Dr. King’s New Dream…as told by me

Hello My Dear Friends,

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I Have a New Dream…

It is a dream still deeply rooted in the American Dream only it deals with the greater purpose and truer meaning of that dream.

In this New Dream there is a God-given place for all of us. In this New Dream our existence as worthwhile human beings is no longer predicated solely on the acquisition of money nor will money alone determine the quality of our lives.

No my friends in this New Dream the quality of our lives will be deeply rooted in the realization that there is a unique purpose set aside for you in this life. It is the realization that your life does matter and your voice is needed to strike a chord that resonates across humanity.

In this New Dream no longer can you sit idly by trying to get by, no my friends God needs you to be you so that all of humanity will benefit.

No longer can we allow others to be stewards of our hopes and dreams or gate-keepers to the American Dream. Only God has that right and last I checked God has not given that away or leased it to any corporation or government agency.

In this New Dream we advance by adding our unique essence to the tapestry of life. We do so by standing on the precipice of something new, the edges of the known staring deep into the face of the unknown-not afraid but embolden by the knowledge that within our spirits are the wings that will carry us to sweet freedom, to a land of purpose and meaning. It is the knowledge that A Promised Land that has been set aside for each one of us.

In this New Dream with this land of Promise, a land where through who we are and what we stand for we are able to live a life of purpose and meaning which allows us to have a richly abundant life, no longer are we trapped in someone else’s dream but free and embolden to live life on our own terms.

Yes I still have a Dream that in this New America the collective brightness of our individual lights casts a glow so bright that it becomes a beacon for the rest of humanity showing us a better way.

I Dream that we let go… standing on the edge of change we choose to take a step in faith even though we cannot see the whole staircase as I once said. Knowing that a way has been made and within us is not only a way but a light which if we allow it will shine bright, illuminating the showing us the way.

I Have a Dream that a life well lived will sprout from a strong foundation of who we are and what we stand for. Purpose and meaning will lead our way and we will stand upon a strong foundation hand in hand, spirit to spirit, purpose to purpose, having elevated the whole of humankind.

And on that day we will truly be not only free but uplifted enough to enjoy the fruits of freedom having lived out God’s Dream for Humanity.

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Please be sure to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts and what you feel Dr. King’s legacy has meant to you.

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A Letter To Michael Sam

“Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off. But if you don’t have one, realize it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.”

– Amelia Earhart

Michael SamDear Michael Sam

I don’t know you personally but I hope this letter reaches you because I believe it’s the message you are meant to hear.

Sometimes in life we fail to see the great opportunities inherent in our struggles. I know football is what you love but have you ever considered that the struggle you face is not about the game of football but an overall greater purpose awaiting you in the game of life.

Michael here are the 5 steps to realizing your purpose and making a true difference.

  1. Turn your anger and frustration into a passion to make a difference

Michael you are a trailblazer and like others before you the path is laden with struggle and unforeseen circumstances outside of your control. How you handle those situations will determine if others choose to follow in your footsteps or stay regulated to the darkness of their fears. I know you are frustrated that your NFL dreams did not come to fruition the way you planned. Turn that emotion into a passion for paving the way for those to come. Jackie Robinson had to make tremendous sacrifices understanding that in his hands laid the fate of all those who would or “would not” come after him.

  1. Apologize for passively outing other pro athletes

I understand you may have felt abandoned by athletes who chose to stay quiet instead of showing outright support. These other athletes placed not only their trust but their livelihood in your hands and as frustrated as it was feeling that they were not there to stand when you needed them to- you as a leader were given the gift of their trust. You needed to appreciate that trust, to be the leader they could depend on and believe in. They needed to know that you truly had their best interest at heart even at a high cost to yourself.

If you had done this they would have given you a respect and trust that money simply cannot buy and in due time you would have been able to bring people together to do things they otherwise would not have. They may not have openly come out but they may have openly expressed support that could change the fate for those to come, and that my friend is a big win. Apologize profusely behind the scenes to them personally and issue a blanket apology publicly. Let everyone know you have seen the wrong of your ways and allowed your frustration to get the best of you. Promise those athletes individually and the young players you impacted that you will do everything your power to be worthy of the trust and respect that was given to you.

