Sample text for Ebony power thoughts : inspirational thoughts from outstanding African-Americans / Anthony Robbins & Joseph McClendon III.


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Chapter 1

HOW TO USE EBONY POWER THOUGHTS

Getting the Best out of the Process

"Sometimes a winner is a dreamer who just won't quit!"
Mrs. Every Jo McClendon

Much like a stone cast into a placid pond, so is the first thought that we think in the morning. The stone creates ripples that affect everything in and around the pond. Since thinking is the process of asking and answering questions, the first question that we ask ourselves in the morning has a direct effect on the rest of our day and for that matter the rest of our lives. Thinking is the process. By asking some very specific questions first thing in the morning and before we retire at night we will be programming our nervous systems to look for what is good and best for our success, happiness, and fulfillment. By deciding in advance on the best thing to ask yourself in the morning and doing it in a very specific way, you will be causing a processional effect to take place in your own mind and subsequently your life. You will be planting the seeds that will produce the results that you desire.

We are excited for you to do this. If we may, let us share with you some tips on how to get the best results. You can use Power Thoughts any way you wish. You can thumb through it and use it as a quote book for inspiration, or, if you are willing to use it as a system, we think that you will find it extremely effective. It will take a mere seven to ten minutes a day.

FOUR SIMPLE STEPS

STEP ONE: MORNING QUESTIONS

These are a set of questions that you will want to ask yourself in the morning. They are designed with the understanding that what we focus on in life, we tend to feel and experience. If we focus on what is wrong, then we will experience more of it. Just as focusing on what we fear makes us more fearful, focusing on what is good and possible makes us feel more centered and confident.

Undoubtedly, what controls what we focus on are the questions that we ask. That's why we will ask questions that help elicit what's great in our lives, what's exciting, what we are excited by, etc. There won't be a set of affirmations. We can say life is great all day long and our brains will still say "bull." A question makes you search for and find out what specifically is great if you want it to be great. This is really important.

Morning Questions!

* What am I most happy about in my life now? Why does that make me happy? How does that make me feel?
* What am I most excited about in my life now? Why does that make me excited? How does that make me feel?
* What am I most proud about in my life now? Why does that make me proud? How does that make me feel?
* What am I most grateful for in my life now? Why does that make me grateful? How does that make me feel?
* What am I most committed to in my life now? How does that make me feel?
* Who do I love? Who loves me?
* How will I create even more love in my life and the lives of others?

STEP TWO: READ THE DALLY QUOTE ALOUD

Read the quote aloud, and hear the person's voice as you do. Breathe in, and think about what the author really meant and what it means to you and your life. Feel their soul in yours and sense what they must have felt to say these magical words. See and hear the author speaking to you or a group of your friends and peers. Fully associate to the moment as though you are there now.

STEP THREE: ANSWER THE QUESTIONS

Ask yourself what the quote means to you and how you can apply it to your life to create positive change.

Take a moment to answer the other questions given, so you can take the answer into your own life and make things happen. Searching for the answers is the growing and conditioning process that you will prosper from. Remember, just answer the questions and move on. You do not have to ask why or justify them. As soon as you get an idea that is positive, USE IT! It is very important to let your imagination fly. Dream and experience it as though you are in it right now. Your mind can't tell the difference between what's real and what is not when it is vividly imagined. Doing this will set your system up to expect the best and leave the rest.

STEP FOUR: SHARE WITH SOMEONE ELSE

The greatest way to learn something is to learn it as though you are going to teach it to someone else. Share with someone the quote share with someone your thoughts for the day. Sharing with another human being gives you the chance to touch someone else in a positive way and feel great in the process.

There is magic in the process. By doing it, we feel that you will discover why Power Thoughts is more than just a quote book, why it is a tool to help you produce actions and final rewards for your precious life.

If you've done your best, then you will have had some accomplishments along the way. Not everyone is going to get the entire picture. Not everyone is going to be the greatest salesman or the greatest basketball player. But you can still be considered one of the best, you can still be considered a success.
Michael Jordan, I Can't Accept Not Trying

Q: In what ways Can I share my successes and good fortune with someone else?

When we finally get it that we all control our own destinies and we take responsibility for our lives, that's when we ignite our own divine drive to take action. That's when our lives change and that's when we start getting the things and situations that we desire most.
Joseph McClendon III, Make Your Fate

Q: What do I desire most in my life now that I don't already possess or experience, and how excited can I get about doing what it takes to get it?

