makes an AchieVer, an AchieVer?

AchieVer defined: (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/achiever)

1. To perform or carry out with success; accomplish.

2. To attain with effort or despite difficulty.

Where’s your faith?

“O ye of little faith” This is repeated in the bible multiple times by Jesus. He said it the most to his own disciples. I just find it interesting that he had this men follow him at the drop of a dime. These men left their families behind, professions and Lord knows what else to follow Christ. They were persecuted, attacked, maimed and given horrible deaths. But these were the ones who’s faith were questioned the most.

As I read the book of Matthew, I came to an realization. That faith is something that you must just fall into. When I say fall into. I mean you must give it a chance without thinking about it. Not all are  able to do this. We are not able to do this because we have the mindset we need certain things to survive or feel. We do not want to be uncomfortable, we want to know that nothing bad will happen from the decisions we make. This is not faith. Faith is relying that he will feed us like he feeds the foul. Faith is knowing that we can live without the acceptance of our peers or the love of a significant other. Faith is not something seen whatsoever. The disciples seen the multitudes feed, they saw Jesus walk on water and even told Jesus he was the Son of the almighty God. But when Jesus became transfigured and the Lord spoke to them saying who he was they fell in fear. I see this as even questioning faith. As if they were truly unsure if they were following the Son of God. The thing that makes the disciples so great even with their lack was their dedication to Jesus and who they wanted to believe he was.

I am not saying they did not have faith. I am saying their minds tested it constantly. I feel we have to realize that is what happens to us. We get feelings of sadness out of nowhere, doubt of things we have already accomplished. We fail to complete tasks that we have set are minds to finish, all because we discredit ourselves and most of all because we lack faith. I find this battle to be interesting that we are always our worst enemy. We must deny OUR flesh everyday as the disciples had to. So when you talk about all your haters, watch out for the biggest one. The one in the mirror.

We’ve got nothing to lose!

One of my favorite motivational stories  is about 4 Lepers who start out as the outcast or “black sheep” in their family, but end up being the catalyst for an economic shift that changed a country. Here’s my version of this true story.

It was a time of war for the nation. The city gates were locked shut and the army was standing guard. The atmosphere within was filled with fear of the unknown. The people had endured as long as they could, but there was no sign of relief.  Their food and trade supply was shut off because the enemy’s army camped outside, daring anyone to make their way outside the gates and eagerly awaiting an entry point. Food was scarce and a time of famine had encroached upon the nation. Fathers and mothers searched desperately for anything to bring nourishment to their families. Pigeon dung was rapidly becoming a delicacy.

Yet in the midst of this turmoil, rose a voice of hope. The giver of hope sat within the courts of the King delivering a word for the nation. He declared, “This time tomorrow food will be plentiful—a handful of meal for a shekel; two handfuls of grain for a shekel. The market at the city gate will be buzzing.” This declaration sparked hope within the people, yet one person mocked him. He couldn’t see beyond his current situation.

Meanwhile, 4 Lepers sat by the roadside, outside of the city gates, with no protection. They were rejected by their friends, families and the entire nation because of their disease. Their bodies ached with the disease that disfigured them and caused them to be abandoned. Not only were they affected by the famine that hit their entire nation, but they had to face it alone, outside the protection that the others may have taken for granted; while battling a disease that had no cure. These Lepers however, carried a different mindset than most would in their situation. During a fateful conversation they examined their circumstances among each other.

They asked each other, “”What are we doing sitting here at death’s door? If we enter the famine-struck city we’ll die; if we stay here we’ll die. So let’s take our chances in the camp of Aram and throw ourselves on their mercy. If they receive us we’ll live, if they kill us we’ll die. We’ve got nothing to lose.”

They ignored the voice of their circumstances which cried loud for attention, and chose to face their biggest fear – death.  That day, they got up from where they had been sitting and took a step. After all, they really had nothing to lose!

To their surprise, the enemy’s camp had been abandoned in haste. They had run away in the middle of the night and left tents filled with food, supplies, weapons, and treasures in tact. The 4 Lepers were able to go in and feast, but they also made another decision. They shared their new-found treasures with the same people who previously made them outcasts. The voice of hope had been accurate…the nation’s economic system shifted in one day when 4 Lepers decided, “we’ve got nothing to lost”, then took action.

What’s the moral of the story you ask? Stop allowing the voice of your current situation to dictate to you, instead choose to cultivate the mind of an AchieVer and listen to the voice of hope within. Then take the voice of hope and couple it with bold action. It only takes one person to create change in your life and that person is YOU!

Cultivate the AchieVer within!

For more information on this true story read: The book of 2 Kings 7 in the Bible.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20kings%207&version=MSG

HIS – The Journey of an Achiever

Hello Good People! As every new year comes and goes I am sure everyone is excited with ambitions and new found enthusiasm towards becoming a better person. You have every right to feel this way, I know I do. I am in the process of starting businesses and collaborating with great people on working out and meal plans. I even am starting a budget! Me! Mister I don’t look at my account until that pay day cause I am afraid it will say inappropriate funds. I know God has it for me to be wealthy because I don’t worry about money right now, I am sure it is going to come…I hope. The way I see it all of this is happening the time it needs to be. Let’s face it if I was cut up and had the banging body I wanted at a young age. I would have…well God knows what, if you catch my drift.

I believe I have calmed down since then; I have new goals and a purpose to fulfill. I want to be an achiever. I want to set goals and accomplish them. I want to help others reach their goals and potential. I want to be the father to many ideas and the supplier to dreams. How can I do this all if I am not living it myself? So this is where it starts for me. Becoming an achiever myself. Setting small goals like get organized, budget better (not flawlessly but better), workout no less than 4 times a week, dont be afraid to talk to women, I mean people (ain’t nutting wrong with just talking), and work on your businesses daily.

With my heart set on being a provider for my family, living and in the future. I believe that I have to be an example. I must be the achiever I desire to be. I want every need to be met by me if asked. So I will fight for these goals this year. I have been listening to something that has inspired me and try to listen to it daily and it is only 4-5 minutes long and in it there is this saying and it goes something like: To be successful you have to want it as bad as you want to breath and then you will truly be successful. I want to be successful. I must make it my breath.

Here is the link to the page:

http://thechive.com/2011/12/15/how-bad-do-you-want-it-a-motivational-speech-for-success-video/