Morris Morrison – Motivational Speaker – creates energy and buzz with his company – Morrison Global Brands. Why? Simple, top organizations like Microsoft and the National Basketball Association help individuals and organizations have the energy, skills and capacity to perform better. It was my honor to interview Morris Morrison here on Straight Talk Radio.
Tired of traditional talk? People pontificating about this or that? The left or the right? Sometimes the truth is just off lost in the noise. Having learned life lessons the hard way, Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency!
Nationally known guests talk about what’s important to you – your life, your concerns and your success. So tune in, turn on to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher.
Now, here’s your host, Chuck Gallagher.
CHUCK: Hi, this is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and I’m excited about the show today, but I’m going to start off with a statement that it just hit me, whenever I booked today’s guests, some people just have a name that oozes success! Before I introduce my guests today, I’ve got to tell you a little back story.
My son-in-law gets married many, many years ago and one of the guys in his wedding, his name was Cole Cash. I was introduced to this guy and I’m like, “Really, your name is Cole Cash?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Do you play the guitar?” He said, “No, why?” I said, “Dude, a guy with the name of Cole Cash, you could see that in Nashville. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Cole Cash, and boom, the guitar hits, the music starts.” I mean, it was like destined, and he works in a factory some place.[Morris laughs]
CHUCK: I’m like, “Okay, you know what? I got it, but there’s this opportunity that’s just placed before you that you missed.” My guest today didn’t miss his opportunity. My guest today has one of those names and when I was first introduced, I was like, okay, somebody’s pulling my leg, but his name is Morris Morrison. When I met Morris it was just like we instantly connected because this guy has a name that oozes success. In fact, his brand, Morrison Global positions you for success, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about what Morris does and how he inspires people to really find success. So, Morris, man, it is so great to have you on the show today.
MORRIS: Glad to be here. Thank you for that great introduction. Yes, Chuck, that is my real name and what you all people need to know out there, as soon as I take the stage when I speak, a lot of people say when they come up to me after an event, they say, “Your name is Morris Morrison,” and I say, “That’s right.” They say, “Wait a minute. And you’re from Morrisville, North Carolina?” I say, “Yeah, I’m Morris Morrison from Morrisville, North Carolina.” They say, “That’s too much.” I say, “No, no, it’s not Morrisville, North Carolina. It’s Morrisville, North Carolina.” They say, “I don’t even care if it spelled the same. It’s just alliteration. It rolls off.” I said, “I think that’s good. Wait till you realize that last summer we bought a new house.” Chuck, here was the deal. Chuck, I told my wife last summer, I said, “Lisa, you can have whatever house you want right here, in this area where we want to live. Just we’re not living in that neighborhood over there.” She said, “Why not?” I said, “Because the neighborhood, the development is called Morrison Plantation!” I said to her, “There’s no way that’s happening!”[Chuck laughs]
MORRIS: And listen, we had contracts on four houses, Chuck. Four houses. One fell through; they didn’t want to fix the roof. The other one didn’t want to repair the dock on the lake, and the other one, the other one, the other one. Chuck, can I ask you a question? Where do you think we bought a house at?
CHUCK: Oh, of course, Morrisville Plantation.
MORRIS: So listen, now I’m Morris Morrison from Morrisville, North Carolina. The road that we live on is Morrison Plantation Boulevard and we live in a development called Morrison Plantation. So Morris Morrison from Morrisville, North Carolina, off of Morrison Plantation Boulevard and Morrison Plantation. I’m glad! [laughs] I’m glad to be with you guys today.
CHUCK: Man, I’m telling you, that’s like the stars freaking align. I can see it. When you were born, somehow God up above said, “We’re going to infuse this guy with enough stuff to make sure that he doesn’t miss his Cole Cash opportunity.”
MORRIS: When I was born, God basically just said, he said, “I got your back. Just follow my lead and I got you.” I said, “All right.”
CHUCK: I love that. I absolutely love that. Morris and I met in I guess probably Charlotte, North Carolina, with the NSA Carolina’s group, both of us functioning as speakers, and I found pretty quickly after we met each other and went through some of the initial introductions that we also have some unique connections in a multitude of ways. I was adopted at birth. Morris has a similar story. It’s a little different than mine so, Morris, why don’t you take us back to when you were born in New York City and give us a little bit of the background.
