"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try"​

When I spend time with young multimedia talents, business executives, sales leaders, or anyone that depends upon public speaking, we will reach a point in our curriculum on connecting with an audience or a client. Every story told creates a movie in the head of our listeners. Our goal as a storyteller is to make sure we are all watching the same movie.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was one of history's greatest orators because not only did he understand the importance of connecting with his audience and create that movie, he knew how to inspire us. He knew that his ability to connect, to weave thoughts into an inspirational story was key to changing destiny. He knew:

Our Thoughts lead to Action, and

Our Actions turn into Habits, and

Our Habits become a Lifestyle, then

Our Lifestyle defines our Destiny.

MLK's ability to construct and deliver a movie that inspired a call to action is how one man left an indelible mark on generations and ultimately the history of this country (and beyond). He understood that by connecting with his audience, inspiring thoughts that drove action and changed habits, a new lifestyle would emerge. This new lifestyle is the key to changing course and ultimately destiny.

Our thoughts are a choice. We have the ability to control our thoughts. We choose positive and we choose negative. We choose action or we choose complacency. We choose love and we choose hate. What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did through his ability to connect with the most diverse of audiences, is to apply a filter to our thoughts. It's this filter that should never be forgotten. Without that filter, there would be no change in action. No new habits, No desire for a new lifestyle. A predetermined destiny.

So many important thoughts on this day but there are two significant pieces that always strike home for me. First, those that will make lasting change will need to be exceptional storytellers. It's this reason why I encourage those I coach to pick up and become a student of "A Call to Conscience, The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."

More importantly today, it can't be lost on us that our thoughts control our actions and we need a filter. We need to continue the journey that MLK was literally marching. Choosing a filter that promotes positive and love over negative and hate is the lifestyle change that, in his own words, "ties us together in a single garment of destiny".

John F. Kennedy was right, one man can make a difference and today is the day we celebrate that.

About Mike McNamara:

Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.

Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services to the underprivileged and underserved. Today as founder and CEO of TalentBlvd, he coaches a number of high profile business and media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.

Mike earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House – St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.

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