Thursday, April 15, 2010

Goal Setting Guide For Urban Students


By DarRen Morris

Table of Contents
Affirmations to Stand By............................................. 3

Introduction............................................................... 4

Dedication................................................................. 5

A Genesis for Success.................................................6

Health and Mental Centering....................................... 11

              Centering Yourself.........................................! 3

Components for Success.............................................! 7


                      Purpose..........................................       20

                      Responsibility.......................................   22

                                  Drive.......................................    24

The Guide for Success.................................................  25

            Realistic Goals...................................................27

                 Immediate and Future Goals.........................28

               An Honest Evaluation of Where You Are.........29


                      Your Plan.............................................................31

Accomplishing Success................................................34

Conclusion.................................................................. 3 7

Great Books to Read.....................................................38

Affirmations to Stand By

The world is always well supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others. The true leader is of a different sort. He or she seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficent purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake and, holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations.

Leaders are people who raise the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judged. A love of high quality, we must remember, is essential in a leader.

Let us not deny our ideals nor sacrifice our right to stand as champions of the poor, the ignorant and the oppressed everywhere.

Principles alone can endow our ideals with force and meaning. Let us be true to what we believe that our beliefs may serve and honor us.

Education of the youth is the surest guarantee of a better life'.

All five of the above are quotes from H.I.M. Haile Selassie I (The First)

Pg 4
Self portrait


My name is DarRen Morris I. I am a practicing RastaFarian. It is because of these beliefs that I have written this Guide.

In a world where it seems that so many people within the inner city, ghettos, and projects have adopted the concept of self gain, there is no more of the idea that it takes a community to raise a child. Today people see those of us who come from the urban world as their future entertainment. We are their sports' players, actors in their movies and we sing and rap on their stages.

Why not own the team? Why not own the production company? There is nothing to stop us but us.

We have broken down our tribes. We have to rebuild our world in order to insure the future for our children. To me this means that we must learn to function within our own neighborhoods where we own our own stories, have our own clinics and so forth. When we become an economic force, we will become a political threat. We then have the ability to change things.

When we own property we will have the right to say what happens within our neighborhoods. But before we get to that point, we must first raise up as a nation. This means that we have to first go out and find those brothers and sisters who are lost. The rape victims. The drug dealers. The gang members.

Children are being beaten and sexually abused. They are losing their innocence by being robbed of their chance to make it. We have to educate ourselves and educate our tribe. I truly believe in the power of love. The love of the creator. The love of people; of our fellow man. This love is within us. It is there and it will shine through when the curtain of knowledge is opened.

I know that when you know better, you do better.

I want you to appreciate who you are and appreciate the world that you came from because within it is the potential for greatness. When you embrace this and set better goals for yourself, you can uplift and inspire your people. I pray that you are inspired and uplifted.

Pg 5                                                   Dedication 

All praises and thanks be Jah RAsTaFari, Haile Selassie I, Earth's Rightful Ruler. Jah has blessed me with the knowledge needed to write these words.

Everything that I do is for the praise and glory for my Father. I want to give a special thanks to my family, especially my Granny who, before I could read, had brought books for me with my name in them. My mother took me and my siblings to the public library and made sure that we had library cards. She would take us there to get books. On days when other children were outside playing, she would make us come in and do school work, most of which had never been assigned. Special thanks to Mrs. Brown, my 4th and 6th grade teacher. And to my Aunt Erma who applied continuous pressure on me to write. Thanks to my son whose birth name is the same as mine. It is for him that 1 hope the world wakes up and becomes a better place. To Peg, Gina and Jerry; I hope you know just how much you mean to me. To Judy and Kate; I have gained so much and grown to be a better man because I have known you.

To I and I Dreads across the world; those who wear the crown and to those who are spiritually Dreaded. He is alive because I and I live fully, RasTafar I!

I also dedicate this book to you, the person who has taken time to read this. It is a sign that you are moving in a direction that will help heal the earth and our people. To all of you, I say, Peace and Ras'pect. And always STAND IN LOVE!

Pg 6 thru 10 Genesis for Success

I would like to first begin with defining the word Urban. I find it extremely important to look up words, even the ones that I am familiar with. Knowing the true definition of one word can change the viewpoint of an entire statement. I once was able to win a dispute with a friendly adversary when he stated his position. His entire argument was centered around the word "was." I knew he was incorrect. I challenged him. For nearly three hours we had a very energetic dialogue. He began to restate his position. I listened intently while he was talking. I erupted in laughter. He was angry. What's so funny? We shot at me with a look in his eye. I said, You said 'is,' not 'was.' At that point in the argument he realized that I was right. He lost his focus and used the wrong word.

The title of this book suggests that I am speaking to a certain type of student. The Urban Student. But what does that mean? In many cities and towns across the U.S., there are what is known as Urban Centers, or some other title meaning nearly the same thing. Most often these are places that cater to the inner city youth with Black and Brown people being the dominate groups - speaking of the ratio of Black and Brown people to any other color. Webster's Dictionary defines the word as follows:

Urban (adj.)

1. Of or constituting a city

2. Typical of the city or city life.

Please do not say, oh, he means The Hood. That term, The Hood, represents a personality and a certain way of thinking that is often contrary to that which is needed in order to be a successful student.

Over the past ten years or so, I have read hundreds of books. My relationship with reading began with my family. As a boy just learning to read, my Granny bought these books that had my name in the story line. My Granny would often stop our play-time and make us read something. She would have us all stand up and read from the Bible. It was not a normal Bible. She had this huge Bible that looked like one of the original tablets with The Ten Commandments. The book was like two feet long, a foot wide, and like eight inches thick.

Then my mother, who could barely read, made sure that all of us had library cards and about once a month or so she would take us to the library. The Public Library!

So I was not a stranger to reading, however, I was not really a good student. It was not because I was not smart. It was because I had not set any true personal goals for myself. I had no direction. I was not reaching toward anything. I was just going along with the flow of things.

