A Message to the Brothers of Alpha

As my beloved fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., celebrates 108 years of scholarship, manly deeds, and love for all mankind, I am reminded that as much progress as black Americans have made in the United States of America, it pales in comparison to the incalculable work that still needs to be done.

When white police officers continue to slaughter and murder black males at an alarmingly disturbing rate with no indictment and no recourse, we still have work to do. With the deplorably unacceptable condition of institutions of learning in predominantly black neighborhoods, we still have work to do. When black children idolize recording artists who encourage misogyny, murder, and selling drugs as a means of viable income, we still have work to do. When black men feel like a target regardless of social status, we still have work to do.

When black women lack respect for themselves and falsely believe that their bodies are their most valuable asset, we still have work to do. When black children aspire to be rappers and ballplayers rather than scholars and professionals, we still have work to do. When black men no longer feel any obligation to take care of a child that he helped create, we still have work to do. When black people anticipate the release of the newest pair of Jordan’s sneakers more than the reading list on Oprah’s book club, we still have work to do.

When black people are more interested in the lives of celebrities than the politicians who create policies that govern their lives, we still have work to do. When black people will line up for hours to take advantage of a Black Friday sale as opposed to standing in line to vote, we still have work to do.

108 years is certainly worth celebrating but what exactly are we celebrating if the condition of the black community continues to decline? What exactly are we celebrating? If our brother, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, what grade would he give our efforts to pursue his dream as a brotherhood? A failing one I presume.

The time is now to step up and take charge of our own destiny; not only take charge but lead it. Our founders, with their infinite wisdom and adroitness, started this organization not only to be first of all but to be servants of all in hopes that we will inevitably transcend all. We can no longer sit idly by and watch the continuous decline of Black America from the convenient comfort of our corner offices or comfortable lazy boy. We can no longer wait and hope and pray for change, we must demand it and take a significant part in creating it.

This fight is not only Alpha’s to fight. We must collaborate with every organization who is ready for change and refuse to accept the 2nd Class citizenship that has been afforded black people in this country since slavery.

We can no longer dream as Brother King did, the time to act is now.

Fraternally yours,
Brother Joe Paul
Fall 1998 Initiate – The Iota Delta Chapter, Florida State University
2000 National Brother of the Year
2001-02 Assistant Regional Vice-President, Southern Region



Morning Cup of Joe – Trust Yourself

Trust YourselfOne of the greatest barriers to success is placing your trust in someone else’s opinions about what you should do with your own life. Everyone will have an opinion as it relates to your life but only yours matter. Often times we seek out the advice and guidance of others to help direct our path, all the while we are the answer to the questions we’ve been asking all along. One of the most important factors to experiencing wild success is trusting yourself.

Growing up, my mother would constantly say how proud she would be if her baby boy ever became a doctor. I didn’t think her vision for my life was far-fetched nor did I think it was unreachable; it just wasn’t my goal. It wasn’t a future I envisioned for myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I had no idea that I would become a keynote speaker either. My goal was simply to use the gifts God has blessed me with to help leave an indelible mark on the world by positively affecting the lives of those whose paths I am fortunate to cross.

One of the most common mistakes we make on the road to success is talking ourselves out of inevitable blessings simply because we don’t trust ourselves enough. In my humble opinion, I do not believe that there are right or wrong decisions but rather each decision we make leads us closer to our predestined fate. Those same decisions should be yours and solely yours. Everyone is equipped with an incredible sense of intuition, always trust yours.

The fact is, right or wrong, you must live with every decision you make. It’s critically important that you trust yourself and trust that the decision you make is the right one for you. Do not be misled; am I saying not to seek the advice of others? Absolutely not. I’m just saying to trust yourself a little more. You may not even need the advice of others. The answer you seek is well within you.

The late visionary Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t let the noise of other peoples opinions drown out your inner voice.” Remember to trust yourself always.

To The Top!
Joe Paul
Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker

Tel. :202.553.7718
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks

Morning Cup of Joe – Living In The Past


This may come as a surprise to some but to my knowledge there is no time machine that has yet been invented. We all dream about going back to the future and hopefully fixing something we played a part in breaking. In many cases, we hope yet never act on finishing something we started. This is the unfortunate plight of many people who fail to understand that you cannot change the past; all you can do is learn from it and apply those lessons to the future.