  1. Be the leader you needed

Remember a time when as a young man coming to grips with not only being gay but having to confront that reality as an athelete. Think about who you needed and who you became in order to help you through that. Many kids don’t have that person, that leader, that motivation to continue forward in the face of all the struggles they will face. Be the leader they need and you had or wish you had. Michael that person will change the world for the better.

  1. Publicly set the vision for the future

Publicly set the vision for the future as you would like to see it for gay athletes in sports. We all need a vision without it the scriptures say that the people will perish, not only the people but their hopes and dreams as well. Set a vision that will inspire and move others, gay and otherwise. In the end what you’re looking to achieve goes beyond sexual preference and gender, it is about a kid that has a dream and believes they matter and that they can be something in this life…who are we to take that away from them.

  1. Touch the People

Get to where people need you. Be a great voice and testament to the power of standing up for what you believe in. Your life serves a greater purpose Michael than just the game of football. Get out to the schools, the colleges, speak and be a liaison if not in the NFL then in College to help players and students on both sides of the issue. Help those athletes and students across college campuses who are gay and straight in how to deal with whatever issues you had to deal with. Michael what you can bring to the table for countless people is invaluable and you have a visible platform to do it from. You literally have the power to save lives.

Finish what you started, this is the biggest game you will ever play in and the purpose you choose to pursue will determine how you played the game. At the end of the day you can be a Hall of Famer on the greatest playing field ever…life.

 

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The #1 Reason For Failure In Business and Life

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There is a special law that I call the 2 times 3 to 4 or 2x 3/4, it means that something takes twice as long as you believed it would take and is 3 to 4 times harder than you thought it would be.

I have been in sales for many years in many types of industries. Most companies want to grow the business but where they fail is in aligning their expectations with the realities of business and life the 2x 3/4. Let’s face it the truth is that most companies and individuals do not properly plan and allow room for the success that they desire. Most people, companies and organizations will never have the true success they desire because they give up, turn course, fail to adjust and abandon plans before success can be achieved.

I was once on a call with Frank Maguire who was part of the senior leadership of FedEx, KFC, American Airlines and ABC. What fascinated me was his story about his time at FedEx. In the beginning of what is now this multi-billion dollar juggernaut the company was losing a million dollars or more each month. FedEx was in such a financial windfall that the senior management would go to an all-you-can eat restaurant, order one plate and share. FedEx chose to stay the course instead of abandon ship and have their story end before it truly began.

The #1 Reason for Failure in Business and Life is that most of us never account for the fact that the success we desire often will take two times longer than we wanted and be three to four times harder than what we expected or 2x 3/4. The raw truth that we fail to understand is that we are currently not equipped with the skills, knowledge or ability to achieve the great things we desire. Yes we may have the desire but we also must have the will, the raw determination to continue forward until we acquire the things we need that will ultimately lead to our success. Also it takes time before we can reach the critical mass necessary to get us to where we desire to be.

Through the obstacles and setbacks we are forged in the fires of learning and growth so that we are capable of achieving what it is that we desire. Taking into account the 2x 3/4 Law allows for the time necessary to experience, learn, grow and become. If you want to be a business, organization or person that achieves something of great measure it is crucial that you take this law into account otherwise you risk falling short of the success that awaits you.

For a Free Report on The New American Dream and The Amazing Life Awaiting You click here

Dominic Copeland

President and Founder of The Copeland Institute For Excellence

When You Need A Miracle

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Recently I was conversing with God through my prayers and thoughts. I was asking God for a miracle to help me through many of the challenges in my life. I said to God, the only way for me to overcome these many overwhelming obstacles is for a miracle of some sort to happen. Everyday I found myself asking God for a miracle I just did not see any other way through it all. One day I happened to be sitting down by the television while the movie Bruce Almighty was on.

I’m not sure if you are familiar with the movie but in it Jim Carey or Bruce asks Morgan Freeman or God for a miracle. Bruce wants to change his life, he feels like things have not been going his way and for some reason all of the odds are against him. Being a movie of course something miraculous happens in response to Bruce’s prayer. Morgan Freeman as God shows up and grants Bruce the powers of God and he becomes “Bruce Almighty” with the powers to do whatever he wants. Of course Bruce uses this newly gifted power to get the job he wants, to right all the wrongs of his life and to “make all the crooked places straight”.