When I was in high school, my family moved from Kenosha, Wisconsin (for those who do not know, Kenosha wants to boast that it is a city but it was really a small town, especially when I was in school) to Green Bay, Wisconsin. This was a big change for me; one I was not happy with. When I went to school there were only two and a half Black people and one Brown person. The other Black guy - if you closed your eyes - sounded like everyone else in that school. He even smelled like them. I'm not saying that was either good or bad, just different. Once I got in class I realized that I was lost. They were talking about things I had never even heard of. When the teacher said, Take notes, I would not get past the first sentence before I was so far behind that the point of trying to catch up was useless.

Many years later I learned, from reading all of those books, how to become a better student. In books about a student's guide to note taking and so forth, I learned that I had poor study habits. I would even go on to say that I did not know how to study. I would just read and sometimes read a chapter and for me that was studying. For some, that may work. For me, not so much. I did not have a goal in mind as I read these materials. Of course, one could argue that the goal was to get a good grade on the paper or exam. But why is that grade relevant? To get a job? Why? To make money?

It was not until years later that I found the true answer to these question. I began studying about Dreadlocks and Rasfarians. At first glance, I was hooked. It spoke to my insides. For the first time something felt right. It made sense to me in a way that I did not completely understand at that time. I found that I was able to retain what I had read much better partly because I wanted to really understand this new path, or rather this newly revealed path. The path was already there; I just found it. Without really knowing it, I had begun a new system. By having a set goal, I was able to focus and study better. My relationship with the world was based on the relationship it had with me.

 That seemed to revolve around the color of my skin. I eventually came to realize that we, as Black and Brown people, had done ourselves a major disservice. By adopting the hook and the hood mentality, we had placed ourselves back into slavery. We are not a free and sovereign nation, we are slaves to a system that feeds on drugs, guns, death, disease, ignorance and destruction.

Therefore, my genesis of being a successful student was this. In order for me -for any of us - to have any type of success (political, social, economic, or otherwise) that will move the urban community forward, there must be knowledge of self. I do not mean that inner-you as in your thoughts and beliefs. I mean where do you come from? Are you Anglo-Saxon, African, Latin, Hispanic, American African (not vice versa) or maybe you are a beautiful blend of several people. I had a discussion once with a guy who claimed he did not believe in God. I granted him the Raspect of speaking his piece even though I did not agree. When he finished, he asked what I thought. I said, ALL PRAISES BE UNTO THE MOST HIGH COD, ONE TRUE GOD HAILE SELASSIE I (THE FIRST). His response was, / KNEW THAT I COULD NOT CHANGE SOMEONE'S MIND WHO HAS A HISTORY OF 6,000 YEARS OF BELIEVING IN A GOD.

Who we are comes from the soul of our people. For me, that would be Africans. No matter who your people are, you will learn about their struggles and through understanding that struggle you will learn that you are still facing much of that same struggle today. The urban world has become a cesspool of broken and underdeveloped dreams. When we begin thinking of success, true success lies with the advancement of the people. Not just Black and Brown people, but all of the people who are where you are: those of the urban world. If it is not about the race of a people, then why mention it? For me, personally, when I think of the people that I come from I begin to feel majestic. I am no longer an African American, which to me means that I was only shaped by slaves and the people that came from slaves. Being an American African means that, though I am from here, and some other people are from here, I come from there. From Africa. That is where the roots of the tree that jah planted grow even though its branches are far reaching. This new sense of price allowed me to place some distance between what I see on TV, on the block, or hear about in music. I did not have to be a hustler or thug. I did not have to be the one that pulled the people around me into this cesspool. I could be the one that is writing this Guide that may reach the mind of our next president. So, Mr. or Madam President, how will you lead the people into social, economic or political success? Do not get wealthy and leave your people behind. Take your people with you. If you go on to become a doctor, come back and start an urban health care clinic for the people. If you are not skilled in that way, go on to be a police officer. Protect your people and keep them safe.

As a kid we all thought the police were crooked and against us. They lie. They steal. They send people to jail who do not belong there. They beat up people and so on. But no one ever went on to become a police officer to stop or to change that from happening. You could.

We need more people from the urban world to feel good about who they are and to love their people to such a degree that they want for them what they want for themselves. When we take time to learn about ourselves and become better versions of ourselves so that we may best serve our people, we are stepping into the genesis of our success.

In studying about Africans, I learned that our ancestors have contributed so much to the scholastic system as we know it. For example, it was Africans who created such things as science, technology, astronomy, astrology, architecture, engineering, philosophy, ethics, mathematics (including calculus) trigonometry, algebra and geometry. So if I stand upon 6,000 years of belief in Cod, does this mean that I have also inside my soul 6,000 years of

knowledge? Yes, and even more. The mysteries of the earth are on the inside of you. It is what you are made of. I found that so many inventions were either made by American Africans or have been influenced by some earlier invention of ours. Just to name a few, and trust me, this is only a few of the whole: the traffic light, the portable X-ray machine, the blood bank, the automatic transmission, the automatic car wash, and the carbon filament on the inside of light bulbs that is what makes it glow.

Beyond science and education, we also learn that we have made great strides in government, publishing, religion, law, business, the arts, sports, entertainment and even the military.

Learning these things does one little good if one does not look into the mindset of the people to see their character. When studying our history - your history -we learn that, despite facing great odds, many of us achieved greatness and helped others along the way. Anything that you can face today, somebody else has already faced and overcome, and has left behind a map to the treasure. All you have to do is follow the map.

Feel pride in who you are, who your people are and where they have risen from. Be inspired to not only find the treasure but reinvest it and leave an even greater treasure for those who will come behind you. You are not the end of all things. When you throw trash away, the way you dispose of it matters to the earth and will matter to generations to come. When you throw trash on the ground, this does damage to the earth.

Achieving individual success is good and you should accomplish as much as you can for yourself. But for every one of you who reads this Guide - and gets it and sees the future with such a Guide - there is someone next to you, behind you, or two rows over who may read this Guide next. He or she may not see it and will need someone else to create a path for them. Some of these thugs and future drug dealers and gang bangers will not see it until it is too late, if they ever see it at all. They, too, will need your help. They will need you to run a justice system that is based on fairness and honor and compassion for our fellow man. The urban world can be a very beautiful world; it is inside places such as these that some of our greatest minds were developed.

