Influence: Use your power to empower

Looking back over my life I see those who have left a lasting impact over my character, integrity, discipline, and ambition. At the time not knowing what it was developing into but didn’t respect it enough to understand your life was built on such words. Fast forward to the present day, these same words and actions I teach my children hoping they take heed in a different way than I did when I was their age.

Last year, a friend of my brothers that I haven’t seen in 8 years walked up to me and gave me the biggest hug and man could give another man. Though we hadn’t seen each other in years I knew the hug was more than an “I miss you bro” hug. As he let go, he started going over what he had been doing the past few years with his life then told me I was the reason he was doing that. He told me he never got the chance to tell me thank you. He reminded me that he was at my graduation when I received my Associates Degree.  The whole time he was attending the ceremony he was just thinking throughout all of the hanging out and partying we were doing in our 20’s, I remained focus enough to obtain my degree he knew that must’ve taken some serious discipline. I was young, reckless, focused, irresponsible, determined, and so many more things you can think about a young father in his 20’s going to college and still hanging out in the streets.


I had a goal of going to college and getting a bachelor’s degree, that was it. I never planned on stop living the Rockstar lifestyle. It was through the fire unbeknownst to me my peers were watching me live a dual lifestyle. By day I worked a 9 to 5, by night I was like a vampire hanging out all hours of the night. Sprinkle in school a few nights a week and Saturday mornings and afternoons, I was the President of the no sleep committee. My character never wavered, they knew I had a limit and that I would shut down everything one hour before class just to glance at my books for that day.

Twelve years later my influence has increased, now I have the responsibility of impacting people I may never meet. Character, integrity, discipline, and ambition now play a part in my 1440 minute of my day. How can I use my position to bring out the greatness in someone else? How do I become a model of making it from nowhere to somewhere with the drive to know I’m still not there? People are always watching what we’re doing, they’ll always remember how you made them feel in your presence. When we are no longer here, will be remembered by the influence we left on this world.

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