The great leader known as Martin Luther King Jr. is alive.
Through his words, vision, and the many lives he has touched through his legacy – Martin Luther King Jr. lives on.
You most likely have the day off in remembrance of his great legacy.
But please don’t take it and the sacrifices he’s made towards freedom and equality for granted.
Since his death, it’s gotten so easy to forget how far we have come as a society in the last 50 plus years. But his lifes work, mission, and words are just as relevant today as when he first echoed them.
As someone who does have the day off, I took some time to reflect on the mindset of Martin Luther King Jr., his life and legacy. And how privileged and blessed I am to be living that oh so wonderful dream he spoke of.
A man who spoke and lived his passion. He possessed a mindset so powerful, its transcended generations. And Dr. King touched millions of lives across the world in the process.
Reading his speeches are one thing. But listening to his voice and the way he delivered those words is awe-inspiring.
So… if you haven’t listened to them yourself, take some time to do so.
After doing so myself, I decided to write about his life, mindset and some of the timeless quotes he left behind.
I wrote this after listening to some of his most notable speeches. And I know we can all learn something new reading, listening, and studying Dr. King’s mindset.
Throughout the post, I have combined some of his great words with a few of my own. Learning from others is something I enjoy. And I hope you learn something too from Dr. Kings irreplaceable mindset.
Especially when it comes to:
- How you think
- What you feel
- What you’re capable of doing
- How you view the world, yourself and who are you’re becoming
So with that…
A Kings Mindset
What is your purpose in life? What is your mindset?
And once identified, how are you going to achieve your life’s purpose?
Answering those questions for Martin Luther King Jr. were very important. In one of his speeches, Dr. King asked: “what is in your life’s blueprint?”
He states you must know your why and your purpose. Your blueprint. That way you know where you are going in life.
Because without the right blueprint, pattern, guide, or model, the building you construct will fall apart.
Which is why you need a solid blueprint. And for me, Dr. King’s blueprint is a mindset. The mindset one must nurture and cultivate to achieve their life’s purpose.
While explaining this, Dr. King states you should have three things in your life’s blueprint.
1) A deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth and your own somebodiness.
He says “don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are a nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth. And always feel that your life has ultimate significance.”
For no matter how much rejection, failure, or loneliness you may experience in life, you must believe in yourself.
You must have the courage to face and conquer your fears. You have greatness within you. And nothing good or productive will come from putting yourself down.
So stand strong.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your vision. Believe in your ability. And believe in your dream like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
And when you do, you must have as a basic principle…
2) The determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor.
You must know what you will do in life.
What your life’s work be. And once you discover what it will be set out to do it. And to do it well. You must be the best you can be at what you are doing.
For doors have been opened to you.
Doors of opportunity that were not open to your mothers and fathers. For you have more control over your life today than ever before.
Dr. King and many other great leaders have sacrificed their lives for you to have these doors and opportunities open up.
Which is why he urges you to study hard, hustle, figure it out, and press forward.
He preaches you should be ready when these doors and opportunities become open. That in spite of your economic situation, the vast amount of education, technology, and information available to you can set you free.
You must set out to do such a good job, and do it so well that no one else before or after could’ve done it any better. You must be the best you.
Because it doesn’t matter if others think you are successful or a failure at what you set out to do. As long as you give your best at what you do.
“If you can’t be a sun. Be a Star. For it isn’t by size that you win or you fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”
And finally in your life’s blueprint there must be…
3) A commitment to the eternal principles of beauty, love, and justice.
“Don’t allow anybody to pull you so low as to make you hate them. Don’t allow anybody to cause you to lose your self-respect to the point that you do not struggle for justice.
However young you are, you have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live.
You have a responsibility to seek to make life better for everybody. And so you must be involved in the struggle for freedom and justice.”
You have it within you to contribute to a cause greater than yourself.
“Ultimately, you must do right because it is right to do right. You must love ultimately because it is lovely to love. You must be just because it’s right to be just. You must be honest because it’s right to be honest.
And finally, you must do it and it has to grip you so much that you are willing to die for it if necessary. And I say to you this morning, if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you are not fit to live.”
Because There Is Purpose In Your Life
But you must find, develop, and share it. And once done, the world will be a better place because of it.
Your mindset must be – don’t stop!
Even when things get hard, and they will. Keep going. Keep moving. For you can never be defeated if you keep marching forward.
So… regardless of where you are right now, just keep moving.
“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving.”
Because life’s too short not to live up to your fullest potential. And that is why you have it within you and must become your best self.
Dr. King states our slogan must not be:
“Burn baby burn. It must be build baby build. Organize baby organize. Yes, our slogan must be learn baby learn. So that we can earn baby earn.”
So act now. Do not slow up, be nice and patient and wait for things to work out.