I have yet to begin to really dive into what I believe will help shape you into a better student. Because I truly believe that when you know who you are and what it is or who it is you are supposed to remain in that struggle for, it allows you to overcome the small obstacles that will come. And yes, they will come. I even have one tip that may well serve as a genesis for the guy or girl who does not want to study and work hard to achieve individual success or tribal success or collective success. There are people in your school who will take these words and cling to them as if they were the Bible or Qur'an. And then there are those who could rewrite this Guide and probably make it better. They should be your best friend. I do not mean as some con to get a few dollars from him or her. I do not believe in using people. But I will say, with true conviction, that if you take time to really befriend these people, it may someday bless you. These are the future leaders of the community: the politicians, judges, DA's, CEO's at Fortune 500 companies, the owners of basketball and football teams. When you are not going to rely on your own brain power to succeed in life, you will need to have friends in high places to help you make it, especially if you plan to live well.

Pg 11

  “ I was tired of holding it in & just let it go for awhile and had fun."                                                                                                           
pg 11 thru 16

Today there are many people who live in America who are drastically overweight. Your weight plays a role in how well you will do in life. This is not to say that overweight people cannot and are not successful. That would be a lie. But being overweight comes with a host of medical problems that will limit your lifespan and, at times, restrict what you can do. People are beautiful. True beauty comes from the inside.

You also have some say in that beauty. If you are mindful of what you put on the inside of you, it very well may make a difference in how that is reflected on the outside.

Eating certain foods and types of foods, especially as a teenager, can increase your chances of getting acne, pimples and blackheads, or what may be known as blemishes. As a teenager, if your diet is poor and consists of certain foods, you will tend to be shorter, taller or even heavier. I will not overlook the fact that genetics will play a role but, if you fuel your body properly, you will increase your brain's ability to function. It will increase your energy level and, all around, help you become a better you. I am not a doctor so I am not getting into specific suggestions without knowing you. It would not be wise to give a specific plan for a diet. You consult your doctor and also invest some time and do some independent study on the body. Diet and exercise are key components to success.

A good website to help you understand the new food pyramid (see below) can be found at On this site, you can put in your age, gender, desired nutrition and exercise goals and actually track your daily food intake. The site will also tell you how much of each of the food groups you should have for your age and level of activity. You will notice that "foods" like sugar and saturated oils are not even listed. That is because your body needs so very little of these junk foods to grow well.

 9 by 12 panel acrylic painting. A tribute to loners, the tigers represent nature, gentleness and power. The truth of love and lovers.

ditional paintings by DaRen Morris at:


2010 Food Pyramid

Keeping the body clean and as pure as possible is very important. Many store-bought and man-made foods and medications come with a price tag. You should always discuss with your doctor how certain foods or medications will affect your natural self. Things like drinking more water and eating things like lemons, fresh pineapple, limes, peaches, grapefruit, oranges and tomatoes will help you purify and cleanse your body.

This is not a complete guide through the body and its workings and chemical makeup. They are suggestions on what to consider and where to do your research. I always recommend that, when preparing and eating natural foods, you do not over-prepare them. A lot of times, people will over-cook foods, thus stripping them of most, and in some cases all, nutritional value. Do not add a lot of ingredients to mask the taste. For example, I saw this guy with a plate full of cauliflower proclaiming how good it is for you. Then he drowned it with a thick creamy cheese from one of those cheese squeeze bottles. I did not have the heart to tell him that, because it was over-cooked and because he had added all that cheese, it no longer held any real potential to promote good health.

Pg 14,15,16
Centering yourself

Tree in snow : this image was me experiencing peace. I never really liked the cold. It was funny; I had an all white pit bull my father gave me . She used to chase snowflakes in our back yard. There was this large tree that seemed to come alive when the leaves fell off.

The setting is a little different; it felt more in line with how I felt. Nature was a safe place, but where we stayed, nature was a fleeting concept. My great grandfather was a gardener for fun and food. The few conversations we had were usually about something related to nature.

Centering yourself is something that will vary from person to person because of cultural traditions and other beliefs or, in some cases, the lack of knowledge into either. But now that you have begun to purify your insides physically, you now need to maximize this with two things: exercise and some form of meditation.

When you get up in the morning, take a few moments to do some toe touches. If you cannot just yet touch your toes, do not worry; that may be a goal that you may slowly and safely work toward. You do not want to injure yourself, even if you are in peak physical shape. Your movements should be deliberate (controlled). Take a deep breath, filling up your lungs as you reach your hands toward the ceiling. Slowly let this breath out as you bend down, reaching toward the floor as far as you comfortably can. Inhale as you come back up, again reaching toward the ceiling, keeping your feet firmly planted on the floor. Once again, let this breath out, as you lower your arms to your sides. This is one cycle of the exercise.

If you feel dizzy or light headed, you should stop doing the exercise, sit down and regain your balance. If you still feel as if something is wrong, consult with a doctor. This sometimes can happen if you move too fast or hold the breath too long. It can also happen if you breathe out too quickly as well. Usually if you slow down, take your time, and listen to your body, you should be fine and have a very rewarding experience.

When you exercise, your body releases a chemical that helps you feel better. After you have done this 1 5 to 25 times, you may adjust this one way or the other, depending on your health and fitness level. If you have health risks prior to doing any sort of exercise, you may want to consult with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to do any exercise or come up with a safe, modified version.

Assuming that you have done this and are set to go, you next want to sit on the floor cross legged (what many refer to as Native American style or Indian style -no disrespect intended. It is noted that many embrace the term Indian while others find it offensive and prefer to be called Native Americans; always show respect to all living beings and things).

You may also lie down with a pillow or chair in place to elevate your feet. A thick pillow should be placed behind your knees with your calves and feet resting on it. Similarly, you can lie in front of a chair with your bottom side touching, or nearly touching the front of the chair, resting calves and feet on the seat. Whichever you choose is a matter of comfort at this point.

You should have it as quiet as possible, although some find that listening to a recording of nature sounds is very helpful to them. There are all kinds of recordings, including sounds of the ocean and sounds of birds. You should try to stay away from traditional music and songs with words during this process.

