Coach Mike

Transformative Steps

Remember every journey starts with a single step. Let's get to stepping.

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Quirks & Cures

Who are you?

What's the most important question anyone can ask you? Where are you from? Who are your parents? Do you have siblings? Why are you here? What is your purpose?  All of those are good questions but not as important as being asked or having to answer, who are you?

The most important question is who are you? I was told a story about a person who had gone to the shopping mall looking for a particular store.  When they arrived the looked to the left and then to the right for the store. They wandered looking for the store but had a hard time finding it.  If only they had looked at the directory which showed where they were and the location of the stores related to where they were.

The directory shows where they are and in this case, if you know who you are, when you are presented things in life you will be able to navigate more easy while focusing on things that matter instead of things that don’t.

Encouragement out of the blue

Have you ever been in a dark place? Thinking that you cant do it? Thinking that you won't make it. Thinking that you won't get the promotion.  Thinking that you won't get the raise. Thinking that you won't get the contract. Thinking that the world is out to get you. 

Disappointment Sucks

Everyone knows disappointment sucks!!! What happens when you are disappointed? Are you impacted emotionally? Are you impacted mentally? Does your perspective towards the person change?  If you are impacted in any of these areas, what should you do?  I'm glad you asked. 

Can you get promoted without selling out?

During your last performance review, you mentioned to your manager that you wanted to ensure that the things you were doing were with a promotion in mind.  You have successfully completed all tasks early and all projects under budget and early.  This is consistent for the past few years, but you haven't been promoted. You and the team lead, and highly spoken of in the company, but you haven't gotten promoted, what's the problem.

Who are you listening to?

In life, as we get older not everything works to perfection. We can't run as fast as we used to.  We can't jump as high as we used to.  We can't remember everything as quickly as we used to. We can't figure things out as fast as we used to.  Some things need a little assistance.  Our eyes may need glasses. Our knees or hips may need to be replaced. Our hearing may need a hearing aid. The reason for this is simple we use them and through that continuous usage and sometimes over-usage they are worn down. What can we say about where we are in life? are we worn down because of what we did or didn't do? Are we worn down because of what we heard or were told? Did we take action that was detrimental to our journey?

Why do you lie?

Men are important and special and kind and good-hearted and smart and thoughtful and resilient and brilliant and loving and so many other things.  But rarely do you hear a man being referred to as sensitive.  Men are incredibly sensitive, but that sensitivity oftentimes goes unnoticed. Most people associate sensitivity with weakness.  Sensitivity simply says that a person is in tune with the world that they are in and the people that are in their sphere.

An example is that men are responsible for providing for their families; taking care of their wife to ensure that she is safe, healthy, and happy; raising and imparting knowledge and wisdom to their children, and making sure that everything in their sphere of influence is taken care of. Men are often criticized for what they fail to do but not celebrated for their successes.  But when you ask a man how is life he tells them that everything is ok.  OK is simply a lie.  He has to say that or he may collapse under the weight of all that he is carrying.

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Little Known Black History Fact

  • Sarah Boone - 1892

    Sarah Boone-1892

    Invented Improved Ironing Board
    The ironing board is a product that’s used possibly just as much as it’s overlooked. In the late 19th century, it was improved upon by Sarah Boone, an African-American woman who was born a slave. One of the first black women in U.S. history to receive a patent, she expanded upon the original ironing board, which was essentially a horizontal wooden block originally patented in 1858. With Boone’s 1892 additions, the board featured a narrower and curved design, making it easier to iron garments, particularly women’s clothing. Boone’s design would morph into the modern ironing board that we use today.

  • Co-Invented Home Security System
    Before security systems became a fixture in homes, an African-American nurse Mary Van Brittan Brown, devised an early security unit for her own home. She spent many nights at home alone in Queens, New York while her husband was away, and felt unsafe with high rates of crime in her neighborhood. On top of that, police were unreliable and unresponsive. So she created a device that would help put her mind at ease.

    Mary Van Brittan Brown-1966

    Home Security System
  • Garrett Morgan - 1923

    Garrett Morgan - 1923

    Invented The Three-Light Traffic Light
    With only an elementary school education, black inventor (and son of a slave), Garrett Morgan came up with several significant inventions, including an improved sewing machine and the gas mask. However, one of Morgan's most influential inventions was the improved traffic light. Without his innovation, drivers across the nation would be directed by a two-light system.

  • Invented Refrigerated Trucks, Invented by Frederick McKinley Jones in 1940
    If your refrigerator has any produce from your local grocery store, then you can credit African-American inventor Frederick McKinley Jones. Jones took out more than 60 patents throughout his life, including a patent for the roof-mounted cooling system that’s used to refrigerate goods on trucks during extended transportation in the mid-1930s. He received a patent for his invention in 1940, and co-founded the U.S. Thermo Control Company, later known as Thermo King. The company was critical during World War II, helping to preserve blood, food and supplies during the war.

    Fredrick McKinley Jones - 1940

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  • Alexander Miles - 1887

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    Invented Automatic Elevator Doors
    The use of elevators in everyday life keeps people from committing to long and grueling climbs up several flights of stairs. However, before the creation of elevator doors that close automatically, riding a lift was both complicated and risky.
    Before automatic doors, people had to manually shut both the shaft and elevator doors before riding. Forgetting to do so led to multiple accidents as people fell down elevator shafts. When the daughter of African-American inventor Alexander Miles almost fatally fell down the shaft, he took it upon himself to develop a solution. In 1887 he took out a patent for a mechanism that automatically opens and closes elevator shaft doors and his designs are largely reflected in elevators used today.

  • Co-Invented Electret Microphone
    Even for those who aren’t quick to pick up the mic during karaoke, microphones are used every day to communicate over distances far and wide. And more than 90 percent of the microphones used today, including the microphones used in phones and cameras, use a microphone co-invented by a black man. Dr. James E. West was tasked with creating a more sensitive and compact microphone while working at Bell Labs in 1960.

    James E. West - 1964

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  • Lewis Latimer - 1881

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    Invented Carbon Light Bulb Filament
    The light bulb itself was invented by Thomas Edison, but the innovation used to create longer-lasting light bulbs with a carbon filament came from African-American inventor Lewis Latimer. Latimer, the son of runaway slaves, began work in a patent law firm after serving in the military for the Union during the Civil War. He was recognized for his talent drafting patents and was promoted to head draftsman, where he co-invented an improved bathroom for railroad trains.

  • Co-Invented Color IBM PC Monitor and Gigahertz Chip
    Before flat screens and hi-definition LCD monitors were the norm, PC displays were limited to screens with no color that were tethered to computers with limited processing power. That all changed thanks to black inventor and engineer Mark Dean. Dean began working for IBM as a chief engineer in the early 1980s, making up a team of 12 people who would develop the first IBM PC. In addition to helping create IBM’s original machine in his early years with the company, he also worked to develop the color monitor and led the team that developed the first gigahertz processor. The massive chip, built in 1999, would allow for for higher processing rates at faster speeds within PCs.

    Mark Dean - 1980 and 1999

    Mark Dean - 1980 & 1999