Archive for the Motivational Moments Category

How to “Take Flight” and Make 2019 a Great Year

Posted in Black Interests, Motivational Moments with tags , on January 1, 2019 by Gary Johnson

Welcome to 2019!  Black Men In America.com Airlines welcomes you to our First Class Travel Program, where we will travel through 2019 with our final destination being the year 2020.  Before you start this journey you must read and acknowledge our “mandatory” pre-flight agreement.  This agreement is written in the form of a pre-flight announcement to make it easy for you to comprehend.

My name is Gary Johnson.  I am the Co-Pilot for this flight.  On behalf of our flight crew let me welcome you to Flight #2020.  Flight #2020 is a direct flight to being the best that you can be in 2019.  Here at Black Men In America.com Airlines we always looking toward the future.

We are concerned about your continued safety and care.  To ensure that we have a comfortable trip, no “baggage” will be allowed on this flight.  We ask that you bring only positive mental energy.  You may use your imagination and follow along as we perform our safety demonstration.

Please make sure that your thoughts and energies are in the secured and upright position at all times.  All self-destructive and self-defeating thoughts and negative behaviors should be turned OFF at this time.

To fasten your seat belt, insert the metal fitting into the buckle and adjust to fit snugly across your lap.  Should you be called to get up and assist others simply lift the buckle release and you will be free to provide assistance.

There are 10 emergency exits, five doors on the left and five doors on right, each marked with a red DO THE RIGHT THING sign overhead.  All doors are equipped with slide rafts. These rafts may be detached in the event that you lose patience or forget how to treat people with dignity and respect.  Please locate the two exits nearest you, keeping in mind that the closest exit may act as your conscious if you haven’t been living “right.”

Please observe the lighted signs until they have been turned off by the Captain. The NO WHINING sign will remain illuminated for the duration of the flight and complaining is prohibited throughout the cabin.

Should we lose altitude during this flight, reach up and pull down a prayer. Prayers will automatically be answered as they are activated by faith.  This means that some prayers will be answered faster than others based on how you’ve exercised your faith, but rest assured, your prayers will be answered.

In the event that we lose altitude or sustain an emergency, this aircraft is equipped with aisle path lighting which is located on the floor in the left and right aisles. Should cabin visibility be impaired, the exit path will be illuminated.  Follow the white lights which will lead you to a pearly gate.  Your name should be on the “Guest List.”  If your name is not on the list, perhaps you have some additional work to do and this incident should serve as a reminder that you need to make better choices or some changes in your life.

The beauty of this flight is that you still have time to take the steps necessary to get your life together and get your name on the “right” list.  You still have to be kind, patient, caring and respectful.  If you are kind, caring and respectful, there’s room for you on this flight.  Kindness and goodness are renewable resources and we will use these resources throughout this flight.

If you choose to behave otherwise, you will see red lights which indicate you have reached your final destination.  You will not have access to an oxygen mask or a life vest.  In other words, you’re DONE!

The Captain (GOD) has cleared us for takeoff.  The choice is yours.  This may be your last chance to decide which direction you’re going to take in your life for 2019 before the cabin doors close.

Thank you for flying with us—destination GREATNESS!

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com, a popular online magazine and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also a management consultant for the federal government and many Fortune 500 companies.  He is the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”  To learn more about Gary click here.

Publisher’s Note:  Thanks to Staceé Lang for planting this idea in my head.

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“WELL MY MOM SAYS,” by C.M. LEE, Jr.

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Book Reviews and More, Motivational Moments with tags , , , on August 2, 2014 by Gary Johnson

C. M. Lee Book Cover

Here’s an excerpt from the book “Well My Mom Says,” by C. M. Lee, Jr.

Every Day, Be Thankful

As I step out of my door, I see the sunshine and breathe the fresh air and I’m thankful—thankful for this world, thankful for my health, thankful for my mobility, and so on.

I have the privilege to help people when they need a physician. I’ve gotten a bigger perspective on life just seeing people hurting and dealing with things I couldn’t image. This makes me thankful for the smallest of things, because not every person has the ability to see, talk, walk, speak, and read. The small things, when taken away, really make a huge impact.

As you sit and read this, no matter your situation, know that other people have made it through what you’re going through. If you can breathe on your own, be thankful; some patients have a machine breathing for them. If you can walk, be thankful; there are amputee soldiers that are wheelchair bound. If you have children, be thankful; some couples are infertile. I could go on and on and on.

