Motivate Your Day

Fotosearch_k9152381Hello my name is Dominic Copeland the CEO and founder of the Copeland Institute For Excellence. I am excited to bring to you a top notch motivational program like non other. Motivate Your Day is full of quick and easy to use motivation to help you power through those challenging moments of your day.

Even if you just want to get more out of your day this program can help. With over 20 easy to use “motivational moments” to give you the insight and necessary spark to seize the day.

Just think of having the motivation necessary for all aspects of your day. Each day being able to start your day off strong, continue the same and finish it on a high note. We all need external motivation that extra bit of encouragement that guiding hand to help pull us along when needed. Imagine the great things you can accomplish each and every day with your own personal daily motivation guide.

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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

How to be the Next Oprah and Unlock Your Dreams in 7 Simple Steps

Everyone wants to be like Oprah, rich, important and living their dreams but not everyone knows how to achieve it. Well it is not rocket science and below I show you the 7 simple steps you can use to be the Next Oprah, the person of importance that makes their dreams come true. At one point in her life Oprah was just like you, someone with the potential to make a difference and live the life of their dreams. You can do the same and here is how.

1.    Be Genuine 

This goes without saying or does it. At some point in time even Oprah like the rest of us hid behind a make believe veil of perfection. Oprah repeatedly talks about how she tried to be like Barbara Walters but that did not work for her. Instead she had to discover how to be Oprah Winfrey and trust that would be good enough and boy has it been. Be genuine in everything you do.

2.    Be Unique

You are already unique. Yes you. God has given us all a promise; which is the unique gifts and talents we are born with. Oprah used her ability to speak and connect as the platform from which she realized her dreams and you can do the same. What gifts and talents do you have to offer?

3.    Practice Connection over Controversy

Before Oprah most talk show hosts used controversial topics to captivate and hook the audience. Even Oprah admitted using controversy at first as she competed against the long time favorite Phil Donahue. Oprah realized connecting with the audience was more powerful and rewarding than using controversial topics. In a way Oprah being herself and sharing her own life experiences and pitfalls to connect with the audience was controversial. For instance Remember the weight loss chronicles and Oprah towing the huge bag of fat. As crazy as it seemed we all could connect with her weight loss odyssey. She experienced and expressed how many of us felt while giving us the right to feel okay about not being perfect.

4.    Be Honest and Open

Oprah has shared many parts of her life with us, from her weight odyssey to her court battles, love life and accomplishments. She has shed tears with us and let us in on how it feels to be a person dealing with the challenges of everyday life. I think as people we are always interested in what other people in our situation might think or feel. Oprah let us in on the secret that is her life and we thanked her for it.

5.   Relate to People

Seek to understand where people are coming from, what they go through, how they think and feel. It gives you greater insight into the human emotion allowing you to form a bond that can last a lifetime.

6.     Start Believing

Belief is an active practice it means taking action with the knowing that somehow things will work in your favor. Oprah started her OWN station believing that she could make it work. Much of Oprah’s life and success is based on belief.

7.    Change/Challenge/Growth

Change is a natural and necessary part of life. Change is about becoming through overcoming. Change usually comes through the Challenges we encounter that present us with opportunities to grow and become the person capable of achieving what we desire. Oprah has embraced and even mastered this process and it is crucial that you do as well. If you want to be the next Oprah and unlock your dreams take this simple step first.

Below I have chapter 6 of my book The Promised Land that will show you how to embrace change so you can utilize the challenges and grow into the person who will achieve your desired dreams.

Are you the next Oprah Winfrey?

By Dominic Copeland

By Dominic Copeland

The Hardest Part of Success

It is that time again. All the chips are stacked against me, nothing seems to be going my way and it seems like the hits just keep coming while my resources to handle those hits whether financial, social or spiritual continue to dwindle. A person gets to know a great deal about themselves in difficult situations when the totality of your person is stripped bare and there standing before you is you. It is not the artificial made up you that you pony around for the world to see, it’s the true you in all it’s cowardice, fear, self-loathing, heroic, loving and caring self. Difficult times truly do test the very fabric and nature of our souls and make you question everything about who you are and who you believe yourself to be.

On this journey of life and this road to fulfillment I have had to answer those questions many times, really who am I. Am I the hero that I believe myself to be or the coward that is afraid, worried and fragile in the face of adversity. Can I continue forward against these immeasurable odds that seem to grow moment by moment. Do I have the resolve to continue forward and the audacity to believe in myself when there is no visible evidence of why I should do so only my belief that I must. On the other side of this darkness and chaos will there be light or the cruel realization that everything I have believed my entire life has been wrong.

Sometimes I am scared, sometimes I want to give up, sometimes it hurts to continually try so hard and fall so far. Sometimes I look myself in the mirror and don’t recognize who I truly am. Instead I see glimpses of my self staring me back, a shell of myself waffling in the mirror. Sometimes I want to hide away ashamed of how I have failed, of how I continue to struggle, of how I continue to hold on against all hope that through this darkness there is light and that somehow maybe just maybe that light is inside of me. And somehow I will learn to allow this light to shine.

