Monday, January 23, 2012

The price is worth the promise...

I almost died today! Well... not really... but I felt like it at the gym. One of my very good friends also happens to be my personal trainer. Her name is La'Drissa Bonivel, and she is a professional athlete (check her out at or

<----- That's my trainer! :-)

At 6am, she put me through a work out like never before. I knew I was going to be in trouble based off of the text message she sent me the night before. Any time your trainer says "*evil laugh*" at the end of a text message regarding your workout you are in trouble! Towards the end of the work out, I felt light headed and I wanted to puke! You may be asking yourself why I allowed her to put me through such a grueling routine. It's simple... THE PRICE IS WORTH THE PROMISE! This philosophy isn't just about working out though. It's about every area of your life.

This coming March, I am in two productions (a film and a stage play) that require me to be shirtless in scenes. I never allow myself to get totally out of shape, but I know that I can sculpt my body a little better than it's current state. The PRICE is hard work, early morning, more cardio that I care for, and a little pain, and cutting back on sweets and other foods that aren't really good for me anyway. The PROMISE is a LOYAL BODY that functions how I want it to, when I want it to. I also get the benefits of better energy, boosted self confidence, more acting roles, and a batter attitude because of the endorphins released during exercise. Whenever you want to excel in something, find somebody that is better than you at it and seek their guidance! You may have to come out of pocket a little, but that's better than paying for your mistakes.

What areas of your life do you want better results in? Are you willing to pay the price? It doesn't matter if we are talking about your business/work life, spiritual life, family life, or social/cultural life. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. Short cuts are NOT really the answer. You have to pay the price to get the promise! I am not saying that you should intentionally make things harder than they need to be. What I am saying is that when you step up to the counter of success, pay full price so that you can receive the full rewards!

Inventors like Garrett A. Morgan, Valerie Thomas, and Thomas Edison paid the price of sleepless nights while they worked, being ridiculed, and failed attempts. But the promise was that they would make great contributions to society!

Leaders like Dr. King, Gandhi, Marcus Garvey, and Abe Lincoln all had to pay a price in order to achieve great things. Some of them even paid with their lives, but the promise was worth it to them.

What is it that you want to do with your life? Don't get to your death bed and think "I wonder what life would have been like if only I would have _________." Make it happen! Pay the price! The promise is soooooooo worth it!

Suggested reading: Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Practice makes perfect? Nope... practice makes improvement!

The brisk morning air pierces my lungs as I step outside heading towards my SUV. It's cold outside, but I am committed to the process. I'm heading to my 6am martial arts class. Lack of sleep, freezing Chicago wind, and hunger all try to convince me to turn the ignition to the off position and go back in the house. "It's only one day you will miss... go inside where it's warm." Those are the thoughts that ramble through my mind, but I press forward.

27 minutes later I arrive at the United Schools of Survival. The morning class is small. There is no place to hide when the instructor can see everyone. The benefit is that the personal attention is great. (STAY WITH ME, I'M GETTING TO THE GOOD PART). Though our school is run by Grand Master Anthony Muhamnmad (martial arts hall of famer), today the class is with Sensei Abdul. Only 3 people decided to show up this day, so the personal attention became very personal.

Without giving you the entire play by play, here is one of the lessons learned from the day. While working on our Ippon Seionage (Japanese for one arm shoulder throw), I had the opportunity to work one of one with Sensei Abdul. I had been practicing outside the dojo, and developed a flaw in my footing which mad it harder for me to get the leverage I needed to throw my opponent. Time and time again, Sensei Abdul allowed me to throw him (he's about 100 pounds 80 pounds heavier than I am. He knew what I was doing wrong. He saw my errors. I told him that I had been practicing. He said "Practice makes _____?" I filled in the blank and said "PERFECT, sir!" We switched positions and now I was the one being tossed... again... and again... and again... and again. He did it with ease. He stood over me and reached out his hand to help me up as he said "PERFECT PRACTICE makes perfect."

How many times in life have we done something wrong over and over again while wondering why we don't get the results we want. Why are professional athletes paid top dollar to do what they do? It's because of the hours of practice they put in before they even play an actual game. Practice makes improvement. If you really want to do well at something, no matter what it is, you have to work at it. Spaced repetition is the mother of all learning. It also helps to have a good mentor in your respected field to recognize and correct your mistakes. The reason why many people fail is because they refuse to commit to the process. They refuse to practice on the things that they need to get better at to be successful. They give up when it is hard, or even worse they don't even try at all. Practice makes improvement. The only way to get better is to get better... and you do that through spaced repetition. This is applicable in pretty much every area of life. One of my mentors named Michael Clouse told me "It's ok to be bad at something at first, as long as your goal is to get better over time." The key is to study and practice your craft over and over again time after time.