Closing your eyes, you want to take a few moments to just breathe normally, allowing your body to relax, holding no tension in your shoulders, your neck, or your back. Just allowing the moment to exist and be at peace with it. Do not focus on anything. Do not think about parents, feeding the dog or cat, grades or anything. If there are sounds around you that you have no control over, let them be. They will soon fade away. After a few moments, take a deep breath to a four count. What is meant by this is that as you slowly draw in breath, visualize the numbers 1 -2-3-4 until your lungs are filled with the breath of life. Hold for a four count. Then release to a four count 4-3-2-1. Do this about ten times. Then just relax and breathe normally, keeping your mind clear. If you find that you are getting distracted by sounds or thoughts, begin to count your breath again. In time, the more you do this the more enjoyment and benefit you will gain.

After sitting in silence for 5-10 minutes, say to yourself, / am at peace with myself. I am at peace with the earth. I am at peace with the people around me. Say this 10 or 1 5 times. There is no magic number of how many times to do this or when you should stop.

After saying this, take a few more moments to enjoy the silence. Take your time after that and slowly count to 50, taking in a breath and releasing one with each number. Visualize a bright colored light - white, yellow or orange. Picture yourself standing in the middle of that light. Imagine that you can feel this light wrapped around you, embracing you, comforting you. This light is washing away all of the bad and replacing it with positive energy Open your eyes and say something positive to the world. I say, Today I am one with you and we are going to be a blessing to others while STANDING IN LOVE.

Now you are ready to accept, and potentially create, components for success.

 There is no grand story about this painting. It was a photograph in a magazine about some sculpture. I liked the piece first for the color, then for the curve of the wings. I’ve never seen anything like that in real life: a real eagle or that slice of nature. I can only imagine what it is to sit on top of a ,mountain like that.


In achieving your goals, you have to understand your genesis and you must be centered and focused on what it is you are about to set out to do. At times you will need to re-center yourself, dealing with some issues that will arise and cause you stress. Not all your goals will just come to pass simply because you wish them to. You have to set yourself up to succeed. This can be done by equipping yourself with the right components.

I believe these components to be: Belief, Purpose, Responsibility and Drive. When you fully understand each of these components and put them to work inside yourself, they will manifest themselves in your life.

Chapters One and Two deal with developing a sense of pride in who you are and where it is your people come from. Learning your history and culture will, at times, lead you to learn about other people. Being confident and feeling good about who you are is not to say that you should point fingers or laugh at those who are different from you. In fact, you may do them a great service in being secure and confident in yourself. This leads you to Chapter Two, dealing with a healthy you, physically and mentally, which will often promote good sound health emotionally as well. These are a good foundation for success. The components for success are the very structure for success. Once you understand who you are and increase the value of yourself, the value of your people, and the value of environment around you, you will have a stronger drive to accomplish and a stronger belief that you can accomplish your goals. This is where and how you develop your sense of Purpose and Ras'pect for your responsibility to do for your people and working with all the people in the urban world that you live in. This type of drive or determination will allow you to see greatness manifest in self and in the world around you.

Pg 18 thru 25

A. Belief

I firmly believe that, although all of the components are equally important for achieving success that belief has to be the foundation on which the others rest.

I take belief as a two-fold concept here in regards of being a tool for becoming or being more successful. For me, my belief in Jan (Cod) is key for any and all success in my life. There are some who do not believe in God. If you do not, that is fine. I am merely suggesting that you have some sense of spirituality - a belief in or a relationship with the Divine will only make a better version of you. Whatever that Divine is for you, as long as it does not involve harming others or disturbing the rights of others and promotes a positive basis from which spiritual energy can be manifested and shared, then I do not see the harm. The great Marcus Garvey wrote a book called Message to the People. Whenever possible, you should study that book. Mr. Garvey describes God as Universal Intelligence: the knowledge of all things. He believes that man is a Unitary Particle of that Universal Intelligence. That means to me that man (in the human sense, encompassing woman as well), has access to that knowledge or Universal Intelligence. This is the goal behind quieting the mind and being at peace with the earth. It is the goal behind asking for and gaining access to that Universal Intelligence. Unitary Intelligence (meaning you or me) is there in great books and works of art. For example, when the pyramids were designed and built or when the concept for flight was perfected.

Intelligence creates. Universal Intelligence creates the universe. Unitary Intelligence creates things within the universe. Taking the Divine and adding it to you only increases you.

The belief in yourself is also key. If you do not have that you will not act upon any Divine Inspiration(s). This can hinder your ability to accomplish your goals. Without belief in self, how can you believe in your success?

Belief is such a powerful word. It embodies so much of being successful. You have to first envision yourself after you have achieved your goal. If your goal is to win a track and field race, you have to envision yourself as the first one across the finish line. I do not mean some fleeting thought, Yeah, I am going to win this race. I mean you close your eyes and you see the track. The lines on the track. You feel the win in your face. You see the finish line. You are the only one even close to it. You are going to win. You believe you can win. You have a sense of purpose and responsibility to yourself, your teammates and your coaches. You have the drive to win. You have already won.

Once you see yourself as the one who will be victorious and you can honestly say that you believe in your ability to win, you will achieve your goals. This will help you keep your goals realistic. Dream and dream big. But if you are dreaming of, say winning a foot race against a sports car, the odds are you will lose the race unless you know something about the car that the driver does not know. Maybe you know that he does not have enough gas in the tank to get him or her across the finish line.

A sound vision and a realistic outlook of your abilities will allow you to be more successful. You will, at times, take risks and set a goal that you may not accomplish. I love that TV commercial where the little boy is swinging at the ball with a baseball bat and he says, / am the greatest hitter in the world, Strike One, as he swings and misses the ball. He keeps repeating this and finally he sees that hitting is not his strong point and switches because he has just successfully pitched a no hitter. / am the greatest pitcher in the world.

Do not focus on the failures to the point that they weigh you down. Gain what you can from them and this will turn them into a positive. Move on. Someone with low self esteem will most likely refuse to even take the chance because they do not believe in their chances of being successful. But, for them, there is hope. The solution is to tear down the foundation on which they stand. Then you rebuild a new one. If you are helping a friend, you don't help them by ridicule and criticism. Be patient and compassionate. You are their teacher. Tell them that you are learning with them. You are both sharing in the experience. Success is there for everyone if they choose to reach for it.