MORRIS: Well, the back story is really interesting. My mother was a very beautiful lady. She was from Tennessee and when my mother was 19 years old, her dreams were much bigger than the local economy could support so with the time that she had, she wanted to take her talent and her looks to New York City to become a model actress and a dancer, and she did that. She became very successful and any charm, any energy, anything that I get that develops in the form of stage presence for a client, I know for a fact I get that from my mother. When she got there, she met a tall dark-skinned and good-looking brother from Harlem, whoa![Chuck laughs]
MORRIS: The interesting thing about it is, Chuck, a lot of us, we have big dreams. We may be clear on what we want out of life. We pursue them, but sometimes we’re not really ready for those curve balls when they come our way. Specifically, a lot of them come our way in the form of influences that cause us to make certain decisions. My mother went with the best of intentions. I don’t know all or much about the story, but the details that I do know are fuzzy from a couple of family members who lived in New York City at the time. Basically, my mother’s influence that she had and her abundant resources through her success led her to develop a lifestyle that she could sustain in the form of partying and then alcohol and drug habit and I found my mom’s dead body when she overdosed in a hotel room in Town Square, New York City. I don’t know where I was, I don’t know how they found me, I don’t know where my dad was. My father passed away shortly after that so that’s when I lost my first set of parents. It’s funny; whether we run a business, whether there’s some [07:43] participating, no matter what we do in life, there’s always little angels that are setting our path and for me her name was Gwendolyn Sanders, a lady from Fairmont, West Virginia. [coughs] Excuse me.
CHUCK: It chocked me up, too, buddy.
MORRIS: I get choked up talking about. [coughs] Fairmont, West Virginia. So from New York City [coughs] excuse me, this never happens. I’d been on the road speaking all week so my voice is a little dry. [clears throat, coughs] Excuse me you all. What I want to do for all the people that are listening right now, Chuck. This is that moment. It’s called the long pause when the speaker develops a voice [coughs] inflection or eludes that there’s something wrong physically just to see how much the audience…
CHUCK: Now, Morris, I love you brother, but you’re pulling my leg a little bit on that one. It is interesting from your end that I think you said your mother went to New York City when she was 19? Is that right?
MORRIS: Yep. Around 19.
CHUCK: Okay, and it was interesting. I was born and put up for adoption when my mother was 19, so although you were orphaned by the death of your parents, my mother recognized that it just wasn’t a– The circumstances weren’t right for her to be my primary caretaker. She recognized that she wasn’t ready and the experience within her home life– Her father basically said, “We’re going to kick you out of the family,” so to speak. “You’ll have no opportunity in the family if you keep this child,” because I was an illegitimate child.
CHUCK: I have to say, a lot of people would look and say, “Gee, Gosh, you were put up for adoption at birth and doesn’t that really suck? How do you feel about it?” Although, there is still more to the story, and this is not about me, but the interesting side to it is you start to look back and you see although the circumstance was maybe less than what we would have wanted, the reality is the angles were there saying, “Okay, you know what? This is what you need to help you become the person that you need to become.”
CHUCK: So, you’ve had a little bit of water so take us to West Virginia with your new adoptive parents.
MORRIS: Chuck, an important detail here is that my mother was white and my father was black. The lady who raised me was a distant relative on my father’s side of the family. She was an angel. She heard about this baby. She was the type of lady who said, “There’s no way any child, I don’t care if it’s my child or if it’s someone within a stone’s throw of our family,” it didn’t matter if you weren’t even related to her, she took you in.
Let’s talk about 110 Westland Street. 110 Westland Street was a place in Fairmont, West Virginia, where magical thing happened, magical things. What we realized that sometimes when magical things happen, it doesn’t mean the resources were abundant or the situation was primed or even in its best position. She was just a lady who had a heart like Mother Teresa, so on July 4 when she barbecued, there was a line down the street of people wanting to come, because they knew during the holidays, Thanksgivings, Christmas, you could come and get a hot plate. There were times I saw people sleeping on our couch I didn’t know who they were, but Gwendolyn Sanders, she produced this place and this, I’m going to call it, an experience, Chuck, at 110 Westland Street. It was an experience that she provided for anyone. I’ll tell you something; we had anyone from governors who knew her all the way to homeless people, and I mentioned to tell you this, from the time I was kid, from the time I was 3.5 or 4, her husband, who was a coal miner in West Virginia, he died. He had a heart attack so now she’s got all these kids and foster kids like me that she’s raising, no resources, she was on welfare. As a matter of fact, we had food stamps. Without food stamps and state assistance, a federal assistance, I wouldn’t have eaten. By the way, Chuck, can I ask you a question? Do you know anything about government cheese and peanut butter?