Suggested reading: The Language of Achievement by David Byrd

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wisdom Before Wealth (Jan 9, 2012)

I pray that each of you is experiencing the fullness of life, and that you are reaching new heights. This week's message has to do with wisdom and wealth. Both are topics worth talking about separately. As a matter of fact, this may actually become a series I teach on later. For today though, the introduction will be on putting the horse IN FRONT OF the cart... not the cart before the horse (old southern saying... don't worry about it if you don't understand it). This is a little longer than what I usually send out, but it's worth the read. This one touches on some spiritual aspects. Don't be offended, just learn the lesson.

I was watching a TV show a while a couple of years ago, and one of the stories stuck with me. It was one of those "Where are they now" shows when they talk about a person that was in the spot light and then vanished. Well, this particular show wasn't about a movie star, rock legend, or famous TV personality. This was about a couple that lived in a trailer park in rural America somewhere. The couple had won the lottery! They were instant millionaires! An over night success so to speak... riches beyond their wildest dreams. Well, the story later told us that within about a 2 year time frame, they were living right back in the same trailer park that they moved out of when they got the millions. The problem was that they had millions of dollars, but not the WISDOM of millionaires. For them, the "wealth" came before the "wisdom" so they lost it all. They had the before (in front of) the horse. But when the WISDOM (knowledge) comes before the wealth, the situation is more favorable.

If you would, let's look at 1 Kings 3:4-15


4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."

6 Solomon answered, "You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

7 "Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" (WISDOM)

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life." 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.


Wow, if God asked you what you wanted, what would you say? Knowing what I know now, I would ask for wisdom as well... but I can't say that would have been the case for me years ago. Depending on when He asks, that may not be the case now :-)

The story later on goes on to tell us that even though it was just a dream, God did bless Soloman beyond measure with wealth. It was because he desired WISDOM first though. Too many times in life, we want the glory without creating the story. Here's the reality of it all... there are millionaires that have lost all of their money before and then made millions again. The money wasn't the important part, but the WISDOM, and the lessons learned made the difference. When we seek to learn what we don't know, acquire the skills necessary for our achievement, and apply what we have learned, our lives get better. But when we want the wealth before the wisdom, and if we actually get it, we often end up in the same "trailer park" that we were in before we got the riches. Income can take a lucky jump, but if you do not grow past your level of income, you will soon fall back. Jim Rohn taught us not to pray that things were easier, but instead pray for more skill (wisdom) to be able to handle our challenges.

The more you know, the more you grow.

Have a wonderful day, take care, and take charge. I love each and every one of you, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Suggested Reading: The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason and Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year... New You

Every year about this time, people start working towards their "New Year Resolutions." The definition for resolution for this purpose is: a resolve or determination; to make a firm resolution to do something.

When the clock strikes midnight giving us a new year, we take the opportunity to have a clean slate and start fresh. I believe that the main reason pick the new year is because everybody else tends to do the same. Psychologically, the new year represents new beginnings. The truth of the matter is that you can start fresh whenever you want to. If you need the new year as the springboard for the new you, then so be it! By all means take advantage of the new year to be the turning point of your life. The point that I really want to make is that there is a difference between living and just existing. Just existing is going through the day to day routine with no real vigor. There is no passion... nothing to get you fired up about life. But when you are truly LIVING, you are working towards something! You are excited about the dealings of your day. You can make any day your New Year's Day!

It's axiomatic (grab a dictionary if you don't know the word... every new blog this year will challenge you to grow your vocabulary) to say that most people in the world want something better out of life. Now is the time to figure out what it is that you want, write out some goals, and figure out the plan necessary for the success that you desire. I was on youtube the other day and I found 3 short clips on goal setting by Zig Ziglar... They are less than 5 minutes each, and I think you should check them out...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The bottom line is that we get to decide who we want to be. Human beings are not trees, as Jim Rohn once put it. We are not planted in one spot with no choice on where we can go or what we can do. We have the gift of choice, and the ability to change. Your past does not dictate your future. At any given moment you can decide to change your life. After that decision is made, the universe will conspire to make you successful at whatever you think about the most. You will find that the things necessary for your success seem to keep popping up because that is what you are focused on. This is a new year... time to create the new you! I look forward to hearing your success story!

Suggested reading:
The Magic of Thinking BIG by Dr. David Schwartz
Buy it here for about $4 on amazon

I'm Mel Roberson, and I approve this message :-)