Showing them the cover of Dr. Kimbro’s book was the best part. I remember purposely looking at their faces as I displayed the paperback version of Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice.
As an assistant manager at Arby’s, I literally lived inside of the Northway Mall in the 1990s. I bought the book on the recommendation of my parents. Well, also, because they were helping to bring him to Anchorage for a conference.
I think I devoured that book in three days and was talking it up to my friends. I loved it. It had all these examples in it of persons whom I could relate too.
In my excitement, I took the book to work at the Northway Mall. I showed it to the Owner’s wife. The look on their faces. Yes, that was the best part. She and her sister took offense to the title of the book.
“Why is it ONLY for Black people?” her sister asked.
I answered, “Do you know who Napoleon Hill was? Have you read the original book, Think and Grow Rich?”
Both answered, “No.”
I stated, “Kimbro finished Dr. Hill’s final manuscript, using the same methods Dr. Hill used to learn how successful people are successful, the difference is that Dr. Kimbro focused on using African American examples to explain the 17 Laws of Success, which are universal to humanity.”
They answered, “Oh, I did not know that.”
As famous as Napoleon Hill is, there are still a lot of Americans who have never heard of him. The same is true of Dr. Kimbro. Both men went around to the most successful persons in their community and asked them a series of questions. They distilled from the hours upon hours of conversation a pattern to the answers. In Kimbro’s presentation, success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal. He rarely speaks about money. His book is about growth and development.
When I met Dr. Kimbro (1993/1994), I learned that he was exactly what his resume said he was: “africentric.” He spoke kiswahili and could write out my African name. His thesis is/was, “What makes the great great?”
In his book and his lectures, to my memory, Dr. Kimbro did not use ONE example of a person who looked white. All of them were African American, meaning human beings specifically born in America who possessed the shared experience of slavery, segregation and the prison industrial complex.
Neither my parents, Dr. Kimbro or any of the persons who attended the Egan Center events believed themselves to be racist, or separatist. If a white person wanted to be present, they would NOT have been physically rejected or made to feel bad about themselves. However, they may have said to themselves, “This is not tailored to me. I don’t know who these people are that they keep talking about.”
Dr. Kimbro teaches four rules in his classroom to succeed against the odds. 1) Show up and you beat 80% of the competition. Show up on time and you beat 85%. Show up with a plan and you beat 90%. Show up with a plan and choose to execute said plan and you beat 95% of the competition. The question before you and I is: Do we have a dream inspiring us to show up in this life?
Allow me to inspire you by stating: your dream is a deeply personal affair. It flashes whole cloth, like a vision, before your eyes. Something – what we call the divine – convinces you that all the talent and intelligence necessary to bring your dream to reality lies within you. Yes, that is language directly consistent with Dr. Kimbro.
Unfortunately, in a sea of negativity like the American landscape, you encounter resistance. The dream is shared with those whom you love and the dream is shot down. It is considered unrealistic. It requires more financial resources than currently accessible. More equipment or expertise is needed. The opportunity to even begin working towards your dream is not present.
Faced with such overwhelming resistance, the majority of dreams die, failing to find proper, fertilized soil to take root in. Fortunately, historical records are replete with concrete examples of those who found a way to shelter their dreams from such negative winds.
- Affirm Your Self-worth! You are special, otherwise your dream would belong to another person. It decided to deposit itself inside of you for a reason. Honor that reason by choosing to believe in yourself.
It cannot be repeated enough that you were picked for a reason. That reason is unknown at the moment and it is your job to find out why!
Exercise: Spend three minutes every morning before the mirror. Look at yourself. Then, say with feeling, “I Love you.” Repeat this seven times. Again and again, fall in love with you.
- Act Now! If you do not have the money to finance your dream, begin saving the money immediately or create a plan to use other people’s money. If you do not have the skill or expertise needed to implement your dream, enroll into the appropriate school or certified program. If you need an opportunity, volunteer with those doing what you want to do. The point is: do something!
- Read Biographies! Nothing fires your imagination like reading the stories of how famous men and women overcame their own inner struggles. They were not always strong. When depression struck, they employed specific strategies to return to a positive mind-set. Learn those strategies.
Exercise: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. committed himself to reading one book a week. Can you imitate him?
- Make Your Vision Plain. A dull pencil, or pen, is better than the sharpest memory. The most successful people make their dream plain through a vision board posted on a wall. When the tears of discouragement fall, the vision is ever present, in black and white, reminding them why they are investing their time, talent and energy. To be successful imitate the successful.
Exercise: Spend one hour this Saturday with a stack of old magazine. Cut out pictures and words which speak life into your dream. Place these reminders on your refrigerator or on a poster board where you can see it often. The key is frequency. The more you see your dream inwardly, the faster it will materialize outwardly.
According to Dr. Kimbro, there are four of these ideas which come into our and my brain inside of a calendar year. Capture one of them onto a sheet of paper and see you in a year, my friend.
Words by Kokayi Nosakhere, who chooses to spend the majority of his time in search of magnificent minds. If you are one of them, please choose to reach out at royalstar907