Author/Wealth-Building Proponent & Adoptee Dr. Robert J. Watkins Advocates Living in Purpose in New Book ‘CHOSEN’

Hello World,

As an author, I love other authors and part of my mission with this blog is to introduce you, my readers, to authors who have chosen to share the wealth of their experiences in written form. Today, I present to you Dr. Robert Watkins, author of “CHOSEN: Become the Person You Were Meant to Be.” Below is a brief description of his book followed by my interview with him. Read and enjoy :)!

“CHOSEN” chronicles a  journey that includes personal stories of seeking professional speaking opportunities while wearing shoes with holes, turning to a toupee to hide both a fading hairline and insecurities, and searching for his voice while serving his nation in the U.S. Army. These stories count among the testaments of author/entrepreneur Dr. Robert J. Watkins in Watkins’ new book “CHOSEN: Become the Person You Were Meant to Be.”

1. What was the catalyst for writing your new book, “CHOSEN: Become the Person You Were Meant to Be?”

I wrote the book for people desiring to live life in fulfillment, satisfaction and happiness. This only happens when you have a clear path to understanding that at birth you were chosen by God to be uniquely great at something. With my book CHOSEN, I hope to help the reader gain such an understanding.

2. How did you come up with the title “CHOSEN?”

In John 15:16 in the Bible, Jesus says “You did not choose me, I chose you.” He also instructs that we would bear fruit, fruit that will last.

3. Your new book “CHOSEN” is a compilation of inspirational stories and anecdotes that you share to encourage others to find their purpose and fulfill their destiny. What is your favorite inspirational story and/or anecdote in the book and why?  

My favorite story is my story of adoption. A 29-year-old married but barren woman by the name of Mary convinced her husband Bob they should adopt a child. Being a married barren woman in the 1960s was considered shameful.

One day, Mary saw a TV commercial for a downtown Detroit orphanage. The commercial highlighted a picture of a black baby boy needing a home. During this era, it was rare for a black family to adopt children, especially outside of their family. Mary, a nurse, and Bob, who worked on the assembly line at the local plant, drove down to the orphanage to find that little black baby boy. After one month, they adopted that little boy, gave him a name and raised him in church.  That little boy was me.

Even though I was “given up” by my birth mother, I still have a purpose.

4. In CHOSEN, you point out that you were rescued and adopted as a newborn in the 1960s from a Detroit orphanage. How has your journey as an adopted child inspired your purpose and your book?

It started with changing my mindset from having an orphanage mindset to that of a man of purpose. An orphanage mindset carries feelings of hopelessness and of being trapped with no way out. It’s a “woe-is-me” mindset that can become very angry at a moment’s notice.  As opposed to thinking like a man of purpose, who always has a plan to improve his condition and the condition of those around him. His mindset is optimistic, positive and prayerful.  Eventually, his life will improve because of his having a plan, positive thoughts and a relationship with his God.

5. As a part of your company Conquer Worldwide, you host free monthly workshops for those seeking professional support or a bit of direction as it relates to entrepreneurship.What inspired you to host these workshops and what kind of feedback have you received from them?

After hosting hundreds of workshops for over 10,000 people over a nine-year period, the number-one question I would receive from adults is how to find support. Most people would describe their issues in financial terms, but there would also be something deeper. Perhaps their spouse didn’t support them or a parent didn’t believe in them or perhaps society misunderstood them; those things were holding them back. The lack of money was merely a symptom. That’s why in our monthly workshops we deal with how to find the emotional, financial and professional support they need.  They leave with a more rounded view of their lives and ultimately come to fruitful decisions.

6. You are also vocal about police brutality and profiling and the killing of unarmed black men.In fact, you are hosting an Atlanta event addressing these topics on August 7 with Former NFL player Terrell Fletcher, who will serve as one of the presenters. How do you plan to address these issues?

We are gathering hundreds of men of color to address this issue to train them to use their influence in their local communities. The training of men will come from holding honest question-and-answer panel discussions.  We’ll pose questions to our audience such as:

“How do you feel about our local police?”

“What can you do to create a better relationship with the police?”

“How can you protect your family from dishonest policemen or criminals?”

Our panelists are prepared to respond with real actionable items.