Earlier I wrote of inventions that, when I learned about them, I discovered that American Africans either created or influenced. I listed light bulbs. As I am sure you already know, it was Thomas Edison who has always been given the sole credit for inventing the light bulb. The bulb that he had was defective. It would burn out as soon as you turned it on. It was a problem that he could not figure out how to overcome. An American African named Lewis Latimer was also an inventor and he was inspired to perfect the problem with the light bulb. He created the carbon filament which is the wiring contained inside the bulb that allows it to glow for long periods of time. This also made the bulb safer and let it shine brighter.

I believe that Mr. Latimer was able to make such a great accomplishment because he had a realistic goal and he believed in his ability to achieve that goal. His ability to be successful! In recent years I have been successful in accomplishing many of my set goals. I attribute this, in part, to learning about people like Lewis Latimer who increased my confidence and allowed me to dream big dreams. I saw myself achieving my goals long before I started the work to manifest them.

Thinking of or placing this in the context of your education, you must believe that you have the ability to achieve scholastic success. Almost any issue or problem you have can be overcome if you focus on it and do not see it only as a road block. The block can become an excuse. If you refuse to accept this, the belief in yourself will be golden because you envision better grades and will achieve a higher degree of success.


The second component for success is purpose. Once you have established what your goals are and you are moving toward manifesting them, you will need to have a clearly defined purpose for seeking to manifest this vision. I see the two as one in the same - purpose is having a vision. You are focused on manifesting a very specific, envisioned goal. When you are moving toward that vision, you will be defined by what it is that you are trying to achieve.

It does not require a lot of energy to see who the people are that have purpose as opposed to those who have no purpose. People with purpose are usually serious about life. They have no time for the usual games or idle forms of recreation that serve very little or no place in that vision. They are far too busy with ensuring that they have placed themselves in the best position to make their goals come true or they have spent all of their time developing themselves into being structurally sound, increasing the potential of achieving or manifesting their goals.

On the other hand, there are people who are purposeless - aimless. They have no visibly apparent goals. These are people that survive in the world from day to day; they spend most of their time watching people on TV accomplish their goals. Playing video games or over-indulging in some other form of meaningless recreation does not help. Once again, they do not have to remain that way. They can seek to unveil a new path. It goes back to foundation first, then structure.

Once I had decided to write this Guide, I went back and reviewed all of my notes and looked at people in history who I felt really inspired by. I came across a note about Harriet Tubman. It has been a long time since I read about her. So I had to go back to the library and I felt Jah inspiration. The essence of this writing is about how to set goals for yourself that will not only allow you to prosper. But will encourage and promote prosperity for the entire urban world in which you live. So Harriet Tubman is perfect for an inspiration.

Harriet Tubman escaped slavery in Maryland during the 1 800's. She was free. She could have gone and done as she pleased. She could have seen the world. Instead, she chose to use her freedom to help others feel as she did. She wanted to free all of her people. She made 1 9 trips back into the South and helped liberate more than 300 enslaved Africans and American Africans. The powers-that-be knew it was her and placed a $40,000 bounty on her head. She was wanted dead or alive. One reason that Harriet Tubman was so successful at achieving her goals was because of her purpose. Her purpose was to liberate her people. I feel much like that in that I have a purpose and I will not be shaken. I will not allow the nonsense of others deter or distract me. I believe in the path that I am on. That is to:

• Promote Peace for and between all people,

• To STAND IN LOVE for and with my people - my people are the people of the world; all of Jah's children,

• To express compassion to all living things, and

• To endure the hardship of others whenever I can.

pg 22 I truly believe that it is the students of the world who need to hear about these things and experience them and to begin to shape a world that will not be like the one that was shaped for me - and not like the one that I have also helped shape in days past. My goals are the goals for the tribe. You will do well to set goals in place that carry the same purpose for the people. And you will see success.

If you ask, what does your academic success have to do with the prosperity of the people, the answer is easy. When you gain knowledge, you are gaining access to keys that will unlock doors to another world. In the urban world, there are drugs, gangs, poverty, violence, and prostitution. When you arm yourself with knowledge, you can plan for greater success. You could go on to become the mayor and really change the place where you live. You could become a businessman or woman and open a company right there in the urban world that will create jobs and that will help eliminate poverty, which will help eliminate some crime. You could become a counselor and teach parents how to solve problems within the home without name-calling or hitting. When you change these things, you change the entire environment and it all starts with you.


The third component for success is responsibility. I will contend that being born of a certain ethnic background and living in a certain area places on you certain responsibility to your people and the world around you. Had it not been for the Harriet Tubman's, Malcolm X's, the Martin Luther King's, Marcus Carvy's, Bob Marley's and the Haile Selassie's of the world, where would we be? These are people who thought on a grand scale for the entire tribe or the collective of all people. Of course you are in the same environment as your fellow brothers and sisters. You feel the same things that they are feeling. But it is you who will rise from the ashes and change things because you have a vision. You picked up this Guide and decided to read it when others have discarded it. The responsibility lies with you because, in order to read words like these, you are already thinking on this level to some degree.

pg 23

Haile Selassie I said that, "In order to be helped one must help and in helping, one is helped."

Frederick Douglas is quoted as saying, When there is no struggle, there is no progress. The world around you and its conditions are your struggle as you move toward social change for the urban world. You are preparing to pass the torch on to those who will come after you.

I sit back and see people who have risen up from the urban world and most of them do nothing for the place that has produced them. From time to time they may drop a few dollars and usually that is too little (though appreciated). It has no real effect on the issues at hand. It is like giving three drops of water to a man who has spent the past three days walking across the desert under the hot sun without any water. These people do not believe that it is their responsibility to help out the poor and under-developed places of the world or the urban places they themselves were shaped by. They do not love who they are and where they come from. Therefore, there is no sense of purpose. This is why knowing who you are and where you come from is so important. It gives you a clear vision of where you are going and need to be. That is one extreme: people who are removed. You also have those who have opposite opinions and will stand in your way and sometimes this even means your own people.

