Personal Development


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CHAPTER XXIV – Putting It Into Practice

I am Jude. I have been focused on developing a deeper understanding of myself, my relationship with the universe and my connection with the Spirit. This has resulted in dramatic changes in what I read, in what I watch and in what I expose myself to.

I am now consciously avoiding negativity. Instead, I am immersing myself in topics related to personal development, gratitude, grace and fulfillment. This has created some exciting new learning opportunities and personal insights. 

I am slowly acquiring practical tools and life changing information to Break Free and Be Better. They say that ‘knowledge is power’, but only by putting knowledge into action can you harness its infinite potential. 

I am gaining greater awareness and am growing emotionally from all of these disparate sources of information. And that’s all a beautiful thing!

But I want more. One of my current personal goals is to develop some effective strategies to retain more of the information that I am acquiring. 

I want to expedite the learning process and increase my retention. It’s one thing to be exposed to something transformational, it’s something quite different to retain it and integrate it into a daily practice.

Actualizing new information is difficult. It takes commitment and intention. New concepts need to be utilized regularly, inventoried by our minds and filed away appropriately, in order to access them in the future. You need to ‘use it or lose it’ and that can become pretty overwhelming when you are constantly learning. 

How do we capture and recall important information and how do we put it into practice? Here are three tips for transforming knowledge into action:

A Reflection Board

Several days ago, while speaking to a classmate through Zoom, I noticed a neatly marked white board in the background. When I inquired about it, she showed me the simple and uncomplicated system she has developed to organize and articulate her life.

She wrote the months of the year along the top of one axis. The other axis included headings such as Long-term Goals, Books, Podcasts, Accomplishments, Meditation, New Quotes, ‘Me’ Days and Workouts. Or at least that’s how I’m choosing to remember it. 

She left space to put in commensurate dates, times and responses and hung it prominently in her home office. It’s impossible to miss and provides a clear vision of her goals, intentions and daily achievements. It is an ever-present barometer of her efforts and incremental progress.

Wendy, I’m stealing your Reflection Board and I’m encouraging everyone I know to do the same. It’s a great way to track your intended behaviours and acknowledge your everyday wins. 

Photo by Gülfer ERGİN on Unsplash

Develop New Habits

After experiencing something new, we need to identify ways to capture, summarize, outline or review the information if we want to incorporate these new ideas into our daily routine. 

We have to establish relevant action plans to create new habits and new integrate practices into previously established patterns of behaviour. Nothing will ever become a part of who we are until it becomes a part of our personal habits. 

Take small steps and create exponential changes through journaling, stacking habits together and regular reflection. Write chapter summaries, book reviews and capture quotes. Review and revisit important themes and concepts. 

Find ways to retain what you are learning, your future depends on it. 

Utilize Your Knowledge

Share your knowledge with others – family, friends and colleagues. It allows you to demonstrate and refine your understanding of new subject matter through re-telling, it builds confidence and it slowly becomes more ingrained in your thinking. 

Take action by immediately incorporating new knowledge into your regular routine. Implement a concept you’ve learned into your daily practice, utilize new ideas at work or develop a new routine at home. Apply it to new situations, problems and experiences and assess its utility. 

Seek opportunities for experiential learning. Everytime you use new information, you become more comfortable with its application, so create meaningful opportunities to regularly exercise new concepts and ideas.

Zig Ziglar, the famous author and motivational speaker, said that “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment”

If you fail to put knowledge into practice it disappears, so make it a point to take action. After all, that’s where the rubber hits the road. 

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting

I continue to develop an evolving vision for myself. I know that my immediate future involves creating a life coaching business that inspires others to Be Better and acquiring some mastery in the profession. 

However, I am constantly considering new creative outlets and business opportunities that can positively impact the community.

It’s amazing how my focus has shifted from creating uplifting Africentric coloring books to writing a Blog, participating in a certified life coaching program, registering a business and starting Facebook groups. 

You never know where your choices or the Universe will take you. This experience has taught me to be patient, to do the work and to have faith that my path will unfold according to plan. My job is to continue getting after it, unlearn my past and prepare for whatever life dictates. 

In the meantime, I am consumed with continuous learning. I am putting myself in new and challenging situations, I am collaborating with some amazing people and I’m seeking ongoing  opportunities for growth and development. The grind to Be Better never stops. 

Your Next Best Read: How to Train Your Mind by Chris Bailey

I have begun completing some deep breathing exercises over the last couple of weeks and to be honest, the results have been surprising. Not only are there obvious benefits related to relaxation, clearing your mind and focus, there are also significant physical benefits. 

That was enough for me. I was sold.  

However, someone recently referred me to How to Train Your Mind. This audiobook is a deep dive into focused breathing. It takes the reader on a virtual retreat with guided meditations and argues that a daily practice of intention and purpose can dramatically increase productivity. 