7. Through your first book “Never Chase a Paycheck Again,” you still present and speak around the country on issues to include multiple streams of income, becoming your own boss, finding your purpose, finding the money you need and more.What is your top secret for never chasing a paycheck again?

My secret sauce is called The Conquer System, which consists of teaching people how to generate seven income streams.

The Conquer System allows our experienced team of consultants to perform an assessment of the individual’s goals. Then we create a personal financial plan and a business plan, and create a team around that individual to hold them accountable.  From there, we seek to help to finance their goals in accordance with their new plan.  During this 90-day process, we educate them on how to self-fund their dream by understanding the seven-streams-of-income plan.  It can include their writing an e-book, starting a side business, understanding the foreign exchange market and other creative ideas that require no financial investment, only time and focus.

Dr. Robert J. Watkins is a well-rounded professional and retired veteran with more than 20 years of experience as a business and financial consultant, real estate investor, media commentator and notable speaker.

Watkins is the founder and CEO of Conquer Worldwide, a consulting agency focused on inspiring and empowering people to become successful entrepreneurs and, ultimately, propel their pursuit toward financial freedom.

He received a bachelor of arts degree in Mass Communications and Journalism from the University of West Georgia. In 2005, he received an honorary doctoral degree in business and theology from the Ministry International Institute for his entrepreneurial teachings while at Emory University.

To buy a copy of “CHOSEN: Become the Person You Were Meant to Be,” go to conquerworldwide.com.

Any thoughts?

Elder Mark A. Moore, Jr. & Other Black Church Leaders Should Be Careful About Elevating Scripture Above Therapy Following Suicides of Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain…

Hello World,

I really hadn’t planned to post this morning because I’ve been out of town for a week and need to focus on returning to the more rudimentary rhythms of life. In other words, I’m readying myself to return to work tomorrow after a week off! But when I saw a Facebook friend’s post about a black church leader Elder Mark Moore Jr.’s Facebook commentary regarding Bible study and therapy, I knew I needed to weigh in about this very timely topic. Below is what he said…

I understand what Elder Moore is trying to say I guess, but in my experience and from everything I’ve read, the Black Church, historically, has turned to Bible study and prayer OVER therapy during a mental health crisis to its detriment. Here a few excerpts of articles I’ve found to support that premise…

From my very own blog:

‘Pain in the Pews’ Conference Highlights Mental Health & Ministry This Saturday!

Excerpt:  Do you feel like the church, specifically the Black Church, has appropriately addressed mental health and ministry? Please explain your answer.

No, I don’t think so. I think that historically, we have been taught just to “pray about it” – which, I agree wholeheartedly that we should pray about everything. However, it cannot stop there. If Sister Mary comes and says that she is suffering from depression and having suicidal thoughts, prayer along with ensuring that Sister Mary gets professional help is what is going to help to heal her. If someone says I have a tightness in my chest and my left arm is going numb, we are certainly going to pray, but someone is going to/should say “you need to go see a doctor.” The same advice given to someone with a physical ailment should be given when someone has a mental or emotional issue. That is not always the case in the Black Church.

Former Child Caretaker Dr. Sheila D. Williams Uses Background to Help Others With Mental Illness…

Excerpt:  How prevalent is mental illness in the black community, and what can the Black Church do to support mental health awareness and treatment? 

Within the black community, the subject of mental illness is still very taboo, unfortunately. There are many people within the black community who have undiagnosed mental illness or have been diagnosed with a mental illness, but chose not to take medication or get therapy. These individuals, unfortunately, are suffering in silence. By failing to see a mental health professional, to follow up with treatment or refusing to take prescribed psychotropic medications, their mental illness not only affects them, but it affects their families, loved ones and the entire community.

As a Christian woman, I have a strong faith, and believe in God and the power of prayer. However, at times in the Black Church we fail to acknowledge and expound upon the importance of physical and mental health. Although prayer and motivation are important, and I personally know the benefits of each, it is also important for the Black Church to encourage and promote mental health awareness. We often seek the help and advice of medical physicians, but we fail to seek that same help and assistance from mental health professionals when our emotional and psychological well-being is in jeopardy. I feel it a responsibility of all of us to promote and encourage 360 degrees of wellness, and this includes our mental health.

