Do you remember the last time someone said or did something that made you feel good about yourself? Perhaps it was a compliment from a love one or a coworker genuinely congratulating you for a job well done. The point is, we tend to remember the feeling even if the details fade from memory. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Whether you are on the job, in the community or at home, you are a person of influence. Make someone “feel” good today! It may only take a genuine smile. #mattersoftheheart, #youmatter, #thingsthatmatter, #kirkjohnsonworldwide
More than three years ago, I asked my mentor, bestselling author and well-known public speaker Dr. Myles Munroe to forward the book I was writing. I had the title and the first chapter completed. After discussing the name and content, he said he was willing. As you may imagine, I was honored and thrilled. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm did not translate to productivity. I procrastinated and just over a year ago, he passed away in a tragic plane crash.
What’s the moral of the story? Within you is untapped potential. However, it is of little value if it remains dormant. As such, studying arduously for a final or certification exam is effort wasted if you don’t show up for the test. Being gifted as a singer, leader, writer or some other discipline is for not if we make excuses about why we don’t have the time, talent or resources to follow through.
I cannot change the past, but surely I can do something about the present. So can you. My book will be released in early 2016 and my encouragement to you is simple. “Your future is depending on you. Tap in to your potential so you won’t have to tap out by default.” ~ Kirk Johnson #thingsthatmatter
Miracles are Made of Moments Like These…
In August 2013, I shared a post titled “Fear Not.” I was then in Florida reflecting on a fairly tough time in my life. In that post, I promised I would in time share some good news with you. Since then, against significant financial odds I was accepted to graduate school and I am now just a few months away from graduating with honors. Also since that date, I married Charlene, my compliment, best friend and the woman I love dearly. Plus, my first book will be published by the summer.
Despite the unbelievably devastating loss of my mentor and friend Dr. Myles Munroe, I reflect on the telephone conversation we had three days before the plane crash that killed him, his wife Pastor Ruth and seven others. It was November 6, 2014 and Pastor Munroe and I were confirming arrangements for him to talk to students in the leadership perspectives class I taught at my university. He died before it could happen but during that conversation he had said something remarkable I will never forget. He told me he was proud of me and had recently reviewed a copy of my life’s vision and mission statement I gave him more than five years prior. He told me I was on track and encouraged me to continue my work.
In similar form, I encourage you to have a personal vision and mission statement for your life and then to pursue it with vigor. Now is the time. Your moments are here. Let not life triumphs and/or tribulations distract you. Miracles may take many forms and may be as “simple” as the change of ones heart from apathy and unforgivenness to altruism and compassion. What you do matters!
Live Your Potential. Don’t let it die. You will face opposition and you will feel pain. But you’ve got promise, will, grit, ability, stamina, fortitude, faith and even in a stranger, a Friend. Now, make sure you have a PLAN. You’ve got it in You. GO for it because WHAT YOU DO MATTERS!
It has been a really long time since I last wrote and I have about a million great excuses for you. Reasons like, “I’ve been super busy” and “There’s been a lot going on.” Truth is, I felt like I didn’t have the ‘right’ words to say. I waited for and even anticipated the perfect juxtaposition of words. I was sure that once inspired, my words would flow like tapestry on virtual paper. It simply did not happen. But eventually something clicked.
Finding the right time and the right words have a lot to do with what we value. It isn’t that we do not have demanding schedules or that we don’t have to choose among choices. Fact is, that’s life. Life requires us to make choices among competing options. It expects us to prioritize the more important things and very importantly, to balance and harmonize them. Otherwise, we risk not getting things done or getting many things done but in the wrong direction.
“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after,” Henry David Thoreau. We can spend a lot of time and effort on a good thing, a great project, even a worthy goal. But is it consistent with the direction your life should move towards? Where are you investing your life? Are you making the time for what and who really matters? Had I continued to wait for the perfect words, I could not share this blog with you. Life is a mix of relationships and decisions.
Check your life’s compass to make sure you are on course. You’ve got what it takes and What You Do Matters!
My meeting Sir Sidney Poitier was without the extended entourage, fine tailored suits and clamoring reporters we often see. It was not at the renaming ceremony of the Paradise Island Bridge in The Bahamas, nor was it during his guest of honour appearance at Oprah’s “Dinner of a Lifetime with Sidney Poitier” or President Obama’s honoring ceremony.
Rather, It was last weekend on the set of a video shoot for a new production by Regal Shine Films. We were shooting in a cemetery near historic Nassau in The Bahamas. However, the internationally acclaimed actor and diplomat was there for a completely different reason. His limousine quietly drove into the cemetery’s parking lot and after a few minutes, a small group of persons made their way towards us. It wasn’t until he was within 30 feet that I realized it was Sir Sidney, a few family members and a single bodyguard. I would also later discover that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the honourable Fred Mitchell, his driver, a press officer from the government’s Bahamas Information Services and a few others were present.
However, they, like us were not the focus of his attention. We would later greet him, shake his hands and listen to his personal words of inspiration. But right then, it was as if we weren’t there. Understandably, he had a singular focus. He was there to visit his parents’ place of rest. He first walked to his father’s gravesite and spent a few minutes in quiet contemplation. Then he walked the extra 50 yards to visit his mother’s grave and there he sat alone with the woman who gave birth to him 85 years ago.
My emotions were torn between the enthusiasm of meeting the man who inspired my father and whose cousin was my mother’s neighbor and the sobering sense of loss that he was likely experiencing. It was not the first time I had met Mr. Poitier but I can’t help but wonder if it was my last. It made me think about how fortunate I am to still have my parents alive. More importantly, the need for me to fully value them in ways that are clear to their understanding. Truth is, we can love someone all we want but if they don’t interpret it as love that meets their need, then there’s a shortfall.
In your case, my encouragment may relate to a friend, love interest or coworker, a family member or a complete stranger. Life doesn’t always give us that “second chance.” Make every moment count. What you do matters.
Today I spoke with Melissa during my weekday talk show. Her doctor had told her that she had a rare form of cancer and could possibly die in 3 months to a year. And to think that I thought I had things to stress about! She had cried constantly for about four months as she tried to wrap her mind around her mortality. Then, with the help of those around her, Melissa packed her bags and traveled to Texas for treatment. Despite the days she felt discouraged, she kept her hopes high.
Thankfully, it’s now more than 5 years since that first diagnosis. Melissa fought to stay alive and won! She credits the treatment, a loving husband, a praying family and the healing hands of GOD for her life today and now reaches out to the community with her story of hope.
We’ve all had reasons to cry. I certainly have. Men, it’s ok for us to cry. Ladies you too. Crying has a cleansing power and laughter a rejuvenating benefit. Let us all be willing to drop a tear or two but still keep hope alive. Let us remember that even with the long Winters of the Arctic and constant rainfall in England, a brighter, warmer day does come. It must! Expect it, anticipate it and share it with someone who needs a little sunshine. What you do Matters.