Sunday, November 15, 2009


This past Wednesday I had the honor and privelege of hosting students from the FAST TRACK college preparatory program from New York City. They spent an entire day in the District visiting the various schools in the area including Howard University, Georgetown University and finally The George Washington University.

From the time that they waited in the hallway, I immediately sensed an array of energy from these young people. Several burroughs were represented from Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens. When the shout-outs were solicited there was a buzz in the room and a sprinkle of hate, but all the same there was a friendly, competitive commraderie and respect that abided within.

As I began to speak to the group I began to zero in on the people who were listenting not just hearing, focusing not just looking and responding, not just reacting. I sensed that these young people were a little tired from the events of the day and the rainy weather conditions, but what remained constant was their Empire State of Mind. As I shared with them my stories, philosophies, and experiences, I also challenged them to intellectually reach beyond their comfort zone and critically tackle the issues that face them as they plan their present, yes their present not their future. To have an Empire State of Mind is not reserved or limited to native New Yorkers of the universe, however it is a unique and infectious state of mind altogether; a fast track.

Is it a state of mind that dreams? Yes.

One that pursues dreams?Yes

One that will succeed? Yes.

One that removes obstacles? Yes.

One that affects change? Yes.

One that will rule the world? Yes

One that doesn't take NO for an answer? Yes.

It is all of the above and then some. However, an Empire State of Mind should never get old, it should never be off key, it should never be in one language, nor should it ever be a song that falls out of your mental rolodex. It's about building an empire with the skills you have been blessed with. Just remember that you are not the only builder that will make your empire complete. It's a team effort that requires each team member to stick to what they specialize in. You are the architect so sit down at your desk and design the BLUEPRINT.