Empowering people to overcome obstacles is the message shared by Eddie Connor, a cancer survivor. He serves the community as a mentor, political advisor, author, speaker, teacher, and TV correspondent on CBS/CW 50.
Eddie received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University and Marygrove College awarded him a Master's degree in Education. Eddie is an author of three books and founder of "Boys 2 Books" which empowers young black/hispanic males via literacy and life skills. He is a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award and the Black Male Engagement Leadership Award.
Eddie shares his testimony of overcoming cancer in churches, community centers, and colleges by inspiring and motivating people to maximize their purpose.
A resident of Detroit, Eddie also grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. He is a sports enthusiast who enjoys traveling.
We sit on the brink of an election and by now you've heard it all. A few years ago, Diddy said, "Vote or Die" and Rev. Jesse Jackson rhymed, "take your soul to the poll."
Catchy slogans and sayings are used every election to rally the troops.
However slogans don't vote, we do! More crucial than ever before is the need for the youth vote. It's important that the youth voice is represented at the ballot box.
Growing up, I would always heard "vote because of Martin, Malcolm, and Rosa." As much as I respect their legacy, their voices are silent today. We have to pick up the
baton, march to the ballot, and raise our voices by raising our vote.
The average voter in Detroit is a 68-year-old black grandmother. We need a new generation of 18 and 28-year-old, civically engaged people who will affect the course of history, by pushing our cities and communities forward. Youth need to be engaged in social issues/politics more than ever before. We must make a decision to be more
informed than entertained.
The top-down approach doesn't remedy everything, it's the caring, concerned, and compassionate people on the bottom who can lift us up.
The bottom-up and middle-out approach can and will push us to the next level. What are you passionate about? What
change would you like to see in your community? Let that be the driving force that propels you to the polls.
Look around...weʼve got a lot of work to do, when black males are the minority in America but the majority in prison, people are underserved, economically disenfranchised, homeless, and jobless. More and more it seems like America is becoming the Divided States of America, lacking unity.
In your opinion, who will best represent the underserved, middle class, and voiceless people? Who has a better plan to revitalize our economy and move our country forward? Is it President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? I encourage you to think critically, make a sound decision, and vote for the best person to lead us forward these
next four years.
After we vote we must keep working, because the government is not the panacea for all ills. No superhero is coming to save us. We are the supermen and superwomen that weʼve been looking to find. We can revitalize the broken system of education and government, we can revitalize and revolutionize our schools, churches, and communities.
The ball is in your court, don't let anybody steal or block your opportunity. Let your voice be heard. If you have to vote absentee, it's better than being an absent voter on election day. Get out and vote, because when you don't vote, it's a vote for the candidate you don't want in office. You can pray all day for the right person to get in, but if you donʼt get out and vote it doesnʼt matter. Oh and one last slogan, "A voteless people is a hopeless people." Letʼs make it a November to remember, raise your voice by raising your vote!
"Whatʼs on your mind?" is a question that weʼve all heard over and over again.
Whatever is ON your mind, is a direct reflection of what youʼve allowed to grow IN your
mind. Are your thoughts positive or negative? When negative thoughts come to your
mind, what do you do?
Our thoughts are seeds that will either produce a harvest of positive production or
weeds of negative circumstance. Your mind is the battleground that will embrace fear or
faith. What youʼre thinking has everything to do with where youʼre going. To move
forward into your future you have to let go of your past, but it begins with a renewed
mind in your present situation.
What you feed your mind today, will grow in your life tomorrow. When your mind is
positive, the darkness around you can never dim the light within you. Stop focusing on
what you donʼt have...your weaknesses, deficiencies, or what other people possess.
Start focusing on what you do have and use it. You have power within you that you
havenʼt tapped into yet. You have a rich reservoir of resilience on the inside, discover it
and maximize every moment!
You will continue to get what you DONʼT want, if you keep focusing on what you DONʼT
want. What you choose to focus on will dictate your happiness. Your mind is the gauge
that will imprison you or free you for your future.
Start planting positive seeds in your mind. Thereʼs greatness within you and this is the
time to birth it. When you look through the lens of purpose and vision, your life will no
longer be blurry and misdirected. A changed mind brings about a change in focus and
ultimately a changed life!