Success does not make great men it is only a result of what has made us great. The internal fortitude the spiritual belief, the faith that has carried us like footsteps in the sand when our egos failed. Yes sometimes I am scared, sometimes I have doubts and sometimes I feel beaten. But still I carry on. In the face of adversity when all seems lost and I feel like I have taken all I can I still get up believing that maybe this will be the time. In the darkness of my despair I still search for the light to shine within me. And when all hope seems lost I continue to believe and move forward. It is not in spite of this but because of this that I am heroic.

Others can believe in me because I am of them, of their fears, their worries, their beliefs and their strength. It is not my lack of fear that makes me great it is my willingness to acknowledge, face, overcome and share it that does. The hardest part of success is to face not only what is before you, but what is within you, to acknowledge who you truly are and deal with it.

 The Promised Land Book Cover

Angie Miller and Your Town

I must confess that this year was my first time ever voting for contestants on the American Idol television show. In fact I was voting for one contestant in particular, her name Angie Miller, a resident of my town Beverly Massachusetts. In thinking about Angie Miller and in-between writing my book, I cannot help but to think about the year  the town of Beverly has had over all. A year that includes a historic season and Super Bowl win for the football team the second in the last 3 years. It is a year that includes other strong performing academic and sports programs along with an American Idol contestant. I can’t help but think like Buffalo Springfield, “There’s something happening here.”

When I look around to this small town called Beverly Massachusetts I have to ask myself could this be America’s Town?  You can look on the bottom of any license plate and see Massachusetts touted as the Spirit of America. I think we can all agree that over the past few years or longer as a nation we have had to question that spirit. With the seeming disappearance of the American Dream we have a small town right here saying loudly and quite clear that we still believe. Our actions show not only do we believe but we are willing to put in the hard-work, dedication and perseverance necessary to reach for those dreams, so much so that a young lady can reach for the stars and take her shot on American Idol.

Yes, unexpectedly Angie Miller’s time was ended on American Idol and it was heartbreaking watching her tears streaming down, voice trembling trying to make it through her farewell song. Heartbreaking because like many of you I have recently experienced the same situation, where you do your best and fight so hard with every ounce of your heart and soul and but for some reason things seem not to fall in your favor. I felt her pain because it was my pain. But like Tom Hanks said in Castaway, tomorrow will come, the sun will rise and you never know what the tide will bring in. Angie has a dream, as do I, as do you. She continues forward as will I, as will you. The next day, Angie was on The Tonight Show and then Kelly and Michael, and off she goes, a star takes flight. Her spirit symbolizes Boston Strong, the spirit of a nation and the heartbeat of a small town.

Don’t get me wrong, Beverly is not perfect, we do not always win and we have a lot of internal issues to deal with. Despite these issues I can honestly say that we work as a community to support each other, do our best and win, lose or draw do so with dignity and respect. Yes there are other great towns, in fact I believe you may be living in one of them.

Angie Miller released her heart touching single she wrote, You Set Me Free almost the same time I released chapter 6 of my book, The Promised Land, we all have to start somewhere. I believe that the Spirit of America is alive and well here in Massachusetts and perhaps the small towns like Beverly across the country who represent the heartbeat of a spirit that manages time and time again to rise to the challenge. I may not know you but I am sure you like Angie Miller are a hero because through all the challenges you mange to get back up and come back that much stronger.

Keep dreaming, keep believing, together we have it in us to inspire a nation!

Buy The Promised Land Chapter 6 Now

The Promised Land

To Those Who Attacked Us (On the Boston Marathon)

Et lux in tenebris lucet… and the light shineth in the darkness

Congratulations. In the supposed words of Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with terrible resolve.” Maybe you believe that we the people of Massachusetts especially the town of Boston, the birthplace of the spirit of America would allow your attacks to weaken our resolve. Perhaps you believe that America truly has softened and to strike at its core, its very spirit would render irreparable damage as we the people helplessly surrender to fear.

For all we know you may plan for this to be the beginning of more attacks that will weaken and whittle the resources of our nation. If so you have to the highest degree misunderstood who we are and what we as proud citizens of this nation continue to stand for. Boston Massachusetts is the original ”shinning city upon a hill,” the birthplace of a nation and the enduring spirit of freedom. As Ronald Reagan said, “Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.”  That placing of destinies started right here on the very soil we traverse everyday in the city of Boston Massachusetts.

You struck first but we will strike last and more enduring not with hate, not with violence but with determination, with love and with purpose to secure the very soul of humanity. We will not be like you, we will be better than you, more than your misguided anger, hatred and cowardice. We the people of Massachusetts and this nation will stand as heroes united. You have not broken us, you have not angered us you have awoken us from our slumber and we are not afraid. We are here to set right what has been for far too long now wrong. A new spirit is rising.

America’s resolve is our greatest resource and you have replenished it on Patriots Day with the blood of true patriots. We will honor those who have fallen. Their marathon will not be forgotten. This shining light, this beacon atop a hill will usher in a new direction for humanity where we are guided by purpose. We stand here today upon a new Promised Land.

God Bless and together we will stand. Through the light within us we will transform the world.