Setting The Tone Dictates Your Destiny

Surround Yourself w/ Purposeful People

It’s around 11 p.m. and I’m on my laptop wrapping up some work.  In the mist of completing my tasks, I reflect on my day… It was a GREAT day.  Like, I’m still smiling type of day….  Like, I  KNOW I need to get ready for bed because I have long day tomorrow but can’t because I have so much energy day.  No, my stock didn’t spike at the right time, nor did I find a bag of money or hit the lottery, but the interactions I’ve had with people (my peers) really felt like a million bucks.

This normally doesn’t call for an extraordinary message post; I interact with people all the time (I’m an extrovert, this is what I do)…  Today, however, was different because I’m not thinking solely on my interactions with the public, but am recognizing HOW I have people in my life; remembering where I was (and how I met them), knowing where I am currently (and how I can retain such great people), and planning on where I want to me in the future (and having the appropriate people mold me).

I had several observations in my interactions with people who positively influence me:

  •  They are from backgrounds that are FAR DIFFERENT than mine:  I want to make this point because normally I’d like to go and find comfort in an environment that I have similar connections with…  However, the more I expose myself to not only different people, but different places, cultures, ideas, etc., the more I see and appreciate things that are “not traditionally” my source of comfort.   This is not always the case, but I’ve learned to open-my eyes to see the similarities we have w/ people instead of the differences.
  • They had something that I can help them with:  The assistance was a two-way street.  I didn’t feel like I was wrongfully indebted, nor did they treat me like a charity case because they were able to help me, and I was able to help them.
  • Their mission and goals involved improving society in one way or another:  Though not the exact goal, most of the people I interacted with today wanted to help other people or systems.

I had at least a dozen interactions with people like this today.  I’m so blessed to be in a position where I can learn from people that can positively motivate and inspire me.  The moral of the story is to surround yourself with purposeful people.  There will be plenty of people who wan to drain your energy, goals, and aspirations like a leech.  They exist in your family, amongst your friends, and in strangers who haven’t met yet.  Try to avoid paralysis at all cost; you don’t need to avoid them per se (we are in this world to influence others), but avoid their attempts to drag you down, and don’t stay in a prolonged period of time with them in their poisonous state.

Just as there are bad people, there are also good people who just need a good word or attitude to turn their attitude around.  A constant interaction with people with a plan, goal, or aspiration will result in you improving your life. If you hang with purposeful people, influence them, allow them to inspire you, and evangelize to all people to become great, then we will make this a better place.

Let’s Support The Arts!


Dallas proclaimed that April 7-14th was Arts Week here in the city.  This is a time where we can illuminate the importance of art and culture and inspire citizens and businesses to give back and support the arts community in the same way that it supports each of us.  I did not only support arts last week but I participated in it as well: having four gigs last week with a jazz quintet and a brass band.  It was a great feeling.

As I was driving between gigs, I thought about how art influenced my life.  I did not get a degree in music, nor did I ever aspire to attend the Julliard School or Berklee School of Music, but without music, it would not exist.  My environment (parents, siblings, friends, community) acclimated me to the arts, whether it was listening to soul/R&B/gospel on our drives to Taylor or Giddings, TX, stealing my sister’s Blackstreet CD at a young age, or being “encouraged” by my best friend to try out for the band (btw: was one of the best “decisions” I’ve made), music and the arts grooms people to become well-rounded individuals who relates to people not only by words, but with their spirit and emotions.

With all this nostalgic pleasantries, I became disheartened.  I then realized as an adult we, as young African-Americans, are not supporting the arts that helped shape and mold us in our developmental years.  Of course there are a few pockets of action….  Quarterly we can go to the South Dallas Culture Center or listen to the Grits play on Wednesday night at The Prophet Bar, but there is a vast discrepancy between our investment of artistic culture and how the arts developed us directly and indirectly.

Now we can change that:  I’m one of the chairs for the African American Museum Annual Gala and I want to call all of my friends to come and support this Historic Institution in Dallas.  On May 18th, hundreds of people will be at this phenomenal event not only to financially support a great art institution in Dallas, but also having fun, looking good, and enjoying great entertainment.  If you are interested, please contact the African American Museum at 214.565.9026 ext 328, or email