An example of this is when Mr. W.E. B. Du Bois, who is a scholar from the early 1900's, wrote in Crisis Magazine that, Marcus Garvey is without doubt the most dangerous enemy of the negro race in America and the world...he is either a lunatic or a traitor. This comment came because, at that time, Brother Marcus Garvey felt that since Africans never came here willingly and that there was no place for us here; that we (Africans and American Africans) needed to go back to Africa. He was so serious about this that he worked with the Ku Klux Klan in order to gain funding in order to accomplish this goal. Right or wrong, Brother Garvey had a vision and it was his own that stood in his way. But you must remember people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The man had an education and could have gone on and led a nice life with a Doctorate Degree, a Divinity Degree and a degree in science. He knew he had a responsibility to his people and, therefore, struggled with his people and for his people. You must carry that same spirit for the people of the urban world around you.

pg 24


The fourth component for success is drive. When you have the drive to do something it is like a burning desire to achieve success. Some use the more distinguished word, determination. I say drive because, for me, the word represents movement. A force in action. I go back to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In what was marked as his last big speech, he talked of this Promised Land. He said that he had seen it and that he may not get there with the people. But they were going to go. Many believe that this dream came to reality with the election of Barack Obama as President. The brother King had been beaten, bitten, jailed and sprayed. His family had been threatened but he was driven by his sense of purpose to affirm his belief and thus fulfill his responsibility. He knew that they wanted to kill him and soon after that speech, they did. It is unlikely that you will be killed for your desire to see change; the world is marginally different these days. The cry for social change is not so readily met with the kind offeree that he faced, partly because he faced it.

This Goal Setting Guide is based on my research with other materials that spoke to the same subject of how to set goals and be a better student. I pray that all people take the time to educate themselves. Not just little Brown and Black boys and girls. But all people. I understand that this Guide is geared toward the urban world because that is where I am from. That is the place that is on the news daily for murders, robberies, rapes and so on. The urban world seems to have caught a social flu. Our world is congested and gripped with this virus. Someone has to fix it. Can we agree that this is not the way to live? This is not the way it is supposed to be. Can we realistically sit back and wait for someone from another part of town, who has his own problems, to come in and fix ours? If you do, you should not. Look around you at what has been happening in most parts of this country for the past 60 years or so and how the urban world has changed since your father's father was a young man in the streets and your mother's mother was a young lady out in those streets. It has changed in one way and that is that, in some cases, the urban world was moved to one location. But we still have the same old virus. So in presenting this Guide to you, I hope that it will inspire a new generation to feel that burning desire to succeed. That Yes We Can cry must not just ring out over the microphones in speeches. It must take root in us and ring out in our actions.

Let us not deny our ideals nor sacrifice our right to stand as the champion of the poor, the ignorant, and the oppressed everywhere.

Haile Selassie((1963)

Picture lone wolf: Like lions, wolves are usually a part of a tribe (pride or pack) and therefore the lone wolf is one that I can closely identify with. So I wonder how is it that they exist alone. When there is a lone wolf has he or she been banished for some rule infraction? Do animals have those kind of laws and punishments? I suspect that they are strong and smart animals and will be able to adapt to hunting alone and existing alone but do they get lonely? Do they miss the pack? Do they petition the pack to be accepted back in?

pg 25 thru 31

Now that we have taken some time to place you in the mindset that is needed for accomplishing or manifesting our goals, we can actually get to the Guide for setting some goals for ourselves and coming up with a realistic way of going about achieving success.

As students in life, and those of us still within the scholastic system, we have to be very organized in order for us to gain the most from our experiences. You need to have structured plans of what, when, where, and how you want to study. This will allow you to make the best of your time. Wasted time can actually cost you success. As a student, many years ago, I was not a fan of planning ahead which subjects I wanted to study or where - at home or in the

library. Or when - right after school or later in the evening. Or how - by myself or in a group. I thought that by allowing my free flowing, go-with-the-mood personality was the best way to go. This freedom, although it felt good, was not good for my grades. It reminds me of a quote from Haile Selassie ((1946):

Humanity, by nature, is gifted to think freely but in order that this free thought should lead him to the goal of liberty and independence, his way of thinking must be shaped by the process of education.

In setting goals, you are focusing in on a very specific desired outcome. Let's take a closer look at what I mean by that.

While I am going to focus in on accomplishing goals within the scholastic institution(s), I believe you may use these same methods as I have and apply them to other aspects of life.

Many of us have heard the expression, It is written in stone. In terms of goals, you want to have concrete goals. I find that it is necessary to write them down. Be specific. And put them somewhere where you will have to face them daily. Program them into your phones or PC. Post them on the wall in your bedroom.

Being specific will require that you say, for example, you want to get an A on your math exam. Your goal sheet would not way I want an A but will settle for a B+. That sort of mind set is counterproductive to setting a goal in the first place.

Going back to belief in your abilities and understanding that the goal is success, there must be something to strive for in order to accomplish the desired success. Set in stone a desired grade for each subject. Then work hard to top that if it is possible. You should also be aware of the fact that it is good to push your comfort zone. Again you need to be realistic. If you got an F, set your goal for a C, unless you are sure that you can do better and only failed the first time due to some other factors other than your capabilities.

If you do it the other way and say, / want an A but will settle for a B+, you are in essence undermining your own success. You don't want to let yourself off that with your breath; the in and out. Visualize all the time you have spent learning this material. Recall the answers. See them in your mind. You have just passed your test. Open your eyes and write the answers down. You have just manifested the Guide for Success.


When your goals are the result of a plan and you have mapped out deliberate steps, you have eliminated much future frustration. You will be better prepared to deal with problems or setbacks because you have foreseen them and you have a detailed plan to deal with them. Thus, you will not waste any time trying to think one up on the spot. Plans allow you to stay focused and move toward the desired goal.

An honest evaluation of where you are will reflect your current standing. Which is the first part of this layered plan? Your current standing should give rise to the question, What led me to this point? Being honest about where you are will let you know what needs to be done to accomplish your goal. It also may be wise to consider all that was involved with your reaching this point. Where you are in essence is where it all begins. This is the base of what everything else will be built on.

