HTT 039 – Ideas Without Action Are Worthless. Engage Now!

HTT 039 – Ideas Without Action Are Worthless. Engage Now!
February 3, 2015 Halftime Talks

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This episode is crafted around how a few choice question assisted in my ability to attack complacency.  Malcolm X once said “Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a dinner.” Buying a pair of Jordans doesn’t make you a baller.

Ideas without action are worthless. To make these ideas happen we must engage now.

It was the spring of 1998. Honestly around this time of year. It was Black History Month and at that time in my life there was a strong desire to have a more understanding of my culture and heritage. It’s one of those things growing up that felt life an emptyness waiting to be quenched. I would compare it to what I’ve heard adoped kids struggle with to know who their parents were. I had that same sense around knowing more about my racial and cultural history.
At that point in my college carear I was felling the effect of stagnation and lack of verticle growth. I was a junion in my second year of being an RA (resident assistant). I went from being a Freshman to looking over Freshman. Being around the same mentality of people stunted my growth and I was ready to grow and continue to explore the possibilities available to me.
One evening I happened to find myself in a friend room engaged in an intense conversation. It began like most conversations do with small trivial happenings of the day. One way or another the conversation shifted into more of a serious nature. It was still lighthearted but it the subject matter became personal.Sitting across from me, my friend asked me a question. “Rahim, did you have a vision for who you wanted to become by the time you finished college.” This question had lit me up. If ever there was a question that could be answered with conviction I knew this was it. I approach answering it with a confidence and gravitas of Michael Jordan with the ball in his hands down one at the end of the game. This was easy because I had given it a significant amount of thought.With my chin up, chest out, eyes lock on his I stated, “Yes. Over the years, I’ve constructed this vision for who I wanted to be by the time I finished up here. I want to be a hybrid between two movie characters. The first one is Marcus Gram, Eddie Murphy’s character from Boomerrang.” A few years before college, this movie had given me the visual blueprint for what African Americans like myself could be in business. I said, “Eddies character was sharp. He knew business and carried himself like a boss.” Instantly, my answer resonated with my friend. That look of agreement passed between our faces. Little did I know that this movie had inspired him as well to choose marketing as a major.
“The second person I want to be like before I graduate would be Fudge, Ice Cubes character in higher learning. Dude was about his black history.”
I could tell that my answers struck a cord. In my mind, I knew that a hybrid between those two were a winning combination.
My friend nodded his head as if to say okay, then proceed to continue his line of questions.
“How much time do you have left?”
“A year and a half”
I could have realized that he had been setting me up the whole time. Pragmatically answering the question didnt give me the opportunity to really digest the implication of that question. But before my mind could grasp the enorminity of the question he let go of the one question that would literally shift the direction of my life.
“How close are you to achieving it?”
This question was like a figurative ice bath in how it shocked me into alertness.
“I am nowhere near making this vision for myself a reality.”
He didn’t even have to follow the question up with anything. I could feel the expanse between where I was and where I wanted to be. The canyon of sorts lay there before my feet and my commitment to becoming that vision burned brighter than ever before.
I had no idea that this innocuous meeting between us would have the profound impact on my life. The lack of achievement at that point in my life could be directly attribute to the ignorance from not understanding the paths to achievement. I called myself on the path to achieving these goals just by virtue of being on a university campus on course for a degree.

By virtue of being here surround by others with similar ambitions, academic minds and boundless resources were not enough to realize these deeply personal aspirations.

Fast-forward six months. I was not that same person who idly waited for the world to beat a path to my door. I engaged the world. I engaged my curiosity. I had myself into the current of life itself and consumed books and information around everything black history. Saying I read 50 books would have be a gross understatement.

I would stand at the ground floor of the library challenging myself to imagine what the world would be like if I knew only 1% of the information contained in the library. But the beginning of the next academic year I was part of a team of three who constructed an exhaustive exhibit chronicling the rich history of blacks in America for our University, I was lecturing on the topic, and traveling sharing my new found insights and love for the subject. In 6 months, I became an authority on the subject of black history.

Those simple questions along with the exhibit that was produced transformed my life radically. It activated me. Activated to me mean that inner torch was lit. The most powerful feeling a person can experience is invincibility. Knowing there is nothing you can’t do, be or have changes you.

Looking back on thos question, I can see their power in a different light. Malcolm X once said, “Just because you’re sitting at the table, that doesn’t make you a dinner. Eating makes you a diner.” There has to be a point that you engage. For you own growth and personal development, you have to take your life by the reigns and begin directing. You are the director.

Ideas Without Action Are Worthless. Engage Now!

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