I will say that again. The author suggests that meditation will improve your focus, and that this improved focus will result in getting more accomplished. 

To be clear, please remember that for me, meditation is simply being intentional about your breathing and attempting to clear your mind. That’s it! 

I have also learned that everyone has difficulty with the string of thoughts that continually invade our minds and disrupt our peace and quiet. However, with time, the unique ability to clear your thinking will improve like a muscle.

Although I’m not there yet, that’s what I have come to believe. I know what it has done for me so far and I am committed to making it a daily practice for the foreseeable future..

My question is, why wouldn’t you do the same?

What’s good – Positive Reflections 

King Richard

I have watched Serena and Venus throughout their respective professional careers. Their appearance on the international stage created the same type of interest and excitement that surrounded Tiger Woods’ emergence in golf. 

Afrikan people around the world immediately developed an obsession with tennis. Two sisters from Compton, California, braids and beads and unmatched athletic ability. Come on man!! We all became fans. 

However, in watching the new biopic, King Richard, I learned much more about their origin story. It went well beyond the championships, awards and accolades and provided some of their personal backstory. 

I wasn’t aware that their faith was one of the primary reasons that they didn’t play competitive tennis for almost three years. Their parents prioritized their education and personal development over the allure(and trappings) of early tennis stardom.

Richard did things his way but, in many ways, he had to. What they were doing had never been done before and what that family accomplished will never be repeated – EVER!

Yes he was domineering and unorthodox, but what were his other options? These children were entering an exclusive and hostile space. He was doing his best to protect them from the world’s distractions, expectations and cruelty.

Richard was an undeniable dreamer and master planner. He and his wife raised two of the most highly decorated tennis players ever to play the game and they did it at a time when there were not many Black role models in the game. 

More importantly for me, they raised intelligent, tough and well adjusted women who could command the spotlight and manage the impossible pressures of success. 

I have developed a new level of respect for Richard Williams and his grand plan. In fact, some of his ill-advised methods and modes of motivation reminded me of my father. They were somewhat harsh and uncompromising but they were purposeful, well-intended and successful. 

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Public Announcement

The Road to Recovery

According to my surgical team, the surgery was successful. The procedure, called a discectomy, targeted my L4 and L5 vertebrae. I got to the hospital at 8:05am and got home twelve hours later, around 8:30pm

This was the first time I was ever administered anesthesia and to be honest it wasn’t that bad. I have never had a broken bone, an overnight hospital stay or any significant medical condition prior to my misdiagnosis of lung cancer in 2019.

In truth, this whole process is new to me. Consequently, it has been a valuable learning experience. 

It has made me acutely aware of the complicated nature of recovery. Like anything else, ‘getting better’ never occurs in a straight line. It is like a huge roller coaster with twists and turns and dramatic ups and downs. 

There are moments of hope and promise and there are instances when you question everything. 

In retrospect, I believe it’s almost criminal to release patients after this procedure. There is no way I could have managed the pain and discomfort at home by myself. I required help with everything for the first 48 hrs – everything. 

I can’t thank my wife enough for her attentiveness and assistance. She was on point and help was invaluable. I also want to thank all of the friends and family who conveyed their kind wishes and encouragement. It was much appreciated!


I wasn’t going to write this week. My recovery wasn’t going the way that I anticipated and I was frustrated, sore and feeling sorry for myself. To make matters worse I had to have a tooth extracted and I have been nauseous from the pain medication. My condition provided the perfect justification for taking the week off. 

Luckily for me, I received some timely and much-needed inspiration. It wasn’t anything dramatic but it came from an unexpected source and it was enough to convince me to get the blog done. Thanks M. 

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. It can arrive through kind words, consideration or unexpected acts of compassion. Be the reason someone smiles, rethinks a choice or decides not to give up. Remember, good intentions always make a difference. I am Jude. 

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

6 replies on “BOOK OF JUDE – CHAPTER XXIV”

I am so excited Jude. I love this!!!!! Please please please encourage everyone to use the reflection board (it sounds so much better than white board so I might steal that idea from you). I would love a world where everyone can feel a bit better everyday seeing the things they have achieved or the things they are doing that make them feel good. Kind of like reading your blog – definitely makes you feel and want to Be Better. Thank you 🙏

No, Thank You! It is critical that we find ways to highlight our successes. The idea of a reflection board resonates with me. I need something visible that provides accountability and identifies my daily progress in relation to my intentions and personal life goals.

Congratulations 🎉 keep on sharing. I resonate with being intentional in every thing I do as well. I’m building a legacy of joy through my healing journey as well fams. 🌺♥️Maybe you can be my coach.

Building a legacy of joy! I like that. Keep building and gaining strength through your personal development journey sister! It seems like you are already well on your way.

I truly believe that sister! Your words certainly inspired me! And yes, it’s all about love. Love for yourself and others and trying to Be Better one small step at a time.

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