The saying goes, "practice makes perfect." Is that really true, if you're practicing the wrong way? If you practice shooting free throws with an incorrect shooting form, it's likely that youʼll miss the majority of your shots. You will just become good at shooting the wrong way.
What are you shooting towards? What is your aim in life? Are you missing the mark or are you hitting the bulls eye? We must discipline ourselves and even do what is uncomfortable, to develop good fundamentals and perfect our lives. Practice doesn't make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.
The same rules apply to life. In order to attain victory and cross the ﬁnish line of our vision it takes focus, consistency, determination, faith, and self-motivation. It's going to take discipline and commitment to perfect the ability, that you already possess within. We must become comfortable with being uncomfortable and become uncomfortable with being comfortable.
Nothing worth working for will always come easy, but the rewards come by stepping out on faith and taking a risk. Our tomorrowʼs will NOT be brighter until our today's become better. We must tap into the power of self-improvement and actualize our potential.
Nothing can ever defeat a committed will to win!
Throughout the course of a day, how much time do you waste thinking negative? We must rid our minds of "stinking thinking." Your life is a byproduct of your thoughts. If you want to change your direction, change your thinking. Expand your mind and expand your life. You can't live any better than your mindset. You can never live beyond or above what youʼre thinking about. Your mind is designed to raise you above your circumstance, not bring you below it.
How much time will you waste this week, thinking and speaking negative? If you keep doing things the same way you've been doing them, I guarantee youʼll get the same results. Think differently, live differently, and your situation will turn out differently.
A committed mind and an undying will to overcome, amidst the obstacles, will always emerge triumphant. Be committed to WIN in life! Be committed to unlocking the greatness in YOU!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Itʼs a reminder that we can overcome obstacles and live through dying places. All of us have been affected by cancer, whether directly or indirectly. We must encourage our loved one's/friends, to schedule their Doctor's appointments and increase their awareness about various forms of cancer.
The saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." We must be more proactive than reactive. It's very important that we examine ways in which to improve our lifestyles, eating habits, level of ﬁtness, relationships, and overall personal development.
Every second in America, 2-3 people are diagnosed with cancer. Those are startling statistics, yet harsh realities. Cancer is no respecter of age, race, gender, or economic standing. A diagnosis is not a death sentence and the bright side is that there are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors, living in the United States.
How do you respond to the interruptions of life? How do you deal with hardship and life's challenges? These are the same questions I asked myself, being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the age of 15. For nearly 2 years, I endured chemotherapy and radiation, 5 days a week. The physical pain was unbearable with hair loss, nausea, spinal taps, etc. Oftentimes the psychological pain took an even greater toll, where I wanted to give up and die.
I was in the ﬁght of my life, but I decided to resurrect faith in the midst of fear. I was at death's door, but I was determined to live. To overcome I had to change my mindset from negative to positive and see the impossible as Iʼm possible. I had to see the word "CAN" in CANcer, that in spite of what Iʼm enduring I CAN make it and I CAN overcome...so CAN YOU!
Youʼre reading the words of a 14-year-survivor of stage 4 CANcer! By God's grace and healing power, I am alive today. I have overcome and continue to live through dying places. YOU CAN too!
Whatever the situation you're facing, look at the pain and resurrect power in the midst of it. Resurrect a smile in the midst of sadness. Resurrect a mindset to overcome the odds. Shake yourself free from every breakdown and transform it into a breakthrough...you can LIVE through DYING places!
What do you do when your back is against the wall and youʼve run out of options? So many people have thrown in the towel and given up. We can look around us and see problems in the community, high unemployment, economic difficulties, violence, injustice, and a feeling of hopelessness.
BREAKING NEWS...this is every day life! Will you be a change agent for the world, orwill you be changed by the world? Too many of us are EXISTING and not enough of us are LIVING. Being physically alive and mentally/spiritually asleep, means youʼre just existing. When you decide to shake yourself from your past, low self-esteem, hopelessness, depression, and negative experiences is when you begin to really live! Youʼve got untapped power within you to LIVE through DYING places.