Eventually though Bruce comes to find that having this power is not so easy. Bruce neglects all of the important things in life including, the people around him, the woman who loves him and he forgets to take the time to care about others. In the end, all the things that Bruce truly cared about, all of the blessings that were right there in front of him were lost.

He meets up with God again and Bruce says, I just wanted a miracle. God says to Bruce, miracles happen every day, when you see a single mother finding a way to get her kids to school and sports on time, that’s a miracle. You don’t need me for a miracle Bruce you are the miracle. You can be the miracle by going out there and using your God-given gifts to touch others and enlighten their lives. He says that it’s not about what you want specifically but about the gifts I have given you and how you can use those to tap into other people to make a difference and change the world.

At that part I kind of laughed and chuckled to myself, looked up to the sky and said okay God I get it, I get what you’re saying to me. You are saying that I’m here asking for a miracle and you have instilled we with all of these great gifts that I can use to make a difference to touch others and show them that they too have the gift of a miracle inside them. Yes maybe things have not gone my way, maybe I have not gotten the things that I want but you are telling me there are even greater things in store for me if I am willing to go this path.

God I believe you are telling me that by tapping into other people and making a difference within them, by caring I can be a hero touching the lives of others. All God was asking from Bruce was for him to simply be himself and that is more than enough. You are saying that if I a willing to realize this truth then all of the things I have been working for are right here within me. So God I guess the challenge is instead of asking for a miracle it’s time for me to go out there and be the miracle.

My Friends just like God Believes in you, I believe in you. I believe in all the great things you can do and be. I believe that together we can make a difference in this world. We can be bright lights and show others the way. I believe that tomorrow can be even better than today. There is a land that has been promised to us and that land is not out there somewhere it is here within us. The miracle you are looking for is already within you. You are the miracle. Just by refusing to quit, refusing to stop, refusing to lose, refusing to give into the circumstances at hand no matter what you have to go through, that is a miracle.

So my friends go be the miracle, be who God made you to be. God needs you to light the way for other people just like God spoke to me through that movie saying Dom you be the miracle, you go out there and make the difference, show them the way. If you want things to change you go change them. If you don’t want to go through this anymore you rise up and you decide not to go through it. Take the path that has been set before you and make a difference. Be someone who will ignite the miracle waiting inside of others-

I challenge you to be the miracle you need.

 
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Motivate Your Day

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To Play or Not to Play: The Great Concussion Debate

The Other Side of the Story

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With the retiring of 24-year-old linebacker Chris Borland from the San Francisco 49ers and a new football season around the corner we find concussions once again in the forefront of national debate. As a Vice President of a Youth Football League and a coach I am once again faced with the questions, worries and fears of parents as they make that crucial decision whether or not to let their kids play. I must admit as a parent with four boys all of which play football, one in high school and three in the youth program, seeing all the news stories, documentaries and information is quite frankly terrifying.

I find that I have to question myself and ask if it makes sense for my kids to continue to play this game. It is a game that my kids love and I enjoy being a part of, even my wife enjoys it, but not at the risk to their lives. The only thing that saves me from not calling it quits and pulling them off the field immediately is…the truth. The truth is none of my kids are in the NFL, a big time college program or high stakes all or nothing high school programs.

The youth game is a completely different entity than the pros. In the youth program if any of our kids were making the maximum pain and violence type hits they do in the pro’s they would immediately be pulled off the field. Brutality is not part of the youth game it is more about sportsmanship, competition and character- no one is getting paid out there. Outside of this I feel there are a couple of points we really need to address, that the national media has not done the best job at, when it comes to concussions.

There are many former professional football players saying they do not want their kids to play, but why has no one asked the questions: why and what does that mean? Sure we can assume that it’s due to risk of concussions but shouldn’t we clarify to make sure. For example when Ray Lewis was asked if he would let his kids play his answer sounded more like it was about bad coaching at the youth level. At the youth level what is the real issue is it concussions, coaching, lack of skill development, size differences? I am not sure because the questions have not been asked. Also a former professional football player can be looking at this quite differently than you or I.