As I have mentioned earlier, you want to write your goals down. At this stage, you would do well to use a large poster board and make a chart to contain all of your goals. You want to start by writing your name in large print across the top and smaller, under that, write the date. Then under that, in large letters, write GOALS. Then you want to write out your subheading, starting with your current standing. Then list each subject and where you stand in that subject, and how you got to that point

My example:

DarRen Morris I December 1 3, 20__
I. Current standing

        a. English - C average Reasons:

                 1. Paid attention in class; took good notes.

                  2. Discuss ideas with teacher.

                  3. Get involved with a study group.

                   4. One hour of independent study every day.
           b. Science - C average Reasons:

                   1. Paid attention in class and took good notes.

                    2. Got help from a tutor.

                    3. Independent studies every day for 2 hours.

You will finish with each of your assigned classes. If you are just now starting the school year or a new semester, then you will reflect on what your grades have been up until this point. What is your grade point average and what is your overall evaluation of yourself as a student?
pg 30

What does the word goal mean? Webster's II Dictionary defines it as:

Goal (n) 1. Purpose: objective. 2. The finish line of a race. 3a. A structure or area into which participants in certain sports must direct play in order to score, b. The score awarded for this.

A goal is something that a person sets out to accomplish. My goal was to write a Guide that may inspire urban students to study and to set better goals for themselves that may change the standard of living for themselves and the people around them. One more step in recreating the Garden of Eden here on earth.

Your chart will show exactly where you stand. When you ask the question of where it is I am going, writing down your goals will answer that question. It is your plan. These are concrete, realistic goals. Therefore, the next step on our chart is to add the subheading "Goals." Then list your subjects as you did before and write the goal beside them.

Example: II GOALS

A. English - B

B. Science - B
 Now use this as a guide for you; do the same for the rest of your subjects.


Okay. We have talked about and documented where-you^f&Nand what has led you to this point. Now we are going to deal with whele it is you are planning on going. So, the next logical question to ask yourself is, How will I get there?

This is where you develop your plan. Many people set goals and some have fairly reasonable goals. There can be any number of reasons for this. I attribute the lack of success in this regard to not having an actual plan and the drive and will power to faithfully follow the plan. Because you have gained an advantage by knowing what can (or will) happen if you do not properly prepare and plan, you will have to face this difficult task head on and exercise discipline in order to plan how to achieve success. You need to stick to the plan so that you may experience the planned success.

In every mode of successful, professional life, there is a great deal of planning that is involved in order to accomplish the desired goal. People who run your favorite magazines do not just randomly take pictures and put them in a book for you. If that were the case, they would not be so appealing and you would not consistently seek to obtain them. A well-thought out plan will take you far in your scholastic career as well as the life after you finish school and go on to be successful in other fields.

I used to believe that all I had to do was think of something and that plan was in my mind. I would just follow that. Life continued to show me the error in that thinking and not having a solid plan in concrete allowed me to experience failure rather than success more often than not.

Having a set plan in place provides a person a detailed map of how to get to where you are going. Knowing this and having this map there as an actual tangible thing is the answer. You can study it often, revise it and make it better. This will prepare you for achieving the desired success.

On your chart, under where you have written your goals, your next subheading should be My Plan. Then below that, write out the subject and what your plan is to manifest or accomplish your desired goal.


III Strategy

a. English - B

      1. Be attentive in class and take good notes.

      2. Take advantage of extra help if needed.

      3. During class, sit as close to the teacher as possible.

       4. Complete 1 hour in a study group and 1 hour of independent study per day.

Make good use of your time; do not wait until the night before to cram for a test or assignment. It is better to have a set time as to when you wish to have accomplished your goals. This will motivate you to get things done in a timely manner. Plus, it gives you time to re-do things without panicking when the unexpected happens.

Here is what your completed poster should look like:

                                  DarRen Morris I December 13, 20__

I. Current standing (Where am I and how did I get to this point?)


b. Reasons:



II. Goals (Where am I headed?) 

III. Your plan (How am I going to get there?)


. b.



pg 34

With your completed chart, you may want to post it in more than just one place. I, of course, recommend that you post a large one in your room or some other personal area where you spend a lot of time. You may also want to place the goals on your phone if you have one, or on your PC. You have to be steadfast in challenging yourself to stick with it; stick to the plan. Review the goals daily; do not just glance at the chart. Actually review your goals.

In doing this, you can challenge yourself to new goals when you reach the old ones, or make adjustments in your plan as may be needed from time to time. Sometimes you may not reach the goal that you set out to accomplish. In this case, you want to review everything and pinpoint what kept you from accomplishing your goals. This requires brute honesty. Sometimes that means you have to admit that you stood in the way of accomplishing your goals. You did not study hard enough. You slacked in taking and reviewing notes. You may have any number of reasons, but whatever it is, pinpoint it and devise a plan to ensure that it does not happen again. When you achieve success - and you will if you prepare - plan and execute.

Do not be content with that one success. Acknowledge the accomplishment and then set goals to take it a step higher. When you get as high as you can get, then maintain. But remember that sometimes you will have to struggle to get to where you want to be and that may mean sometimes you will not reach your goal. Do not get to down by this. You have the ability to do this; set the same goal again, change your plan, write it all down on your new goal chart. And execute.


What comes after the goal setting and the planning? The execution of the plan is what is next. You have already planned out your starting point and mapped out where you want to be. You have given yourself a date as to when you want to be there. All that is left is to set it in motion.

For some this can be the step where they feel their nerves come to life. If you are that person, you have very little to worry about. You have just written down and honestly mapped out your future according to your capabilities. Now execute.

You may have a few other things that you may need to deal with that will ensure you are in the best possible position to achieve your goals. As a young man I lived in an area that was separated by cliques. People over here did not associate with people from over there and it was mandatory that you stick with the people over here. After a while I came to realize that, though these people talked about education being key, they were not really about education and, therefore, they were in the way of my success. Do not hang around people that are negative. You want to surround yourself with people who, like you, are seeking the best that life has to offer. If a person expresses sincere desire to change, let him or her. You will know that they are sincere by their actions. If they would rather party and hang out than to do homework, or if they want to spend study time talking about girls, boys, video games or the game from last night, then they are not on the same page yet.

Sometimes it may feel as if you are missing out; it may sound as if these people are having such a good time and you want to join them. And from time-to-time, it is good to reward yourself with social activities. You want to have friends. You want to have the right friends. A car can only drive one direction at a time so everyone in the car must be headed to the same place, or at least, in the same direction.

