Dr. Martin Luther King is one of my personal heroes. He helped lead our nation out of the dehumanizing segregation policies that flourished in the post-civil war period. I believe that he, more than any other single person, was responsible for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Today a black man is president of the United States. This would have been unthinkable on August 28, 1963, the day Dr. King delivered his famous speech, “I Have a Dream.”
I bring up Dr. King and the “I Have a Dream” speech because it is the embodiment of a vivid mental image of success. Read the words below and see how they so clearly describe Dr. King’s vivid mental image of success, for himself and the nation.
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of ‘interposition’ and ‘nullification’ – one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
Those are powerful words and a powerful vivid mental image. They kept Dr. King moving forward through the dark days in Selma all the way to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
I urge all of my career success coach clients to develop a vivid mental image of themselves as a career success. What is your vivid mental image of your career success? Can you articulate it as clearly and vividly as Dr. King?
The common sense career success coach point in this discussion of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is simple. Successful people clarify their purpose and direction for their life and career. Few people have demonstrated such a clear sense of purpose and direction for their lives as Dr. Martin Luther King. His famous “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the best examples of a clear, vivid mental image of not only personal success, but success for us as a society. “I have a dream… that little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” The dream is alive – although we still need to keep working on it. You need to work on creating a vivid mental image of yourself as a career success. The more vivid the image the better. As Tweet 11 in Success Tweets says, your vivid mental image of yourself as a success “will keep you motivated and moving forward when things get tough.”