CHUCK: You know, buddy, I do. I lived in the projects when I was a teenager so we have more in common than probably you think. I’m not a peanut butter guy–[Morris laughs]
MORRIS: See, I thought I liked you, Chuck, but any guy who doesn’t appreciate peanut butter specifically that big blocks in that big peanut butter tin that government– Do you know where the cheese and the peanut butter came from, by the way, Chuck?
CHUCK: I have no idea.
MORRIS: After all of the wars, specifically Vietnam, the government used those big blocks of the cheese and the peanut butter. That was part of the rations they sent over to the soldiers. I think we were victorious in the war and it ended, I think, a little sooner than people thought, which was great. We had all of these rations left over so the government said, “You know what? We’re handing them out in the form of welfare,” and I’ll tell you something, 110 Westland Street was a place where Gwendolyn Sanders could turn a block of cheese, whoa, into the best macaroni and cheese you’ve ever had. That peanut butter– Have you ever heard of a peanut butter cake before?
CHUCK: I had not heard of a peanut butter cake.
MORRIS: Oh, goodness gracious. She did magical things, but I’ll tell you something. She invested in me, she invested in a lot of people. I thought I was the only one, Chuck. You know how sometimes when someone’s really nice to you, when someone makes you feel a certain way whether that’s a coach or that teacher or maybe it’s a leader in that organization who has superb leadership skills. They have a way of making you think you’re the favorite one on your team or it’s their magical way of how they influence people who have actually shown that they care. I thought I was her number one grandchild. I thought I was the head honcho, but it wasn’t until later after her death did I realize I was one of many. So I want you to appreciate something, Chuck. She had a son named Chuckie and I told you this, who I called Dad.
CHUCK: Morris, listen, stay with me for a second.
MORRIS: Got you.
CHUCK: Before you go into the story, we’re going to be going for a commercial break here in 30 seconds. As we continue the program today with Morris Morrison, Morris is telling us the story behind the brand. He’s kind of pulling back the curtain, so to speak, so we can see how he today helps position you for success. So stick with us so you can continue to get the rest of the story with Morris Morrison here on Straight Talk Radio. We’ll be back in just a second.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: My guest is Morris Morrison. Yeah, you heard the name right, it’s not a made-up name. It’s absolutely correct and if you missed the first segment of the show, you’ve missed all of the Morris iterations. I swear, there had to be a preacher or somebody in the past that was an iteration specialist because you definitely have that divine iteration, but Morris was telling us the story behind the brand. You see, Morris positions people for success. Morris, at this stage of the game, you have said to us you were orphaned as a child, you had gone to West Virginia, you felt like you were the favorite grandchild and you were getting ready to tell us about Chuck.
MORRIS: The lady who adopted me, Gwendolyn Sanders, my angel as I refer to her, she took me from New York City to Fairmont, West Virginia. She was a lot like other African-American women in my family. She was a big-boned lady, she had a little extra weight to throw around, [16:20] full of loving and they came with this amazing ability to cook and to do something in the kitchen that really just touched your soul. Who do you think the word ‘soulful’ came from? But with that came quite a few people in my family who had diabetes and when I was 4 years old, she got the news that she was going to have to go to Johns Hopkins Medical in Baltimore to have her leg amputated. She did that. It was a long rehab process of almost two years, and the interesting thing about it is, I’m 5 at this point, getting ready to go to the kindergarten, so the question was what’s going to happen to this little kid?
She had a son named Chuck. He said, “I’ll take of that baby. Give me that boy. I’ll watch him.” Chuck was a good guy. Listen to this, here’s what’s amazing, Chuck, he was only 22 years old, 22 going on 23. What 22-, 23-year old is ready to accept the responsibility of a nice bright good-looking kid like me? Think about that for a second, Chuck. I was a handful and I was full of energy popping all around, but he had a girlfriend named Sue and Sue had a son from a previous relationship named Josh who was the same age as me so I went to live with Chuck and Sue and Josh.
