Your Words Can Change the World

Don’t Drop the Mic: The Power of Your Words Can Change The World by T.D. Jakes

I was browsing the library shelves when this title pretty much jumped out at me. I pulled the book from the shelf and thought, “Who is T.D. Jakes? He doesn’t look like a rapper!”

I flipped through a few pages and realized that he was a preacher. But the opening paragraphs sparked my interest and made me bring it to the checkout counter. Jakes makes some great points in this book and I highlighted many passages as I read. Here are a few of my favs.

You Are Who You Listen To

“You aren’t just a result of what you say. You are a result of who you listen to most often, engage with consistently, and spend time with socially! Who are you listening to? And did you ever realize that simply listening to them and dialoging consistently with them is programming you even after you walk away.”

If You Don’t Try, You Still Lose

With communication, the old adage ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ becomes ‘Nothing ventured, something lost.'”

I like that idea. You need to take risks and try things in this life. If you don’t, you can lose more than just the opportunity. Don’t just play it safe. You will lose something in the process.

Find Your Own Voice

“One of the hardest lessons to learn as you overcome your fears, self-consciousness, and anxiety is to find your own groove, your own lane, and your own voice. Of course, you will display certain traits and qualities of the men and women who have influenced you and your message. But there’s a big difference between implementation and imitation! Don’t try to imitate someone else, but do implement aspects of what you admire, appreciate, and adore about them.”

Who Cares and So What?

As you assemble any message, it’s good to keep in mind two foundational pillars: Who cares? And So what? A friend of mine is an English professor who often teaches writing classes to college students, and these ate the two succinct, guiding questions he instills in all his developing writers. ‘Identifying your audience and keeping them in mind’ –Who cares? —’is paramount for impact,’ he told me. ‘But there must also be something worth saying, the heart of your message that makes some kind of difference to that very audience’—So what?”

Even Texts Have Relatives

“Just as virtually everyone has relatives—mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, on and on—every text has relatives of its own, the other verses, passages, stories, and history that intersect in whatever way to form some kind of relationship. It’s essential to consider as many relatives as I can find in order to appreciate all dimensions of the text. Just as knowing something about your family helps others know you, I want to know my text’s family in order to better understand how and why its message was first born.”

You Only Get One Shot

“Treat your opportunity as if it’s the only one you will ever have. To the best of your ability, don’t leave any margin for error, for excuses, or for accidents. Focus on your strengths instead of trying to correct your weaknesses.

Give your all every time there is an opportunity to speak and deliver a message. Learn from each opportunity and use that wisdom to become better next time.

Every shot it the only one you have.

Don’t throw away your shot to be the best!”

Grow, Learn, Improve

This was an inspiring book and I am sure you will get a lot out of it. Teachers, musicians, business professionals, and anyone else who has to speak to audiences can learn from T.D. Jakes’ advice. While religion and faith are obviously a big part of his life, he never hits us over the head with it. He uses a few stories from the Bible to illustrate his point, but he does so in fresh and original ways. Even if you aren’t religious, you will find yourself getting sucked it to his storytelling and message. This one is highly recommended.

My Reading Log of 2022 – with dozens of book reviews like this.