Your past, whatever it may be, should merely serve as a reference guide for the future. Most people allow their past to hang over their heads in such a way that it stifles their growth. Your growth is based on your ability to learn lessons from your mistakes. We have all made mistakes, no exemptions. The separation from this group comes when you realize the intended lesson that was meant to be learned from making that particular mistake. Continuing to repeat the same mistake simply means that you haven’t learned the intended lesson.

If you are thinking about an event that occurred in the past or even yesterday, understand that this is not the highest and best use of your time or mind space. You cannot change the past, at all times focus on the future. Tomorrow is not promised but that was true for yesterday and thankfully you are still here. Make today what it should be by thinking forward progress only. So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to live in the past or focus on the future?

Stop living in the past. Yesterday really did end last night.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Walking With Purpose


You’re probably like most people who begin their day by repeatedly pressing the snooze button. Am I right? The blaring and sometimes startling sound of the alarm clock certainly adds to the negative reception of the morning. After several grueling minutes and the inevitable end to the battle between you and your alarm clock, you finally drag yourself out of bed. You have officially started your day on the wrong foot.

How you start may not always determine how you finish but that should not prevent you from starting strong. The sooner you realize that you are in control of how you receive the day, the sooner you can start your day with purpose. Wake up and be thankful. Wake up and receive the day as an opportunity to get closer to achieving your dreams. Wake up and greet the day with enthusiasm.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift; that’s why it’s called the present.” Unwrap the gift that is today and start walking with purpose. It is difficult to reach a particular destination if you aren’t sure if you even want to go. Live a life that’s full by walking in the understanding that your blessing is right around the corner; meet it half-way.

The first step is taking the first step.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – This Too Shall Pass


For far too long we’ve held on to the idea that the calm comes before the storm. Scientifically, this does make sense. However, I write this note encouraging you to accept a new way of thinking concerning the aforementioned statement. Please understand that as it relates to your life, the calm does not necessarily come before the storm. In fact, the calm typically comes after the storm; all you have to do is continue to fight and choose to hold on.

Many of us have experienced and continue to experience tumultuous times riddled with trials & tribulations. Rarely do we consider the fact that sometimes we have to go through a storm before we can fully understand the satisfaction that comes with the calm. Simply, if you are currently experiencing a storm in your life, hold on to the idea that all storms eventually pass. Some will argue that the calm comes before and after the storm. I completely agree. Do not be misled, the calm you feel before the storm is meant to prepare you for what’s to come.

Understand that whatever it is you are going through is temporary; you must be willing to endure. Like the old adage says; “trouble don’t last always”. Understand that if you outlast your storm, only then will you be able to appreciate the sunshine that inevitably comes afterwards. Hopefully this new knowledge gives you comfort and understanding that your storm will pass and that your sun will shine again. Make a decision right now today to choose to outlast your storm.

Maintain a firm understanding that after the rain, the sun always shines. After the storm caused by your problems have passed, your sun will also shine. No storm nor problem is everlasting, this too shall pass.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Why Worry?


This message is written especially for you. You who woke up this morning and fell asleep with “it” on your mind. On your long traffic filled ride to work, it remains on your mind. The clock is nearing noon and your lunch break presents another opportunity to invest countless hours into your problems. All you do all day is worry about your problems. I’m here to tell you that worrying will not offer any solutions.

Worrying is counterproductive. While worrying may serve as a step towards the discovery of a solution, you should consider skipping it. The more time you spend worrying about a problem, the less time you’ll have to devote to finding your solution. The lack of faith many show after they pray for an answer is very interesting; you pray then you worry then you hope. The odds of discovering a solution using this method is virtually impossible. Refocus your energy on what matters most; you.

Many people have the solution at their disposal but lack the necessary discipline to execute it. They make it pass the worry stage, breeze through the possible solutions step and stop at the final stage; execution. You must not only think you must also act. Action is required in order to ensure a desired outcome. And just like that, while you are working, your breakthrough will meet you half-way. It truly is that simple. Stop worrying and start working.