We had this little pseudofamily for about 2 years and Chuck takes me to kindergarten. They take me to first grade. Listen, at this point, he’s the only other African-American in my family who is light-skinned and curly-haired like me. We look so much alike that it’s kind of scary in a way, and I called him Dad. My schoolmates and people who knew him as Morrison’s dad and no one knew him as anything else. When Gwendolyn came back from her operation after it was successful, after a lot of time apart went by, she was in a wheelchair and I’m thinking, yes, she’s in a wheelchair. She’s only got one leg. I could do whatever I want to do now. Oh, no. I don’t know if you got whoopings when you were young, Chuck, but did you ever get beatings?
CHUCK: [laughs] Look, Morris, you and I both, you are younger than I am, but you and I both came up in the South.
MORRIS: That’s right.
CHUCK: You did some wrong, they would tell you, “You go out, boy, to get a hickory–“
MORRIS: That’s right.
CHUCK: “And come back.” Look, you had it natural. I’m going to give it to you. You had it natural. At that time I learned to dance.[Morris laughs]
CHUCK: I learned to do the hickory switch. I learned how to boogie, boy. My legs would just go to town. Today, however, you know and I know, people get on the news for taking a hickory switch to their younglings so, boy, have times changed. But yes, I got a whooping and I know exactly what that was like.
MORRIS: Chuck, that’s a great segue into something I want to share later because things are a lot different than when we were young. I say that to say that when Gwendolyn came back after her rehabilitation from Johns Hopkins, even though she only had one leg, she was in a wheelchair. As a kid you try to push your boundaries. It’s just something we do as kids, right? I don’t care if your parents are walking up right or if they’re in a wheelchair. It sounds very manipulative, but kids want to push the extreme borders and get the most they can from their parents, right? Of course, I was [19:27] that was bad, but I didn’t realize she could still whoop my butt like she did.[Chuck laughs]
MORRIS: She would take those knives and forks and spoons of the wall everyone else used for decoration. She broke all of them on me and you know what? I knew she loved me. I knew she loved me and the best part about it is Chuckie was still a part of my life and he was the father figure, and he wasn’t around as much. It bothered me a little bit. I was a kid who missed his dad, Chuck, but I wasn’t emotionally mature enough to understand that a) he wasn’t my dad and b) I should have expressed gratitude for the two years that he was there for me because I would have been thrown back into the foster care system. Who knows what would have happened to me when he took me in in his early twenties and did what he simply did not have to do.
CHUCK: Morris, let me ask you a question.
CHUCK: Chuck, Chuckie as you call him, Chuckie who kind of took you in and served as a father figure, as I understand you said he was falsely accused of shooting a person in the hand and was sentenced to almost 100 years?!
CHUCK: I knew from your sharing with me in today time I knew that Chuckie had been sentenced to prison, but for shooting someone in the hand and getting almost 100 years, it’s absolutely incredible. I have to say, people on the call, you call it as it is, but prison is a business and I assume if you’re black and in West Virginia, the reality is, as I have personally experienced with a lot of people that I was incarcerated with, that there’s disparities in sentencing depending upon perhaps your education and your color.
MORRIS: You’re right, Chuck, and I want you to understand something, just in case I go back and run for governor one day.[Chuck laughs]
MORRIS: I want to describe this in a way that doesn’t paint West Virginia negatively so I want to say this. West Virginia is an amazing place to live, amazing place to be when I was a kid, and it is today, but as the old Italian man in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Mr. Romano, once said, it’s not where you go, it’s how you go. I knew a lot of great people in West Virginia. I want to make it bigger than that for a second, Chuck, because it is. In this country, in the United States, when there is a black-on-black crime or just another African-American man comes to a courtroom, there’s almost this desensitation that comes with the emotional aspect to say, “That’s someone’s son. This is a kid who may have made a mistake or was there circumstantial evidence.” It’s almost like the core has been severed from the emotions of these lawyers and when you start looking at everything like mandatory minimum sentences with crack, cocaine and all these other laws, then there’s a whole other story when we look at the fact when we start talking about the apathy that exists with court appointed attorneys and how even though they’re paid a blank $3,000 fee to represent each client from the state, or whatever the fee is today, let’s just face it. Some of the best attorneys in the world, they have their own private practices, right, Chuck? And they get a lot of money to defend people. So where are the rest of the attorneys at? Well, they take the path of least resistance and they get a blanket check from the state to represent someone. All of that was a perfect storm, Chuck. Let’s say Chuck did shoot the guy in the hand. I’m going to ask you a simple question, Chuck Gallagher, how much time would you give someone who shot someone in the hand?