My mother never gave up on me. I messed up in school so much they were sending me home, but my mother sent me right back.
Denzel Washington, Essence magazine

Q: Who are the positive role models in my life and how grateful am I for their influence?

Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies And be it gash or gold it will not come Again in this identical disguise.
Gwendolyn Brooks, "Exhaust the Little Moment"

Q: What am I most excited about now?

It's not our responsibility to prove to people who we are. Our job and responsibility is to "be." What you do is proof of who you are manifestation is realization. People have a right to think whatever they choose to think. Just because they think it does not make it right.
Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith

Q: What can I choose to think about myself that will empower me?

We have learned that our blemishes speak of what all humanity should not do. We understand fully that our glories point to the heights of what human genius can achieve.
Nelson Mandela, Opening of Parliament Speech (South Africa), May 24, 1994

Q: What am I most proud of in my life?

When you're Black in White America, it's easy to stand out. To me, that's an incredible advantage -- use it!
Errol Smith, Thirty-seven Things Every Black Man Needs to Know

Q: What are some of my greatest advantages in this life?

It's OK to take care of ourselves. It's OK to be good to ourselves. When we treat ourselves well, we don't expect others to take care of us. When we treat ourselves well, we are more confident, positive, and self-assured.
Carleen Brice, Walk Tall: Affirmations for People of Color

Q: In what ways can I be even more grateful for the gifts that I see in myself?

Adversity is a profound teacher. We should rejoice and give thanks when difficulties occur, not because of the suffering itself, but because of what will come of it.
Joan W. Anderson, Where Miracles Happen

Q: What are some of the things that I am proud of overcoming in my life?

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Nelson Mandela, inaugural speech, 1994

Q: In what ways am I a good example of what is possible for others?

Having a healthy sense of self-esteem means reexamining our current personal belief system and tossing out those beliefs and messages that produce thoughts of self-doubt.
Julia A. Boyd, In the Company of My Sisters: Black Women and Self-Esteem

Q: What are some of the things that I appreciate about myself that make me self-confident?

A man must be at home somewhere before he can feel at home anywhere.
Howard Thurman, Famous Black Quotations

Q: Where am I most comfortable and how can I have even more of that feeling in my life? How can I help others feel even more comfortable in their environments?

I guess I approached it with the end in mind. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there. As I reached those goals, they built on one another. I gained a little confidence each time I came through.
Michel Jordan, I Can't Accept Not Trying

Q: Where do I really want to go?

For the most part, we are good, decent, responsible people. But we're never perfect. We will always make mistakes. There is no shame in being flawed.
Carleen Brice, Walk Tall: Affirmations for People of Color

Q: How can I be more forgiving of myself?

Love is the most durable power in the world...Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream

Q: Whom have I not loved yet?

Yeah, life hurts like hell, but this is how I keep going. I have a sense of humor, I've got my brothers and sisters. I've got the ability to make something out of nothing. I can clap my hands and make magic.
Bill T. Jones, Black Pearls

Q: What will I create good for myself, my family, and friends in the future?

There are many of us brimming with hope and anticipation for the future. Yet there are too many more who have given up.

It may take daily positive thinking to convince ourselves that we, individually, are special, gifted deserving people. We can personally inspire others by exorcising our demons -- our cynicism, our destructive habits -- and by acknowledging the value inside our hearts and heads, and putting it to use.
Eric V. Copage, Kwanzaa

Q: In what new ways can I best use the gifts that have been given me?

I insisted, we must try and we must succeed or our children and grandchildren will one day rightfully ask why in the face of such calamity we did not give our best efforts. What shall we tell them -- and their mothers in particular if -- we don't measure up?
Arthur Ashe, Days of Grace

Q: In what ways did I give my best?

Any negro, if we're honest, would have to say that in our democracy at present, that he is never, for any one second, unconscious of the fact that he is a black American. He can never be unconscious of it in any part of the United States.
Paul Robeson, interview on Pacific Radio, San Francisco (March 15, 1958)

Q: What powerful identity can I hold for myself now that will excite me to be, do, and have more in my life?

How you perceive experience and how you handle it determine how your life will turn out in the long run.
Bill Cosby, Lear's magazine

Q: How can I see things the way they really are and what am I willing to do to then make them the way that I want them to be?

