Unlocking the keys to success

Deliberative Dialogue speaker Linal Harris urges listeners to live as creators

DISCUSSION — Linal Harris (left) spoke about achieving success, overcoming adversity and creating a change. Photo Credit: Rocky Srisupakporn

DISCUSSION — Linal Harris (left) spoke about achieving success, overcoming adversity and creating a change.
Photo Credit: Rocky Srisupakporn

To end African American History Month, Liberty University’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME) brought in Linal Harris Feb. 23 to speak about how “success has no color, (but) our thoughts do.”

“Deliberative Dialogues are opportunities for students to learn about cultural, historical or current topics through expert speakers’ presentations, conversations and reflective activities,” Executive Director of the Center4ME Melany Pearl said.

“I want students to walk out of this Deliberative Dialogue with an understanding of what they are capable of accomplishing with their lives, no matter what the color of their skin is.”

Linal Harris is a Corporate America graduate, global entrepreneur, media personality and certified life coach.

Over the past 15 years, Harris has held positions in senior leadership with a number of different companies, both domestic and international.

These opportunities have provided him with a unique perspective on diversity and the impacts of globalization on achieving superior business results.

Harris is passionate about helping others succeed no matter their race or background.

Harris began by emphasizing the point and importance of having a purpose in everything we do, and informed the crowd of his purpose during his presentation — to be an authentic leader and speaker with the purpose to help listeners live the best life possible.

“We thought that with his topic ‘Success has no color, our thoughts do,’ he would be an inspiration for the entire student body here at Liberty and could help our students visualize how to succeed in their own fields of study,” Associate Director of the Center4ME Stephanie Smith said.

“Every heritage month we will bring a professional from a different field of study that will lead students throughout discussions with the goal of addressing cultural biases and invoking change.”

Harris went on to address the two main questions of his presentation, which where how does one become successful and what is success.

To better define the meaning of success and the key factors in achieving it, Harris listed six African Americans he thought embodied the ideal of overcoming adversity and achieving success — Fredrick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Muhammed Ali, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“These individuals exemplify the notion that the past does not dictate your future success,” Harris said.

“The key to success is the ability to take action and have faith, purpose, persistence, courage and show excellence.”

Harris also explained the psychology of success and the power of the mind.

Harris explained to the group that people are in control of what generates thoughts and hold the power to determine success.

“You are what you think about,” Harris said.

“The secret to your success is what you put into your mind. Your inputs create outputs.”

Harris then discussed the context of color and whether you live your life as body with a soul or a soul with a body.

Harris challenged the group to live as creators and live life as an influential soul with a body rather than just a body with soul.

To end his presentation, Harris asked the audience what they will create and how they will let that moment shift their life.

Although this Deliberative Dialogue concluded the activities for African American History Month, the Center4ME will be holding events for Irish-American Heritage Month in March and Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month in April.

“Our goal this semester is to educate students in a variety of cultures in order to broaden their minds and overcome divisions that may exist on campus,” Pearl said.

“We strive to celebrate cultural diversity by offering experiential learning opportunities to all students.”

The Center4ME is located in the Montview Student Union rooms 2500 and 2560.

They are open to students from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

For more information on Center4ME call (434) 582- 4020 or email Center4ME@liberty.edu.

Runyon is a feature reporter.

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