CHUCK: You’re asking me the question and the answer to me would be very simple. First, I’m looking at the facts and the circumstances, and two, that’s a 2-year gig. It’s not 100-year gig. By the way, we’ve got about a minute and a half or so. I want to explore this a little bit more, but before we do that in this segment, Chuck is gone and the lady that was raising you was pretty sick at this stage of the game and if I understand this, she passed during this time. Is that right?
MORRIS: Right after he was sentenced, within weeks.
CHUCK: Within weeks of him being sentenced?
MORRIS: I had to watch them bring him to a viewing in his orange jumpsuit, the one I’ve seen you wear, with his hands and his feet shackled.
MORRIS: That was one of the days that completely changed my life.
CHUCK: How old were you at this point in time? Fifteen?
MORRIS: Fifteen, sixteen.
CHUCK: Sixteen. So by the time you were 16, you were orphaned as a child naturally, so to speak, and now the folks who have taken you in, by the time you’re 16 years old, fundamentally, you’re orphaned again.
CHUCK: Ladies and gentlemen, the story is incredible, but this sets the stage for what Morris does to position you for success. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. My guest is Morris Morrison. You can look him up at morrismorrison.com. It’s simple enough. You can’t forget the name and I promise you this. Before we go into our third segment, if you were looking for someone that can talk with your organization and help folks really hone in on what it really takes to be positioned for success, Morris is the guy to do that. We’ll be right back after these messages.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: Morris Morrison is my guest here on Straight Talk Radio. It’s been an incredible ride, so to speak, thus far. Morris, I don’t know many people that have gone through what you did by the age of 16, losing fundamentally two sets of parents. How did that impact you?
MORRIS: It changed my life. You know what? When I saw him as a teenager, what do we know about the studies of the brain and how the frontal lobe develops? We know that from the time you’re a baby until you’re in mid-twenties to late thirties, a person’s brain isn’t fully formed yet and the absence of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, causes kids to make really, really emotional decisions, right?
MORRIS: That’s kind of why parents [25:58] with their kids when they’re teenagers, right? Eventually, kids in their mid-twenties, when they come back home for Thanksgiving or break from school, they say, “Dad, what happened? You got smarter since I left?” Right?[Chuck chuckles]
MORRIS: Your brain actually developed. That’s what happened. But because we were very emotional at that time, something emotional happened to me at that hospital and this is why emotions are a beautiful thing. This is why God designed our bodies in a way that He did.
When I left the hospital that night, when I had to say goodbye to Gwendolyn, the doctor walked me out. One of the things that the doctor said to me, Chuck, before I left, he said, “If I was an attending physician, I wish there was some medicine I could give you to help you through this time right now. I know this hurts and I’m not going to lie. It’s going to get a lot worse.” He said, “But there is something I can give you. If you let me and if you receive it, it can help you through this situation. It will help you for the rest of your life, actually, if you listen to what I have to share.” Chuck, sometimes when you’re in a place where you need someone or you need some encouragement, you will take whatever someone has to give you. Doesn’t matter what it is.
I remember looking up at the doctor thinking, please, I don’t care what you have. Whatever it is you have right now, just give it to me, please. He looked down on me, he put his arm around my shoulders and he said, “Don’t you ever forget what you live.” I said, “Excuse me?!” He said, “Don’t you ever forget where you’re from. Son, you’re from America. You live in a country where brave men and women fight for your freedom every single day. No matter who you are, no matter what you go through, even at times like this, Morris, even though you’re going through the roughest moments of your life, even right now, don’t you ever forget where you’re from, because in America, you don’t have to be a victim. You’re responsible for your own life. So don’t you know there are brave men and women who fight for your freedom in this country every day in the military? Son, don’t you know there are people who get on homemade boats and rafts just to try to get across the ocean to get to this country so they can have opportunity?” He said, “Son, don’t you ever forget where you’re from. I know this is though right now, but you keep this mind set. It will help you through this and it will help you through the rest of your life. You’re responsible for your own life. No one else.”