Step by step. I can't see any other way of accomplishing anything. I always had the ultimate goal of being the best, but I approached everything step by step. Confront fear and self-doubt. Fear is an illusion.
Michael Jordan, I Can't Accept Not Trying

Q: What fears have I already conquered in my life?

Being a role model is not based on making people change their behavior The honest truth is that no one changes unless she wants to.
Julia A. Boyd, In the Company of My Sisters: Black Women and Self-Esteem

Q: What are some of the positive changes that I look forward to making in my life?

A nation cannot teach its youths to think in terms of distraction or oppression without brutalizing and blunting the tender conscience and sense of justice of the youths of that country. More and more we must learn to think not in terms of race or color or language or religion or of political boundaries, but in terms of humanity. That should be considered first and in proportion as we teach our youths of this country to love all races and nations, we are rendering the highest service which education can render.
Booker T. Washington, Black Pearls

But the real power behind whatever success I have now is something I found within -- myself something that's in all of us, I think, a little piece of God just waiting to be discovered.

Sometimes you've got to let everything go -- purge yourself. I did that. I had nothing but I had my freedom. My message here, and I do hope that in this book there is a message for people, is: if you are unhappy with anything -- your mother, your father, your husband, your wife, your job, your boss, your car -- whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you are free your true creativity, your true self comes out.
Tina Turner, I, Tina

Q: How can I be even more creative and enjoy the process?

I am still learning -- how to take joy in all the people I am, how to use all my selves in the service of what I believe, how to accept when I fail and rejoice when I succeed.
Audre Loroe, Black Pearls

Q: What is one great thing that I learned yesterday?

You have to know you can win. You have to think you can win. You have to feel you can win.
Sugar Ray Leonard, Black Pearls for Parents

Q: In what ways am I certain of winning in my life right now?

I was exploring my soul, for the first time. I have always held on to the Bible, and the things that I had learned as a little girl -- The Lord's Prayer, The Ten Commandments. And I prayed every night, you could believe that. But now I was really seeking a change, and I knew that it had to come from the inside out -- that I had to understand myself, and accept myself, before anything else could be accomplished.
Tina Turner, I, Tina

Q: What change am I seeking?

On this day I pledge neither to shy away from growth in myself, nor to require perfection in order to like myself. I will recognize through self-love that I am in a continual state of renewal and evolution.
Eric V. Copage, Black Pearls

Q: In what ways have I loved myself lately?

I have the original vision, and I see the film in its finished form before one frame is shot. When you get people dickering with your stuff, it distorts the vision.
Spike Lee, Ebony magazine

Q: What is my vision, my passion?

A positive attitude and behavior is the passage to a meaningful relationship with others.
Barbara King, Transform Your Life

Q: How can I love and respect others even more right now?

If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence you have won even before you have started.
Marcus Garvey, Acts of Faith

Q: What am I most confident about? In what ways do I exhibit confidence?

Take responsibility, not pills, for what ails you. Find out what you are doing that is not good for you and stop....

Figure out what you like to do, want to do and what you are good at and do it. Struggle -- I'm outta here. Do not beat up on yourself. Do not criticize yourself. Above all, do not limit yourself Pick yourself up. Put yourself on the path and let yourself know -- I'm outta here!
Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith

Q: How can I praise myself even more for the things that I do well, even the small things?

No one can dub you with dignity. That's yours to claim.
Odetta, Voices of Struggle, Voices of Pride

Q: In what ways do I claim my own dignity? How can I empower others to do and have the same for themselves?

Love being a woman. I love every oil, every cream, or every bottle of perfume, anything made for a woman. And we need that stuff. It really says something about us, and I think it's fantastic.

Although I had a bad relationship, it didn't change my feelings about men. I love men.
Tina Turner, I, Tina

Q: What do I love most about who I am?

Whether positive or negative, there's always a payoff in everything we do.
Carleen Brice, Walk Tall: Affirmations for People of Color

Q: What have I done lately that demonstrates my hunger to grow, learn, and have an even better quality of life?

What each of us must come to realize is that our intent always comes through. We cannot sugarcoat the feelings in our heart of hearts. The emotion is the energy that motivates.
Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith

Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear, only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life love releases it. Hatred confuses life love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life love illuminates it.
Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream

Q: Who do I love, and who loves me?

I'm not afraid to ask anybody anything if I don't know. Why should I be afraid? I'm trying to get somewhere. Help me, give me direction. Nothing wrong with that.
Michael Jordan, I Can't Accept Not Trying

Q: Who can I share my unanswered questions with?