From The Huffington Post:

Gospel Singer Tasha Cobbs Says Black Church Can Help With Depression

Excerpt:  Cobbs was diagnosed with depression after attending her first therapy consultation, where she discussed her various symptoms. Now, the singer says she still attends therapy sessions once every month to make sure she stays “connected” with her therapist.

While there is a stigma attached to mental health issues in the black community and it is often viewed as a taboo topic to even discuss, Cobbs believes the issue should be considered a health priority — similar to other serious medical conditions.

“I think when you say ‘mental health,’ automatically people think ‘I’m not crazy,’ because we haven’t put a definition to exactly what we’re saying,” she said. “I believe when you say ‘it’s a mental health issue,’ it’s like having diabetes or something’s wrong with my toes or whatever the case is — it’s a medical condition and it can be dealt with. Just like you can manage a broken finger, you can manage mental health issues. I am a living witness that you can be freed and you can be cured and healed from it, but you have to first acknowledge that it exists.”

The suicides of Kate Spade earlier this month followed by Anthony Bourdain days later demonstrated in a dramatic way that no one, no matter the person’s social standing, celebrity status and wealth, is immune from mental health crises. I’m not discounting all of the people who don’t have a platform and suffer in the same way but because of the platforms of Spade and Bourdain, more people, I imagine, are paying attention to mental health issues.

As Elder Moore said, I do believe that Jesus still heals today but we cannot predict how He will heal and we have to use every resource available to facilitate that healing. I believe God has equipped some therapists and uses them to heal their patients. And some Christian therapists use Scripture in addressing mental health diagnoses. As my father was trained as a therapist and as a minister, I’ve never took part in the stigma about seeking counseling when needed. Bible study and prayer are indispensable tools that all should employ in health and wellness but they are not the only tools that God approves of and uses. I hope that more Black Church leaders come to this realization.

Alright, I think I’ve said all that I care to say except to point out I think that mental health issues are so hard for some people to grasp because the issues take place in the brain which none of us can physically see. But as Tasha Cobbs said, having a mental issue issue is just as debilitating as a physical issue. If someone has broken their leg in a car accident for example, you’re not going to advise that person to crack open a Bible and recite Scripture. I mean you can do it and it could be helpful, but you also need to get to a hospital. A mental health issue should be treated similarly. If someone you know is exhibiting suicidal tendencies, seek the help of a mental health professional and all the while you can be recalling Scripture and praying as you do it.

And below is a Scripture that applies to this post:

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”  Proverbs 11:14

Do you feel that the Black Church elevates Bible study and prayer over therapy and medication when it comes to mental health crises?

Any thoughts?

7 Reasons Why Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding Was the Best Royal Wedding Ever!!!

Hello World,

My husband couldn’t understand why yesterday I was nearly as excited as I was the day I got married almost five years ago (Yes, chile, we are almost at our first five-year anniversary!) A Royal Wedding is the like the Super Bowl, the NBA championship and the World Series (am I getting that right? so not a sports aficionado although I pretend to be sometimes) for romantics the world over! What’s better than an everyday wedding with a bride who feels like a princess and a groom who feels like a prince? A wedding with actual royalty!!! Bring on the Kings (with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being my favorite earthly King…more on that later…) Queens, Princes & Princesses. Yes, I know as a Christian, I am a child of the King, but until Jesus returns, earthly monarchies will have to do 🙂 And I will not be made to apologize for my fan girl behavior…so take all of the shade elsewhere…And please indulge me as I make the case why Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding was the Best Royal Wedding Ever!!!

As a little girl, who just completed first grade, I woke up early with my parents and watched the wedding of Prince Charles & Diana on July 29, 1981. I actually do remember some of the details including her blue sapphire engagement ring. As the great lyricist Lil Wayne says, “bling bling.” (I had become familiar with that concept after my father read “Cinderella” to me.) Similarly, I watched Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding on April 29, 2011. I remember before William was born so it was nice to watch him grow up and get married.

But babay, when I learned that a shonuff sista (yes, I know she identifies as biracial and I respect that.) was the love interest of Prince Harry (my favorite of Diana’s boys. Who doesn’t love a red-headed bad boy?) I knew special attention must be paid. And my dues were worth it when they announced they were engaged on  November 27, 2017!  And from then, it was off to the races, galloping until their glorious wedding day May 19, 2018. And it was everything I hoped for and more…So without further ado, let’s go…

Started at the bottom, now I’m here!

