Every third Monday of January we recognize and celebrate the lifelong impact that Martin Luther King Jr. made on our country. We celebrate this day to honor and commemorate MLK and his strong belief in combating racial discrimination. As you all know, King was the lead spokesman for non violent activism in the Civil Rights movement, and is often recognized by his “I am a dream speech”.
However, this blog isn’t to give you a history lesson on WHAT King did- stuff you already know. This blog is to prompt some thinking about HOW he did it. So how did he do it? How was one man able to bring about change and bring a country closer together despite significant challenges and adversity?
The answer starts with a firm belief in himself and his cause (or task). He showed immense courage by standing firm in his belief in a nonviolent approach, even when others prosecuted him for it. He knew that violence would only make things worse for his people and so instead, he led peaceful protests. He gained followers by staying true to himself, his good character, and treated others with that same respect and conviction.
The same process, believing in oneself and the courage to act even when we are frightened or facing the most difficult of adversity, is fundamental to anyone who is attempting to do great things.
How can we use this model for ourselves and how can it help in accomplishing our goals in life or sport?
Similar to MLK, It all starts with believing in yourself and committing to a vision or dream. With these two factors, we can manage and be okay with failure along the way, for failing means learning. The bigger we dream, the bigger chances we have to take, and nothing will ever go perfectly as planned but don’t be discouraged because we ought to measure ourselves by our progress versus perfection. For some of the biggest growth in a person’s life happens in moments of adversity! As Neal Donald Walsch once said, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Therefore, do what makes you uncomfortable.
Martin Luther King ran into many roadblocks along his journey that could have caused him to give up his dreams, but he kept going. Our encouragement to you today, is to fully embrace your hopes and dreams and go for them whole-heartedly, just as Martin Luther King Jr. did. You may just end up changing your story as well as changing the world!
Time and Date AS (2016). Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States
Schulke, F., Fernandez, B. (2014). About Dr. King: Overview
Biography.com Editors (2017). Martin Luther King Jr. Biography