I remember MLK day back in 2011, my senior year of High School. I had gotten my wisdom teeth taken out two days earlier and was still feeling tired from the surgery. I was playing around on my family’s computer and was seeing a lot of trending videos related to Martin Luther King, Jr. I never knew that much about the man, other than he was a preacher and fought for the black community and their civil rights for years. I also knew, like everyone else, that he was perhaps the most famous and impactful activist in American history. I decided to look up his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, having only heard about how powerful it was.
The man was a great speaker. You could feel the meaning and power behind his words. There was sadness in his voice, but it was followed by strength and hope. He was a man who fought for the people and strongly held onto his beliefs. Not only that, he fought an uphill battle and had a lot of opposition. But that didn’t stop him, he just fought harder and with more conviction. It’s hard to not admire a man like that.
Everyone has a ‘hustle’. They have something that gets them out of bed in the morning. They have a personal struggle or strong desire for something. Maybe they get up and work hard every day to support their family. Maybe they want to be the best in their field or touch a lot of lives in a positive way. Some people just want to make a lot of money so they can live the best life they can. But everyone has a dream of what they want. For Martin Luther King, Jr., that dream was for his black brothers and sisters to finally be treated and seen as equals to the white population. It was a bold dream for the 1960’s, but his vision was strong and he didn’t give up. Now he is known worldwide as a hero and even has a holiday in his honor.
Not everyone wants to be a political activist, but we have more power within ourselves than we realize. We can dream big and even change the world, just like he did. It’s all about finding your personal ‘hustle’. Everyone has a vision of how they want their life to be or how they want the world to change for the better, so why not take action? One of my favorite books, The Alchemist, talks about how everyone has a ‘Personal Legend’. Everyone has a dream that fills them with joy, something they want more than anything else. The book also explains how many of us, when we are young, are told our dreams are foolish or we can’t accomplish them. People tell us our dreams are a waste of time and they can’t be fulfilled. Can you image if Martin Luther King, Jr. listened to this kind of talk? I’m sure he doubted himself at times, but he kept pushing because that was his dream. He envisioned a better world and fought his hardest to make it a reality. We also need to put in the work to get the result we want.
The message here is simple: don’t listen to the ‘haters’ or negative people in your life. If you have a dream then work for it, be prepared to put in a tremendous amount of effort. I want to challenge everyone reading this to dream big. Do something impactful that has a lot of meaning to you. Be like MLK and never lose faith in yourself or the ‘hustle’.