When you run into these people or into those days where you do not have the energy to fulfill your normal routine, take a day off. Give yourself three days off

a month. On an off day, you get done the essentials so as not to fall behind or to miss an assignment. But when the essentials are completed, relax. If you have something positive to do or if you want to do it, go ahead.
I was watching TV one day and this commercial came on and I saw this painting on the wall in the background. I do not even remember what the commercial was for. I was focused on the painting. I just loved how the picture was able to capture what I was feeling at the time. I was this tree atop a hill and I was the only tree around, withstanding this storm. I was sad and felt isolated and that isolation was stripping me of my leaves. What is a tree without leaves?

Pg 36

When it comes to accomplishing success, this is a multi-layered concept. When I am speaking of success for the urban world, I am saying that you should want for your people what you want for yourself. Remember that the word urban says nothing about color. It represents an area. The people around you are people. Seek to uplift them. Help the older people and the younger people whenever it is possible. Start working with your school and other people out in the urban world to find ways to bring prosperity to the urban world. Organize food drives for the poor and under-privileged people around you. This too will make you feel good about who you are and help you see, first-hand, how what you do can change the world you life in. You may then see how much more you can do with the right education. Do not plan your future based on what house you want and what car you want. Those things will come. Success will bring them to you. When you are involved with what you love to do, and you are doing things with a purpose in mind, you will achieve success.

Not very long ago, someone asked me what I charge for a portrait. I gave them my price. The person told me a very touching story about his mother and that such a gift would uplift her spirits. The person told me that they just could not afford it at that time. I told the man to provide me with some photographs of her and I would do the portraits for free. I later retold this to someone and talked about how good it felt to be able to do such a thing. The person I was talking to asked me, What if he lied and said that to get a free portrait? That is an option. But I told him that I do not paint for money; I get money because I paint. My art comes first. It is a passion of mine. I donate a lot of work to various places: hospitals for the elderly and sick children, various churches and so on. Sometimes people will just give me money for supplies. Strange but true. And I pay it forward by giving freely. If you apply the same concept you too will experience success.

I do not claim to be the leading authority on the issue of social change or even scholastic success. This Guide is written with the hope that it will inspire you. I want you to take it out, to add on to it, to make it better, to make it personal. As they say, I want you to do you. This is not compiled as a comprehensive work. It is simply my version of a Goal Setting Guide to help you find a way or a beginning point to make plans for your success. I have used this tactic in my life and I have experienced success with it. I still use it and I am still planning for ever greater successes in the future. When it comes to the past, you will see it, hear about it or even read about it.


I am a practicing Rastafarian and as such, I have adopted certain spiritual mandates as my personal beliefs. One of them is that, through love, we people of the earth can overcome the spiritual and social ills that we face. It is with love that we have to rebuild our people and our neighborhoods. It is the students - people that are students today - that will be our teachers in the days to come. Be at peace and STAND IN LOVE, always.

Picture bird scene: painting is a sort of meditation for me, to me that gives me a chance to still my mind, and connect with my natural self. What others may refer to as the spiritual or supernatural. This allows me to hear my center speak to me, and sometimes, like this one, I envisioned I was sitting on a large rock on the river’s edge.; the soles of my feet together completing my circuit.I am taking a moment to visually take in the majestic mountains in the distance, the trees that sway and rustle in the slight breeze. The sound of water, slow and hypnotic setting, the tone for deep meditation. Slipping into Jah blessing, seeking H.I.M. face, inhaling Jah air. I can almost smell it. I can almost hear Jah birds singing unto H.I. M.. For those moments, I’m not hear, smelling this thick stale (One Destiny..Rastafari!..missplaces words) air. I find peace in prayer and meditation, in all forms of meditation. Painting bring it all into reality.

We remain persuaded that ion our efforts to scatter the clouds which dim the horizon of our future, success must come, if only because failure is unthinkable.Patience and grim determination are required and faith in the guidance of the almighty JAH.
Haile Selassie I (the first)
One Love, One Aim, One Destiny

Pg 38

Great Books to Read

The following books have led me to the point I am at mentally and spiritually. Reading these books may inspire you to be and do...Greatness!

1. The Holy Bible

2. The Kebra Nagast - Gerald Hausman

3. The Kebra Nagast - Miguel Brooks

4. The Rastafarian Bible -Jahson Atiba Alemu I

5. Rastafair: A Way of Life - Tracy Nicholas

6. Sex and Race, Vols I - III -J. A. Rogers

7. Before the Mayflower - Lerone Bennett, Jr.

8. Miseducation of the Negro - Carter G. Woodson

9. Harriet Tubman - Ann Retry

10. From Slavery to Freedom -John Hope Franklin

11. Marcus Garvey, Hero - Tony Martin

12. Blacks in Science - Ivan Van Sertima

1 3. Black Inventors of America - McKinley Burt, Jr.

14. Introduction to Black Studies - Maulana Karenga

1 5. Chains and Images of Psychological Slavery - Na'im Akbar

16. Live your Dreams - Les Brown

1 7. Marcus Garvey's Message to the People

18. The Yoga of breath: A Step by Step Guide to Pranayama - Richard Rosen

(Forward by Rodney Yee) 1 9. Makes me Wanna Holler - Nathan McCall

20. From Babylon to Timbuktu - Rudolph Windsor

21. The Cultural Unity of Black Africa

22. Slavery: The A/A Psychic Trauma

23. Restoring the Village Values -Jawanzaa Kunjufu

24. The Power, Passion, Pain of Black Love -Jawanzaa Kunjufu

25. To be Popular or to be Smart -Jawanzaa Kunjufu


Books on my to-read list

27. The Tree of Life Meditation System - Ra Un Nefer Amen

28. Heal Thyself for Health and Longevity - Queen Afua

29. A Kwanzaa Keepsake -Jessica B. Harris

30. Che Geuvera

31. Black Robes White Justice - Bruce Wright

32. Healing the Criminal Heart - Dr. Muata Ashby

33. The Path of Divine Love - Muata Ashby

34. Glorious Light Meditation

35. Initiation into Egyptian Yoga - Muata Ashby

36. Enchanted Heart - Felicia Mason