To give names "black" and "white" to races might seem on its face, quite ludicrous. Clearly, no human beings have skin of either color. Indeed, very few come even close to those colors.
Andrew Hacker, Two Nations

Q: What could be a fun and exciting way to break the mold and create more positive choices in my life and the lives of those that I love?

The amount of people that fail is directly proportionate to the amount of people that give up.
Joseph Mcclendon III, Make Your Fate

Q: What have I persevered at in the past and emerged the victor for my efforts?

You Got to be Houngry.
Les Brown, Live Your Dreams

Q: What drives me, where does my real passion lie?

People who let events and circumstances dictate their lives are living reactively. That means that they don't act on life, they only react to it.
Stedman Graham, You Can Make It Happen

Q: In what ways do I call the shots in my own life? What does success mean to me?

When a man angers you, he conquers you.
Toni Morrison, Quotations from African Americans

Q: What is the best way for me to remain calm and centered under pressure?

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
Muhammad Ali, Black Pearls

Q: In what ways am I too a champion?

I'm Black, I don't feel burdened by it and I don't think it's a huge responsibility. It's part of who I am. It does not define me.
Oprah Winfrey, Oprah! Up Close and Down Home

Q: What am I most proud of?

It's amazing what we can accomplish once we lose the slave mentality.
Oprah Winfrey, Oprah! Up Close and Down Home

When you are young, the silliest notions seem the greatest achievements.
Pearl Bailey, "The Raw Pearl" in Talking Drums: An African-American Quote Collection

Q: In what fun ways can I be more childlike today?

You are the product of the love and affection of your parents, and throughout your life you have drawn strength and hope from that love and security.
Nelson Mandela, Ebony magazine

Q: When last did I show my gratefulness to those who care for me?

Instead of always looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.
Diana Ross, Essence magazine

Q: What great things do I want to create for my future?

Sometimes we get caught up in what is bad or wrong in our lives. We forget what is "good"
Carleen Brice, Walk Tall: Affirmations for People of Color

Q: What is the greatest gift in my life right now?

Give your brain as much attention as you give your hair and you'll be a thousand times better.
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), The Autobiography of Malcolm X

There is absolute magic in this being called Black -- splendor and purpose in every single cell For within us are the genetics of the warrior, who steps boldly into the future, and the connection of family that binds us together with love. There is unlimited power and innate intelligence in the very soul that drives us.
Joseph McClendon III, Unlimited Power: A Black Choice

Q: In what ways do I create magic in this life? In what ways have I created magic in the past?

"Don't Worry, Be Happy."
Bobby McFerrin, song title

Q: What am I most happy about in my life now?

Why should white guys have all the fun?
Reginald Lewis, from the book of the same name

You have to realize that there is something special within you, a basic goodness that you must choose to manifest in every way you can--towards your family, your profession and your planet. Each of us has something good to offer.
Les Brown, Live Your Dreams

Q: What great things do I have to offer?

Ignorance is no longer an adequate excuse for failure. Why? Because virtually all limitation is self-imposed. You will soon realize that you, the individual, are a minute expression of the creator of all things and as such, you have no limitations except those accepted in your own mind.
Dennis Kimbro, Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice

As more of us learn to express the ways in which we exclude members of our community and as we learn to candidly express our own bias, we can learn to live with both feet firmly planted in a world that is whole.
Lawrence Otis Graham, Member of the Club

Q: How can I include others more on my team?

If anybody else can do it, I can do it better. I can do whatever I make up my mind to do.
Ben Carson, Think Big

I knew I could have been lynched, manhandled, or beaten when the police came. I chose not to move. When I made that decision, I knew that I had the strength of my ancestors with me.
Rosa Parks, My Story

Q: What do I stand for? In what ways do I exhibit courage under pressure?

The Power structure is not going to save us--never has and never will We have to take things into our own hands and save ourselves.
Camille Cosby, Wisdom of the Elders

Q: How can I take charge of my life even more now?

Whatever I do, I like to do with dignity and grace.
Joe Williams, Ebony magazine

Q: What is it I do best? How can I help others to get the best out of themselves?

If I miss something, it's because I was handling business for our future, so we can live better.
Prodegy, The Source magazine

Q: What are the important things that I am doing now that will make the future brighter for myself and the ones I love?