A former pro may be looking not at his kid playing the game but making a career of it. For most of us we are hoping our kids can make a youth team and if they love the game maybe play in high school. In my town in 2012 our high school team the Panthers went undefeated for the season and ended up winning the championship in their division. They happened to win against Doug Flutie’s nephew at quarterback in a game that went to the wire. The core of the team had played together at the youth level and only about 3 or so of them went on to play football in college and I don’t believe any of them are playing at Division I colleges.

For most parents this is the typical experience, play at youth maybe high school and who knows for college. The former professional player may be looking at his kid not only playing at the youth level but a high caliber high school program, a top Division I college and then as a professional. If you look at it this way then yes it may make sense for your son to start playing the game a little later and have less wear and tear. Again the national media has not asked these questions for us to get that understanding but I feel it needs to be part of the conversation. For most of us parents our kids may love the game but never play beyond the youth level. It would be a shame never to allow them that experience.

Another point that has been tugging at my cape deals directly with the words of the now retired San Francisco 49er Chris Borland. Chris said he did the research around the risks to being the linebacker he would like to be to play the way he needs to play. I am not sure about you but I would like to know a little more about what that means. Is it simply the hits, which are more than enough, or also the medicines, pills, enhancers and treatment you may need to keep you in the game. It’s a loaded statement and it could attest to a deeper hidden culture that fuels life as a professional. We also still have yet to identify what if any role performance enhancement drugs have been playing in this concussion debate.

In the end I believe the debate is just beginning. We as a whole, from parents and players to the national media, need to do more to really understand what is being said and what is happening.

Dominic Copeland

The True Verdict: A Word on the Trayvon Martin Decision

What has frustrated so many people about George Zimmerman being found innocent is the true message behind the verdict. If he is innocent then not just Trayvon Martin but an entire race has been found guilty for the crime of being black. The verdict felt like a justification for every time I am in a store with my kids or out with my family and being watched by security as if at any given moment I will be prone to commit some sort of crime. The verdict felt like a justification for not knowing my place and not knowing the neighborhoods that I can and cannot walk through. The perception of what being black symbolizes to society is the only reason why a young boy eating skittles as he walked down the street could be guilty of anything.

I have worked extremely hard in my life to rise above the circumstances I was born into, to climb out of poverty, to overcome homelessness. I have worked my entire life to grow my character so I can achieve what I desire out of my life. I have gotten to a point in life where like millions of African Americans I have to ask when is enough simply enough? When have you finally made it, do I need to play ball or rap to have a chance to earn the opportunities that I am deserving of? At the end of the day I realize that my character cannot combat the color of my skin.

My skin color is what people will always see first and you cannot judge character while walking down the street at night. What is so chilling about the Trayvon Martin case is the question we have to ask, why did George Zimmerman approach him in the first place? Did Trayvon commit some sort of crime, was he in the act of committing a crime or creating some issues that he needed to be approached by a guy on the neighborhood watch carrying a gun. The only answer most of us can come up with is that there was only one crime being committed, Trayvon being black and not knowing his place. The problem is we thought that stop being a crime a long time ago in this country.

I understand that good people die everyday, sometimes it is just the wrong place at the wrong time. But has anyone growing up ever told you to be careful you could die because you are black or that you would face harassment because you are black or that you could be denied opportunities that you have earned and deserve just because you are black. Has anyone ever told you that you would have to prove yourself two to three times more than everyone else because of the color of your skin? Did they also tell you by the way don’t complain about it, don’t mention it because that will just make it worse. Telling the truth will just make it look like you are looking for a handout or some sort of welfare assistance when you are simply looking to have the opportunity to put in the work and earn your way through life.

You are not looking for an unfair advantage but being black should not be a disadvantage, you already in most cases have more than enough you have had to overcome. You cannot hide the color of your skin, you cannot change it but time and time again you are asked to deal with the consequences and just suck it up no matter how unfair or demeaning the cost. At some point again I ask when is enough just enough. There is no way that we can allow this verdict to go by and not change anything.

It is the perception of what it means to be black that must change. Until the perception changes we as a people and as a nation wear this verdict like the mark of a slave. Regardless of the chains we are not free and we as a nation and a people are all guilty, from the media to the culture to the inadequate system of education to the neighborhoods and communities that we come from, all guilty. I feel like Trayvon died for our sins and what we have failed to do in order to rectify them. He was not the first and until we do something about it he will not be the last.

Dominic Copeland