When you genuinely believe in a desired outcome worrying becomes futile.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Vision


How different would your life be if everything was perfect? What if you were working the job you’ve always wanted, had a healthy and happy family and lived in your dream home? What if your greatest worry was simply waking up the next morning? What if all of this was true? Could your life be what you’ve always dreamt it could be? Is it really that farfetched? In many people’s minds, this is not a reality that they will ever know. Simply because they haven’t discovered the thing that makes all of the aforementioned possible; that thing called vision.

Vision means having an unusual competence in discernment or perception; intelligent foresight. Being visionary forces you to focus on the future. Your head & shoulders can only face one direction at a time; you cannot look forward if you are constantly looking backwards. While the past may serve and should serve only as a reference guide, most people use the past to dictate their present and not their future. Most people make the critical error of allowing their past to control many of the outcomes in their lives by spending time focused on something you can never change; the past. Visionaries use the past as a road-map to eliminate the possibilities of running into the same obstacles over and over again. When the obstacle won’t move, you must.

If you cannot see or visualize how great you can become, it will be nearly impossible to live up to your full potential. While it is very important to focus on and have the ability to drill down to details, it is imperative that you learn to develop the skill of visualizing everything from a bird’s eye view. Being a visionary means having the ability to see that which is not there yet maintain the belief that it will appear one day. When we intently focus on something, just like magic, it seems to magically appear in our lives. If you want to start living a more fulfilling life, you must create a mental picture of what that life specifically looks like. While some claim to have the ability to see the future, you certainly have the ability to see and create the future you want to see in your life starting today. Open your eyes and witness the possibilities.

Having a vision is critical to your success; if you can’t see where you’re going, how are you going to get there?

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Left Behind

There is someone or several people in your life right now who are keeping you from reaching your full potential. This person may be really close to you or someone who you interact with a little less. This person may be the one you turn to for advice or the one who offers it freely. This person may be someone you trust. Besides you, in some ways this person may be partially responsible for some of your failures including dreams you decided not to pursue.

Sometimes in order to move forward, we must leave some things behind and some people in the past. This is perhaps one of the most challenging things to do. Back in college, I was faced with a similarly difficult choice. My best friend since elementary school and I were starting to grow apart; our interests were constantly clashing. While I was focused on creating a better tomorrow, it never seemed to make the top of his list. I did not want to accept the fact that in order for me to get to the next level I would have to part ways with someone I’ve known for most of my life. While some choices may not make us feel good they are certainly good for us. I did what I had to do to protect and preserve my future and I challenge you to do the same.

Change is not easy but it is certainly necessary. Some decisions are exceptionally difficult; that doesn’t mean we should shy away from making them. Reevaluate who is in your support circle. If you have someone in your circle who you cannot count on, you need to cut the dead weight. If someone in your circle is constantly negative, you may want to limit your communication with them. If you are wondering why some of your dreams aren’t coming true, check your dream supporters. There are some people who simply don’t want to see you succeed. Figure out who they are and separate from them. Once you release the anchor, your ship can sail out to sea and your journey continues.

Not everyone who is around you is on your side.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Trouble, Trouble

One thing I’ve been fortunate enough to learn throughout my life’s journey is that trouble truly doesn’t last always. Simply, whatever it is you are going through is as temporary as a passing storm. The longest storm that I know about lasted forty days and forty nights. What you should consider is the fact that on the forty-first day, the sun did shine. Your goal is to last until and even past the forty-first day.

We have all experienced a form of chaos in our lives, perhaps to different degrees but we have experienced it nonetheless. Think back to a time, even if it was recent, where you thought that your problem was the biggest problem in the world. How did you overcome that problem? What did you have to do to overcome your situation? Repeat those steps and the outcome will not be different. The man with no arms envies the man with no legs. The man with no legs envies the man who cannot see. The man who cannot see envies the man who cannot hear. My point is, no matter what it is you are going through, there is someone else who is a little worse off. No, that doesn’t improve your situation but it puts it into perspective.

Understand that trouble is temporary. We were built to conquer and to rise above all obstacles. Draw on the strength that you have hidden somewhere inside you to overcome this minor obstacle. I say minor obstacle because the only obstacle that is difficult to overcome is death. If you can read this, you can overcome any obstacle. The first step is believing that your problem is not greater than your strength to overcome them. Do you believe it? You should.

To The Top!
Joe Paul