There is always something to be thankful for. Don’t let one situation, one isolated aspect of your life, take your joy and skew your view. You have great things going on in your life. Make it a habit to always give thanks.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 Appreciation from Dr. Lee’s book “Well, My Mom Says…” published this past May by Westbow Press.

C. M. Lee PR About the Author: 

As a physician, speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO of CMLEEJR Co.  Dr. Clarence Lee embodies the importance of faith and persistence in life. The first physician, college athlete, and Air Force flight surgeon in his family; Dr. Lee is dedicated to helping others remove perceived barriers in their lives. Dr. Lee has been featured in The Word, the Sacramento Business Journal, Appeal-Democrat, and others. He lives in California and loves spending time with his wife and daughter on the coast.

Staying Happy Through The New Year: 2014 Happiness Calendar

Posted in Black Interests, Book Reviews and More, Motivational Moments with tags , on December 12, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Henry Miller

By Henry S. Miller, Author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness

Amp up the amount of happiness in your life each and every month of the year by intentionally focusing on 12 strategies that the science of happiness and well being has proven can increase your feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Even better: know that, if you add these actions to your life, your feelings of increased positive emotion can last for days, weeks, and even months!

If this is the year you decide to get serious about adding happiness that lasts to your life, here are 12 happiness strategies for 2014 and suggestions to make them work for you:

January:  A Month of Hope and Plans

The beginning of the year is traditionally about new years’ resolutions. This year, write one positive goal you have for the coming year down on your calendar each morning of each day of January. Also write your plan to make it a reality. Then, resolve that you will intentionally invest your time and energy to work on your resolutions during the year and to live a happier life by implementing these 12 happiness strategies – one each month.

February:  A Month of Gratitude

Gratitude is the antidote to greed, envy, and jealously. We feel much happier when we are being grateful for what we have, rather than envious of what we don’t. Remember, no one has everything! This month, each night before going to bed, take a daily gratitude inventory. Write down three things you are grateful for about your life – your relationships, your work, your character, your family, your country, the world around you, your life.

March:  A Month of Kindness

Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” And, if you look around, it’s still true today. This month, find one opportunity each and every day to perform some kind act for someone else – even the simplest act of holding a door open for another will do. And, each day, after your act of kindness, enjoy the feeling that, for at least one shining moment, you are the personification of all that is good about the human race.

April:  A Month of Optimism

Each day this month, be more conscious of your negative thoughts – if you have any. And every time you do, immediately “dispute” it by intentionally replacing the negative thought with a positive one. Do this each time you think a negative thought for a month, and notice how your thinking might change.

May:  A Month of Friendship

Close relationships are one of the longest-lasting of happiness-increasing strategies. But, sometimes, we take our friends for granted – or are “too busy” to see them. This month, at least one time per week, reach out to a friend and arrange to spend time with them. This can be as simple as a walk, a meal, coffee, drinks – whatever you choose. But find the time to visit with your friends face-to-face this month.

June:  A Month of Love

Traditionally, June is a month of weddings – and love is all around us. Each day this month, call, write, or email someone you love or care deeply about – one per day – and tell them how much they mean to you – and how happy you are that they are a part of your life – even if you haven’t been the best communicator up to now. Notice reactions – yours and theirs.

July:  A Month of Spirituality

Studies have proven that people who have spirituality in their lives – whether it’s their own secular belief system, their own faith, or some organized religion – are happier. We don’t know if it’s because of the fellowship of a caring group of like-thinking folks, or the spiritual beliefs themselves. This month, make a conscious effort to spend some moments each day – perhaps during lunch – repeating to yourself at least one “prayer” or belief you hold.

August:  A Month of Health, Fitness, Skill

Summer is a great time to focus on increasing your health and fitness – and on using your skills and abilities to their max. This month, begin some daily fitness regimen (check with your doctor first if needed) – even if it’s only walking. In addition, make a list of your top skills, talents, and abilities and assess if you are using them to their fullest. If not, take one step per day to begin doing so.

September:  A Month of Contribution

Making a meaningful contribution to make the planet a better place is one of the longest-lasting, happiness-increasing strategies known. What are you contributing? This month is your chance to decide what difference you’d like to make in the world. Spend a few minutes each day at lunchtime and write down ideas about how you can make a positive difference in the world. At the end of the month, decide on a plan of action – and begin! The world needs you and your contribution!

