Anxiety, stress, and worry, if left unattended, can produce both physical and emotional symptoms as the demands on our body and mind become too much. We can grow irritated and become downright rude. The effects on our own well being make being a blessing to others nearly impossible.
Perhaps you remember a recent guest post by Michael K. Jackson, Choosing Peace Over Panic where he shared 3 tips for Finding Peace and Living Worry-Free. Today, Michael shares his collaborative work in "Speaking My Truth: 50 Real Life Stories That Inspire, Empower, Heal, and Transform." Please join me in welcoming Michael:
What is the name of your book? What is it about?
The title of my book is “Speaking My Truth: 50 Real Life Stories That Inspire, Empower, Heal, and Transform.” This book happens to be an anthology, the visionary of which is international empowerment speaker Cheryl Wood. I’m one of 50 authors (one of those “50 Real Life Stories” referenced in the title). My chapter in the book is entitled, “The Power of a P.L.A.N. in the Face of Adversity”. I introduce readers to my 4-step resilience building blueprint – a process people can use to “bounce back from setbacks and build back stronger.. As a result, their stress and anxiety levels decrease while their productivity, profitability and peace of mind all increase.
What surprised you when writing this book?
Since the book is comprised of the stories of its 50 coauthors, each chapter is fairly short. We were limited to 1000 words. Even though I used one of my blog posts as the foundation for my chapter, I was surprised at how difficult it was to fit my story into a thousand words and still maintain the impact I wanted to have. There was a lot that I had to cut out, but this made for a more succinct chapter. The upside is that this chapter is just a precursor – the appetizer, if you will – to my own book, which I plan to publish in the summer of 2020. I will expand on all the concepts that I’ve introduced in this book.
How will introverted readers relate to your book?
Introverted readers will definitely relate to this book, especially “Introverted Believers” (pun intended). This is because 3 of the 4 steps in my blueprint lend themselves to deep introspection. For example, Step #1 is P for “Practice Prayer and Meditation.” As you know Kass, we introverts are inclined to be introspective – no problems there. It’s our extroverted brethren who want to skip all that and jump right to Step #3, which is A for “Action.”
Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits while you write?
If I’m indoors, like at home for example, I have to have complete silence when I’m writing. I can’t have music or the TV playing. Ideally if I can be outdoors near a body of water, at the park or in some other natural setting, that’s when my creative juices really start flowing. Obviously, this works a lot better in the Caribbean where I’m originally from with year-round nice weather (except for those pesky hurricanes) – not so much in Maryland where I currently reside though. 😊
Tell us something interesting about yourself unrelated to writing.
I’ve always sucked at team sports. Now that I’m in my late forties, I can openly embrace that character trait. Nevertheless, I’ve always been active. I love the outdoors and doing stuff like biking, hiking and swimming. My two passions as it relates to athletics is working out in the gym and practicing Japanese jujitsu. I actually have a brown belt in jujitsu, and I’m preparing for my black belt test as we speak.
Do you have a word count goal each day or do you write for hours when you feel inspired?
I write for hours when I feel inspired. I wish I had a daily word count goal though. I’d probably finish that next book a lot faster that way!
Do you have an “author verse” – a truth that you cling to while writing?
I don’t know that I have an “author verse” per se, but one of my life verses is Phil 4:6-7. Since we introverts are prone to worry and anxiety, this is one of my go-to Scriptures. I use the NIV as my home base as far as Scripture memorization, but I like the MSG version of that passage which says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Reciting this passage helps when I get writer’s block or - like a real introvert - when I start over analyzing and over-editing before I’ve even completed the blog post or whatever it is that I’m writing at the time.
Can you share with readers how they can help you as an author?
Yes, go to my website at https://michaelkjackson.com/ and do two things:
1) Purchase of a copy of the book. You’ll not only get to read my story of overcoming adversity, but you’ll learn a system that if implemented will empower and equip you to overcome any form of adversity in your personal and professional life. In addition to that, you’ll be inspired and encouraged by the other 49 powerful stories that are in the book.
2) While you’re on my website, sign up for my “Build Back Stronger” Blog so you can receive encouraging and uplifting content about overcoming obstacles, becoming more resilient, and becoming healthier spiritually, emotionally and mentally.
Have you thought about writing in a different genre? Which one?
No, not at all. This is my lane.
Who is your favorite character or author and why?
Wow…That’s a really difficult question because I have a number of “favorite” authors. So it would be very difficult to pick just one. Here are a few that come immediately to mind: TD Jakes, Dr. Myles Munroe, Dr. Charles Stanley and of course John Maxwell. I’d say those are in my Top 5. There’s also Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, but the list can go on and on.
As far as why they’re my favorites – simply the impact these authors/ministers of the gospel have had on me. I’ve never met any of them personally, but each and every one of them have poured into me, strengthened me, encouraged me and empowered me in some way at some point in my life; and that impact is ongoing. That’s the kind of impact that I hope to have on my readers with this book and every other book I write in the future.
What else would you like to share with us?
Aside from being a published author, I’m also an inspirational speaker on the topic of resilience and overcoming adversity. Because I speak about the positive effects that building your emotional resilience has on people’s overall well-being in terms of reducing stress and anxiety, I’ve found that my message fits well into the wellness space. In fact, I just conducted a workshop at a company in the healthcare space during their Wellness Week that was very well received. So, I’m looking to speak more at corporate wellness events. If anyone in your audience is responsible for hiring speakers or knows someone who hires speakers, I invite them to consider me as a speaker at their next conference or meeting.
I ask you to pray for increase for me and my family in 2020. Please pray for the Lord to take this business to the next level and for me to impact as many lives as possible with my message in 2020 and beyond – all for God’s glory!
Michael K. Jackson is a Caribbean American inspirational speaker, business trainer, author, public servant, and entrepreneur. Michael has over two decades of business and government leadership experience, and he is an expert on the topic of resilience and overcoming adversity. As Founder and CEO of Michael K. Jackson International, LLC he is on a mission to inspire, empower and equip leaders and organizations around the world to “bounce back from setbacks and build back stronger”. Through his inspirational keynote speeches and workshops as well as through his Build Back Stronger blog, he provides leaders with proven strategies and techniques to reduce stress and build resilience so that they and their organizations can be more profitable, more productive and have more peace of mind.
Michael K. Jackson
CEO & Founder, Michael K. Jackson International, LLC
Thank you, Michael for joining me at The Introverted Believer Author Interview.
Drop Michael a comment and show him some love. Don't forget to check out his website and sign up for his blog so you don't miss any updates when his new book is released.