My whole being is devoted to making my small area of existence a work of art. I am building a world.
Jean Toomer, Wisdom of the Elders

Tell them that the sacrifice was not in vain. Tell them that by habits of thrift and economy, by the way of the industrial school and college, we are coming. We are crawling up, working up, bursting up: coming through oppression, unjust discrimination and prejudice. But throughout them all, we are coming up, and with proper habits, intelligence and property, there is no power on earth that can permanently stay our progress.
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery

I could make millions ill led my people the wrong way, to something I know is wrong. So now I have to make a decision. To step into a billion dollars and denounce my people or step into poverty and teach them the truth.
Muhammad Ali, Black Pearls

Q: What's one of the most important decisions that I have made in my life?

When you decide to pursue greatness, you are taking responsibility for your life. This means that you are choosing to accept the consequences of your actions and become an agent of your mental, spiritual, physical and material success.
Les Brown, Live Your Dreams

Q: In what ways am I pursuing greatness?

The black community would be better served if we applied the emotion of black pride and tempered it with intellectual honesty, recognizing that while no leader is flawless, we should not tolerate messages of hate or acts of corruption or malfeasance from any leader or spokesman.
Lawrence Otis Graham, Member of the Club

Do you have the audacity to step out from the crowd and capture what life really holds for you? If so, then there is little that you cannot accomplish if you unleash your faith.
Dennis Kimbro, Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice

I remain an optimist because I love life and most of what it has to offer.
Haki R. Madhubuti, Claiming Earth

Q: What greatness do I have to offer others?

I wasn't as smart then as I am now. But who ever is?
Tina Turner, I, Tina

Q: What is one of the most important lessons that I have learned in my life?

And I prayed every night, you can believe that. But now I was really seeking a change, and I knew that it had to come from the inside out -- that I had to understand myself before anything else could be accomplished.
Tina Turner, I, Tina

If you don't have the best of everything, make the best of everything that you have.
Overheard in a San Diego church

I've always been my own man, my own person. I haven't too much of anything that did not fit me. I've always tried to tailor situations to fit me.
Dexter King, Ebony magazine

Q: In what ways can I show life what it is that I really want?

At last at last the past is past.
I've broken free and won,
And now it's time to love myself
and really have some fun.

Joseph McClendon III, Make Your Fate

Q: How can I be grateful for the times that we live in now and enjoy what I have now?

Let's get busy!
Arsenio Hall, opening line of his former television show "The Arsenio Hall Show"

Q: What am I most excited about now?

Money is the root of every mess you can think of. There are some folks who would kill you for a nickel. Those are the sorriest folks of all.
Bessie Delany, The Delany Sisters' Book of Everyday Wisdom

Q: What is the most precious thing in my life now? What is the most precious feeling in my life now?

When you stop a man from dreaming, he becomes a slave.
The artist formerly known as Prince, Ebony magazine

Q: How can I best foster even more desire, creativity, and imagination in myself now?

Check your ego at the door.
Quincy Jones, sign that he put up at the entrance to the "We Are the World" recording studio

Q: In what ways do I demonstrate humility in my daily life?

We must pay for our dreams or live with our nightmares.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson, Ebony magazine

If you have the opportunity to go out there and grab for that pot of gold, why not go for it? But you have to have your own objectives.
Michael Jordan, I Can't Accept Not Trying

It's important for all of us to keep in mind that before the sixties, our families were intact. They were stable units that supported one another. We must have been doing something right back then, and we can do it again.
Dr. Gwendolyn Grant, The Best Kind of Loving

Q: In what ways can I honor my family and the ones whom I love even more than I do now?

No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.
Alice Walker, Voices of Struggle, Voices of Pride

Q: Who am I most proud of and most thankful for having in my life right now?

The door cracked for, like, 16 seconds, and I streaked through. By the time they realized I was in there, they couldn't move me. The door was already closed.
Whoopi Goldberg, Ebony magazine

Q: How can I best prepare myself to take full advantage of the very next opportunity that comes along ready to be jumped on?

No one has appointed you the chief of the black police. You have no right to judge who is black enough and who isn't.
Denise L. Stinson, The Black Folks Little Instruction Book

Q: How can I look for the good in others even more in my life?

Only those who permit themselves to be are despised.
Alex Haley, Roots

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Success Psychological aspects Quotations, maxims, etc, Afro-Americans Psychology