1. It was the “Cinderella” story come to life! Complete with the evil stepsister Samantha Markle (the sister who is writing the book “The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister”), Meghan Markle was supposedly not princess material. (I know she is officially the Duchess of Sussex but whatever.) Biracial. Divorced. American. Roman Catholic. Older than Harry. An Actress. A Commoner. All are attributes that were supposed to disqualify her from going to the royal ball like Cinderella, but Harry didn’t care about all of that. She was the one and he knew that pretty quickly from what I’ve read. Ladies, if you love romance novels, “Cinderella” was likely the first one you read and this story showcases the same themes explored in this timeless love story. What others think of you and maybe what you think of yourself to some degree does not disqualify you from the best of what this life has to offer if only would believe.

2. What would Cinderella be without her prince? The Royals are usually austere at least by appearances but Prince Harry was in his feelings yesterday and he let the world into his adoration for bride when he uttered these words when he first saw her, “You look amazing.” Insert sexy lip bite and shy look from Meghan. “I’m so lucky.” My heart just melted. Like the songstress Anita Baker says, “I was caught up in the rapture of love.”

3. The inclusiveness of the wedding. As a black person, I was so proud that black culture was infused into the festivities. I’m pretty sure this is the first royal wedding to include an address given by a black minister. The Most Reverend Michael Curry, the first African American to serve as bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, delivered a word on yesterday. You hear me! Replete with references to slaves in the antebellum South to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., you could not only hear his address, you could feel it. “There’s power in love!” Yeah, his message was a little lengthy, but that’s how the black church rolls. LOL. And did you see that woman? The Church of England’s Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Queen Elizabeth’s chaplain no less? Who knew the Queen got down with blacks like that? And I love a female reverend! And she is Jamaican! Wah Gwaan! And “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King as sung by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir was magical in that moment! A gospel choir at the Royal Wedding?! And did y’all hear them sing”Amen” as the ceremony ended. Let the church say, “Amen.” I cannot forget 19-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his cello! A prodigy he is…And most of all, a black mama with locs and a nose ring!

4. How Harry Remembered His Mama. If you are in my age group and older, you remember the tragic death of Princess Diana and the heartbreaking funeral featuring two lonely looking boys. I cannot imagine the pain they felt having to face the world (and what a big world they have) without the protection of their mother as they grew up. He was a mere boy of 12 when his mother passed away. But from various accounts, he thinks of her all of the time. And that was evident in the Royal Wedding. Princess Diana’s sister Lady Jane Fellowes gave the reading and all of her siblings were there. Princess Diana’s favorite flower, forget-me-nots, were featured in the bridal bouquet, and Prince Harry reportedly hand-picked flowers from their private garden at Kensington Palace for the wedding. Also, “Guide Me, O Thy Great Redeemer,” a hymn sung at his mother’s funeral, was also sung during the ceremony. Meghan’s engagement ring also includes diamonds from her late mother-in-law. And Meghan is 36 years old, the age of his mother when she passed…Coincidence? Maybe, but maybe not…

5. The Celebs! I’m a pop culture Ph.D. so seeing some of my favorite celebrities in the mix made it all the more festive. New mama Serena, one of the sports wonders of the world, slayed with those gorgeous braids! The ever handsome George Clooney was giving me geriatric goosebumps. The newly married Idris Elba looked at home in his home country. (What the ’90s Gucci Purse was his girl (wife) wearing though? The sweater dress in spring of it all!) Our American Queen, Oprah, was flitting about, seemingly spreading fairy dust, like the fairy godmother that she is. (Cinderella y’all?) There were others that I spotted but these are the ones that I was watching.

6. One of the Mulroney Twins’ reaction when the doors opened to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England. His face captured how we all felt when Megan Markle was about to become the Duchess of Sussex! His toothless mouth agape with wonder was adorable and appropriate for the grandeur of what was to come…

7. Meghan Markle’s Wedding Reception Dress. I loved the demure quality of her wedding dress. But the dress that she wore to the reception “suits” her best…Not to mention it actually resembles the style of my wedding dress….

And I hope Harry turnt up just like dis at his wedding reception…

 

And there you have it…there’s more I could say, but I’ve given you enough to relive the highlights the royal wedding…So did I prove my case? Do you agree? What are your top 7 reasons?

Any thoughts?