“Time is neutral.”
Progress will only come if you put in the time and are a dedicated individual. Do not wait on time. For you cannot wait forever.
You must take action if you want to change anything in life. “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Which is why you must have faith. Because everything you need is within you.
None of us have the power to control the future. All we have is this moment.
So you just have to have faith and keep taking one step at a time.
Master Your Mindset – Let Your Life Tell Your Story
“The quality, not longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”
So there it is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s blueprint. Here are some little know facts on Dr. King:
He was born January 15, 1929.
- His birth name was not Martin, it was Michael. It became Martin after his father traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. He then changed his own name as well as the name of his five year old son to Martin.
- Dr. King attempted to commit suicide at a young age by jumping out of a second story window at the age of twelve because he was distraught over his grandmother’s death.
- He skipped grades nine and twelve before enrolling in Morehouse College in 1944 at age fifteen.
- Wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer because he was interested in medicine and law before joining the Baptist church.
- Dr. King went to jail 29 times and was arrested mostly for acts of civil disobedience. He was even jailed once for driving just 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.
- He narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death on September 20, 1958. While in Harlem signing copies of his book, Izola Ware Curry, plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. It narrowly missed his aorta, and Dr. King underwent hours of emergency surgery.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is the youngest male to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He won it in 1964, at the age of 35.
- Dr. King’s mother, Alberta Williams King, was also shot to death on June 30, 1974 by Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. as she played the organ for Sunday service at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
- The U.S. didn’t fully honor King until 2000. Even though the federal holiday was enacted in 1983, all 50 states did not officially observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. South Carolina was the final state to recognize his federal holiday.
- Dr. King experienced depression for a large period of his life. But that never stopped him from developing his one of a kind mindset and becoming the great leader we know.
He was the most visible spokesperson of the civil rights movement. And skilled in his use of non-violent tactics.
He preached you must be fearless regardless of your circumstances. That no matter what you’re up against, fear should have no place in your mind.
And Dr. King lived his life this way.
After declaring this in his final speech, his life was cut short the following day.
He was assassinated April 4, 1968 while standing on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King was only 39.
So what is your mindset?
And does it include the blueprint Dr. King spoke of and left us?
Mines does, and I hope yours does too.
You must find something you’re willing to stand for. And whatever it is, take pride in it. Make the world a better place because you lived and accomplished it. But stand for something.
Question your mindset. Have a blueprint. And have a dream!
Be willing to fail over and over again until you learn how to succeed.
And successful Dr. King was.
He made the ultimate sacrifice and was willing to pay with his life for the righteous cause he loved. He was a great leader. And he had flaws like any other human, but he was a great man indeed.
The Peaceful Warrior
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Martin Luther King Jr’s lessons are deep and still valid today as they were years ago.
Because regardless of our religion, skin color, or nationality – we as a society still have a long way to go.
Especially when it comes to understanding, accepting, and loving each other for who we are.
He worked tirelessly for the good of the oppressed, deprived, and weak. And he made the world a better place because of his efforts.
Now it’s our turn to make Dr. King proud. Show him that his sweat, tears, and sacrifice were not in vain.
And it’s why on Martin Luther King Jr. Day we should not turn a blind eye towards racism, inequality, and injustice. Because…
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
And the battle rages on.
Although we have come a long way. Here in America and across the world, the fight for justice and equality is not over.
For “no nation can rise to its full moral maturity so long as it subjects a segment of its citizen on the basis of race or color. Somehow we must come to see more than ever before, racial injustice is a cancer in the body politic. Which must be removed before our moral health can be realized.”
We have not completed this journey.
And until we stop evaluating each other based on our color, culture, or nationality. The journey for equality, justice, and togetherness for all shall march on.
And if you think this has nothing to do with you, or this isn’t your fight then you’re wrong.
As Dr. King stated:
“Nobody can be totally rich. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Tied in a single garment of destiny. What affects one directly affects all indirectly.
Because for some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.
And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent. A part of the main. Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. When we see this, we will move out of the mounting of indifference concerning poverty.”
And with that…
A Final Note
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
The impact, positivity, and light Dr. King shone and left us is amazing.
Especially his blueprint and mindset.
Dr. King knew the importance of having a positive mindset. And he knew success demanded it. His words, beliefs and the way he lived his life have inspired many across the globe. Including me.
Because of Dr. King, the civil rights movement, and those before, as a minority in America, I have opportunities that would not exist today if not for their sacrifices.
And so do you, minority or not.
And there would be no MentalVibe without their sacrifices. Which is why I took some time to reflect on the legacy and mindset of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
But how are you going to honor Dr. King’s sacrifices? And how are you going to live? Because…
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is… What are you doing for others?” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.