Youʼre reading the words of a man, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer as a teenager. Through faith and hope, I decided to fight and walk in healing. I know what itʼs like to feel hopeless and mentally distraught. I know what it feels like to have people give up on you, walk out of your life, and leave you for dead because they didnʼt thinkyou would ever make it out of that situation.
Iʼve got news for you...even though people may have given up on you, God didnʼt! Pick yourself up, rise out of the ashes, and take back your life. God didn't bring you this far to leave you. When the storms of life are raging, know that you have an anchor that will keep you afloat when everything around you is sinking.
Be encouraged, be strengthened, be motivated, and be determined. It may be rainy, stormy, and cloudy in your life, but donʼt lose hope...the SON is still shining! You're coming out of the storm, stronger than when you went in...Hold On To Hope!
Youʼve heard the popular saying, “what doesnʼt kill you should make you stronger.” I like to say if it doesnʼt kill you, then use it to build you. Oftentimes, the greatest moments of strength occur at our weakest moments of hopelessness and despair. Itʼs true that we donʼt realize how strong we are, until being strong is our only option.
In life you will either be an eagle or a chicken, warrior or worrier, a champion or a chump! Which one are you? Many times who we become is predicated on who we surround ourselves with daily. Are the people around you adding to you or subtracting from you? Are they helping you grow through or are they putting you through drama, mental angst, and unnecessary stress? Put your circle of friends and family under the microscope, to separate the contenders from the pretenders.
Everybody around you is not for you, some people are blocking you...let them go so you can grow. Itʼs better to be alone than in the company of bad people. Negative people stunt your growth, positive people enhance your growth. Surround yourself with people who motivate you to be a better you! Everyone who youʼre connected to does not intend to give. Iʼm convinced that some people in your life, shouldʼve had a starring role in the 2010 film “Takers” because they lack the desire and capacity to GIVE.
There is no growth without change. It hurts to make change, thatʼs why itʼs called “growing pains.” You will either experience the pain of discipline or the pain of consequence.
Some people GO through and stay in the situation...itʼs when you GROW through that you come out! You know youʼre growing, when the situation that should have made you BITTER ultimately made you BETTER.
Thereʼs more life to live, thereʼs more dreams to transform into reality, thereʼs more love to embrace amidst hardship, and thereʼs more healing to experience in spite of pain! Whatever youʼre experiencing, be the rose that grows through the concrete and blossom into the greatness that God has for you! Grow Through It!
Back From A Setback!
Iʼm reminded of a quote which declares, “you never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option.” There is strength within you that you havenʼt used yet, because the situation hasnʼt presented itself to unveil that level of strength. The power and strength that you have on the inside, can propel you beyond what youʼre facing on the outside. Everybody in this life will face challenges and endure struggle. On the contrary, itʼs not only about what you go through, itʼs how you handle what you go through. It takes volition and an undying will to endure the storm, dark clouds, rain, and trying times of life. Never forget that the greater the obstacle, the greater the opportunity. This is not the time to breakdown, this is your time to breakthrough! The bigger your battle, the bigger your blessing! No matter how great the odds are against you or how people have written you off, donʼt give up!
Don't let a setback, set you back...bounce back! Eliminate negative self-talk, because what you say to yourself has a greater impact on you than what people say to you. I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of fifteen, but through prayer, faith, and an unwavering will to live I pressed my way towards healing. Iʼm blessed to be alive and write these words to empower you today. Donʼt fail to recognize that a setback is only a setup for a comeback. Your struggle may not be cancer or a health related illness, it may be bitterness, it may be depression, or it may be a family member who conspired against you. Whatever it is, overcome it and bounce back from it!
Empowering people to overcome obstacles is the message shared by Eddie Connor, a cancer survivor. He serves the community as a mentor, political advisor, author, speaker, teacher, and TV correspondent on CBS/CW 50. Eddie received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University and Marygrove College awarded him a Master’s degree in Education. Eddie is an author of three books and founder of “Boys 2 Books” which empowers young black/ hispanic males via literacy and life skills. He is a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award and the Black Male Engagement Leadership Award. Eddie shares his testimony of overcoming cancer in churches, community centers, and colleges by inspiring and motivating people to maximize their purpose. A resident of Detroit, Eddie also grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. He is a sports enthusiast who enjoys traveling.