The 3 D's for Designing Your Destiny!
By Willie Jolley
Recently, I had the honor to speak at Walter Reed Army Hospital for the Wounded Warriors. It was truly a moving experience for me as I sat watching the soldiers come into the auditorium.
Some came in wheelchairs. Some walking on artificial legs.
Some came with canes and crutches. And some with no legs and no arms! Yet all came with their army uniforms or army sweat shorts. And all came in with smiles on their faces!
I spoke of turning setbacks into comebacks and how they can move forward in the future by implementing the 3 D’s for Designing Your Destiny!
The 3 D’s are Dream, Decide and Do!
Michael Jordan had a setback in high school when he was cut from the basketball team because he was not good enough. He went home and dreamt about doing impossible things with the basketball because he wanted to prove to the coach that he had made a mistake. Once Michael saw it in his mind, he went out and tried it on the basketball court... and he did it!
Duke Ellington was asked how he created such incredible music in the midst of great setbacks. He said he kept on dreaming.
Walt Disney was asked how he created Disneyland after having a nervous breakdown, going bankrupt, and losing his car. He said the secret was that he just kept on dreaming big dreams.
Muhammad Ali was asked how he revolutionized the boxing. His answer was, he had imagination! He created a personality that people either loved or they hated! Those who loved him came to see him win. Those who hated him came to see him lose…. in the meantime every seat was taken!
Albert Einstein said “Imagination is much more powerful than knowledge!” You've got to have a dream. You might have setbacks but if the dream is big enough you can overcome any problems.
Next you must Decide! Decision is taken from the Greek word to cut! If you make an incision, you cut in. If you make a decision, you cut off!
To turn setbacks into comebacks you must decide to cut off negative people who tell you what is not possible! You must make the decision to stay away from negative, small-minded people who tell you what you can't do.
Unfortunately, some of those people are in your inner circle. They are people you love, and people who actually love you…they just happen to be negative! They are not trying to be mean spirited. They just happen to suffer from possibility blindness! Often they might be family members or some of your close friends.
In high school, I played trumpet with a band and we performed at local dances. My parents said, “Willie, why don't you sing with that band? You sing at church and you sound good.” They got me all pumped up! One night I went to band practice and asked if I could sing one of the songs. I started singing and everyone said it sounded good, except one person, who I thought was my best friend! He was the lead singer! He said, “Man you can't sing! You sound terrible!” He started laughing and then the mob mentality took over. Everyone else started laughing. I was humiliated! I promise I would never sing in public again.
For three years I kept that promise! I didn't sing at home. I didn’t sing at school. I didn’t sing at church. And I wouldn’t even sing at birthday parties when everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” I was ashamed.
Three years went by and one night I was playing my trumpet at a packed dance. The bandleader got a note saying the singer was sick and could not come. He looked over at me and said, “Willie you have a pretty good speaking voice, come on over and sing!” I said, “NO!” He asked again and I said, “I don’t care what you want, I am not singing for you or anyone else!” He said, “Who do you think you are getting an attitude with? You either sing or you’re fired!”
At that point it became an easy choice…I closed my eyes and started singing as loud and strong as I could! When I opened my eyes people had stopped dancing and were looking at me sing. The more I sang the more they clapped! At the end of night people were lined up to invite me to sing at they’re wedding, at their graduation, at their receptions. It was at that moment that I realized that my friend had lied to me!
Since that time, I have sung popular jingles, had major record deals and have sung around the world as part of my speaking programs. All because I stopped listening to negative people. Negative people will always keep you from living your dreams!
The last D is for DO! In order to live your dreams and turn your setbacks into comebacks you must take action! A vision without an action is an illusion. An action without a vision is mere confusion. Yet a vision and an action together can give your life a transfusion! You must take action!
Scripture says, “Ask and you shall receive! Seek and you shall find! Knock and the door will be open to you! For everyone who asks will receive! And everyone who seeks will find! And everyone who knocks the door will be opened to them!” Notice it says if you take this action, then you will get the blessing. Most people receive not because they ask not, they seek not, they knock not… and then they wonder WHY NOT! You must take action!
Finally, I shared with the Wounded Warriors the story about my good friend W Mitchell who was hit by a truck while riding his motorcycle. Gas spilled all over him. A spark ignited, and he became a human torch! His fingers and toes were burnt off yet, he kept his attitude positive. He staged an incredible comeback!
W Mitchell started a successful business and eventually bought a private plane and started flying. While in flight one day, the plane stalled and crashed! He was paralyzed from the waist down! Yet he didn’t give up! He staged another comeback!
W Mitchell went on to become one of the greatest motivational speakers on the planet. He has a famous saying that states, “It doesn't matter what happens to you, it only matters what you do about it!”
I closed my speech to the Wounded Warriors with my story “The Best Is Yet To Come!” Then I sang the song, “The Impossible Dream!”
Though I received a standing ovation, I turned the ovation back to them. I thanked them for allowing me the opportunity to serve them, because they have all sacrificed in service to us!
This Memorial Day, take time and thank a veteran. They made it possible for us to have many of the freedoms we take for granted!
And use the 3 D’s (Dream, Decide, Do) as you continue to design your destiny.
Remember, destiny is not a thing to be waited on; but rather a thing to be achieved! God Bless You! -WJ