October:  A Month of Savoring

Fall is a season to enjoy the changing foliage in many parts of the world. Consciously spend at least five minutes each day focusing your attention exclusively on something of beauty outside – changing leaves, trees, clouds, sky – something. Five minutes of complete attention to savor the beauty of life around you – each day, every day.

November:  A Month of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful, although a slightly more complicated, happiness strategy. We forgive others to make us feel better. This month, examine your life and see if there are any lingering resentments you are holding on to that are holding you back from joy. If so, do two things: First, write the apology letter you would have liked to have received from the person who has wronged you. Second, rise above your desire for revenge, and write your letter of forgiveness to them. No need to mail it, just recall the hurt or violation, write about your feelings. End the letter with your statement of forgiveness. Just this simple act of writing a forgiveness letter can often grant you freedom from your negative thoughts and give you increased happiness.

December:  A Month of Generosity

The end of the year is a time for giving – a time to donate your time, your money if you can, your skills, your positive energy, your attention – to others to help make their life a little better. Each day, find one opportunity to give something of yourself to help another – and notice your feelings.

In Conclusion

For the best results, remind yourself of each month’s happiness strategy by adding these topics to your calendar – every day of each month. Then, each day of the year, find creative ways to act on these strategies – and enjoy your reactions and your increased feelings of happiness. You’ll notice that these feelings will last far longer than the happiness you feel from just partaking of the pleasures of life – and will be more meaningful to you.

No matter what your situation, remain hopeful about increasing your happiness. The truth is that no one is ever out of the game when it comes to living a happier and more fulfilling life! As the months of this year unfold, continue all of the 12 strategies that work best for you. If you do, a year of happiness can be yours.

Henry Miller Henry S. Miller is the author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness:  Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive, and Inspiration for the Pursuit of Happiness:  Wisdom to Guide your Journey to a Better Life. He is also the creator of the online membership program Get SERIOUS About Your Happiness:  20 Transformational Tools for Turbulent Times. As President of The Henry Miller Group (www.millergroup.com), he is a speaker, trainer, and consultant helping organizations improve engagement, performance, and productivity specifically by increasing employee well being. In prior careers, Henry was a Senior Consultant for the Tom Peters Company training and coaching senior management teams worldwide in leadership and his initial career in corporate America was with IBM.

5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Gary A. Johnson, Author of “25 Things That Really Matter In Life”

Posted in Black Interests, Motivational Moments with tags , , , , , on June 14, 2009 by Gary Johnson

GJ-Joey P.

By Joey Pinkney

25 Things That Really Matter In Life will help you identify your natural gifts and how to use them to feel better about yourself. Gary Johnson uses worksheets to outline the principles of Life Mastery to cleanse your mind of all the dysfunctional thoughts that have accumulated over the years.

Practicing Life Mastery will allow you to develop yourself to be the best “you” that you can be for yourself, family and friends. Control the quality of your life by making 25 Things That Really Matter In Life a part of your daily living. This book was written for people who have some sense of needing to make changes in their life but do not know how to do it.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write 25 Things That Really Matter in Life?

Gary Johnson: I wrote this book at one of the lowest points in my life. My businesses were heavily in debt . Although I continued to function every day, there were times when I did not feel good about myself. Through it all, I continued to try to affect the lives of others through my training seminars and speeches.

I also went out of my way to make sure I was an active dad for my sons. On a Friday night, in September 2006, I decided to write down the things that really mattered to me. I stopped the list at twenty-five and shelved the project for another year.

Putting pen to paper was a measure of accountability. Thirteen months later I was ready to be accountable and make a change in my life. Writing my thoughts on paper was therapeutic and gave me a sense of relief. This process was a “freeing” experience that helped me to feel good again.

JP: What sets 25 Things That Really Matter in Life apart from other motivational books?

GJ: This book is universal in that it is easy to read and understand and appeals to men and women of all races and culture. The book has worksheets that help examine your life in a way that perhaps you haven’t done before.

Looking at your life and the choices you’ve made in an open and honest way can be an emotional and gut-wrenching experience. As you rewind your mental tapes, you are likely to see a pattern of decision-making that is self-defeating or sabotaging. This book wastes no time helping you to help yourself.

Click here to read the rest of Joey’s exclusive interview with Gary Johnson.

Joey Pinkney Joey Pinkney is a passionate book reviewer whose goal is to give authors extra exposure.  He is the founder of JoeyPinkney.com a web site about books and authors.  Joey’s “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…” author interview series features self-published authors and best-selling authors.  The popular interview series gives readers an often rare glimpse into the author’s mind as he/she shares insights about their book.

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