Why would you want to know so much about me? Know where I am from and my background will give you a full rounded view of my motivation and my true feelings of duty of service to my fellow citizens. I haven’t always had it easy but I learned perseverance and learned how to succeed and that is what I want to impart to you.
At the young tender age of 8, I could recall my parents volunteering me in the church play. Now at that time I only had a couple of lines to remember, but that was the beginning of me speaking in front of a crowd with no hesitation. Shortly after, when I was 10, one of playwrights of our church gave me this monologue to act out the play called “Jesus Is the Light”. I spoke and acted and when it was finished the audience gave me a standing ovation. People would came up to me and said, “Son, you have a great voice that will be heard by many for years to come”.
During my teenage years, I tried to find that “niche”. The one thing that I needed to share with the world. I tried sports, I couldn’t hit a fastball to save my life if it was the last thing I did. My nickname in school was “Butterfinger” because I dropped everything that came my way.
So baseball was out. Then there was football, I didn’t get much help from my family genes because I was too skinny and had no strength. After that was basketball, but nope, not a chance. I had the worst form in trying to shoot a basket.
Not knowing what else to try, I saw a 3 man band playing on the corner of Bourbon St. in New Orleans. There was this guy playing the trombone. He looked so cool wearing sunglasses and playing the horn. Ah connection, direction, my head turned towards music and I began playing the trombone in school. My talent showed through and I was named to the Baton Rouge Orchestra Band my senior year in high school.
You’re left, your left, your left… right… left…. That’s right people, I joined the US Army and that time there slogan was Army Strong. The Army took in a young man that weighed in 160 lbs. soaking wet. Now let me tell you how crazy I felt when I arrived in Ft. Knox, Ky. First off, it’s midnight and totally pitch black. The Sargent gets on the bus and immediately begins to holler and yell out instructions. While, he hollered, I ducked behind the seats to avoid the saliva spraying out of his mouth.
At this point, my life was changing by the minute, trying to adjust to the Army structure. Let me tell you, I could barely do 25 push ups, I had never been through any training before. I’d never heard up… down… up… down.. so much, that my ears were about to fall off. Later in my military life, I was deployed to Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Iraq. Serving my country, I received one of the highest Army awards overseas The Meritorious Service Medal.
After all the overseas tours and serving my country it was time to hang up my boots. Transitioning out of military life and looking for work can be hard. Now I was fighting against tough competition trying to get work. I heard so many no’s that I began to think negatively and lost hope. I felt like a ton of rocks hit me and I was just existing day by day with hardly any food or clothes to survive.
You know you’re broke when you look at your roommate and they look like a piece of crispy fried chicken in tennis shoes. You know you’re broke when American Express calls you and says “you better leave home without it”. One day my dad gave me a book about never giving up. Then one of my friends started talking about being positive and had me listen to a Zig Ziglar speech. I immediately went out and bought tapes with Zig’s inspirational speeches. One of his quotes that still sticks with me today is “The healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude”.
I continued to read more and listen to other motivational speakers with lots of confidence like Craig Valentine and Les Brown and kept saying to myself that I can do those same things. Speaking to motivate and coach others on their path.
I joined Toastmasters in 2014 and have delivered speeches, competed in the Area Inspirational Speech Contest where I took 3rd place. I am so thankful for being surrounded by wonderful individuals that are willing to be supportive in my efforts in changing and inspiring others to bring success in their lives. This club is full of great, inspiring professionals from all walks of life that are friendly, helpful and ultra-sound to the core.
To God Be the Glory!!!!
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