CHUCK: Morris, that’s powerful because effectively he was saying to you, in so many words, you have the choice to be a victim or a victor.
CHUCK: Don’t forget where you are and where you come from.
MORRIS: That is one of the most powerful things in this country. For persons who accept responsibility for their gifts, their talents, their ability and life, I think the most powerful thing that a person can do, Chuck, is make a decision not to be great, because, man, that’s too much of a daunting task for some people. How do we do that? What is success anyway? What does it mean to be great? But when you can make a decision and say, “You know what? I’m going to do the best I can with what I have and I’m not going to expect any free handouts and I’m not going to expect anyone going to do this for me. You can do anything with your life at that moment.
Let me tell you something. When I left that hospital that day, I was equipped with a mindset that said, what do I have to do to make– And by the way, the doctor overheard me from her room when I walked out from upstairs. Promise her that I wasn’t going to squander what she did for me. I was going to take this opportunity she gave me and do the best I could and I promised her before I walked out her room I was going to be successful. Of course, by the time he talked to me and told me to be responsible, remember where I’m from, by the time I got to the car, I turned and I looked at her hospital room, the eighth floor, the last room on the right-hand side and I saw it. I saw it when it happened, Chuck. I saw it when they cut the light out, from the parking lot when I looked up. With a flip of a switch I knew she was gone. With a flip of a switch, Chuck, the emotion from that moment along with what the doctor just shared with me, all of that produced this moment where I sat there and I looked up and I thought, whatever I have to do to make good on that promise I just made her, I’m going to do it. I’m going to be successful and of course, I was young, black, poor, we were on welfare. I was going back to the house where the lights were being cut on and off because she had been in the hospital. We didn’t even have food in the refrigerator. Chuck, I had no idea what it meant to become successful. To be honest, if you asked my wife, she’d probably tell you I still got a long way to go.[Chuck laughs]
MORRIS: Because she’s [30:09] get me to learn how to take the trash out. Success is such a relative term, but I say that to say this: I made a decision that day. As I stood in that parking lot, it’s almost like these big moments in life, these moments that we won’t forget, kind of like getting falsely accused of a crime or kind of like the day that you remember when the cops come to take you in. Or the day, Chuck, when you remember the sound of them setting that bar where you first [30:33]. There are moments like that that will produce something in us if we let it and if we set responsibility for ourselves that can produce something that will sustain your emotional motivation and inspiration for the rest of your life and it will help you commit to things. It’s only when you make a decision to commit to something that your brain clicks in and says, “Oh, he’s really serious about this.” Then once you prove to yourself you’re serious, you accept responsibility for your life, your brain will take you to places that your mind and body will do amazing things.
You know what? I graduated from high school. I took mostly all AP classes. I wasn’t allowed to sign up for them. I fought with the guy who was councilor. She said, “I’ll let you take one. If you do okay, then I’m going to let you set your own schedule.” She did and then I did and I set my own schedule. I saw what it’s like to be challenged. I struggled in AP classes. I struggled, Chuck. It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life! I stayed up all night doing homework. But for me, I wanted to be the only black kid in those classroom sometimes because I didn’t want to accept that the neighborhood I was from where a lot of people sold drugs and I saw my family members smoking crack on and off the streets, that wasn’t good enough for me and I wasn’t judging anyone else around me, but once again, Chuck, I thought long and hard about what I wanted for my life and for me I knew I wasn’t that smart, I knew I didn’t have resources, but for me there was something about throwing away everything you have that to me just wasn’t worth it, Chuck. I said, “You know what? I don’t care if I strike out. I’m swinging as far as I can at every ball that every pitcher throws at me, because eventually I will connect with one and you’re not going to see that ball because this ball went over the people in the Grasslands,” and that was just my theory.
I went to college, I got my undergraduate degree in Psychology because I was inspired to even try to understand why people fought the way they did and why some people succeeded and other didn’t. I got my master’s degree in Business because I wanted to make an economical impact with this one idea that I had, which was why is it that some people in organizations are successful and others aren’t? I made a decision to pursue that.
CHUCK: So, Morris, let me ask you a question. This might be a little off track.
MORRIS: No, it’s not.
CHUCK: But, let me ask you the question, because it’s interesting when you look at society. You got a degree in Psychology, a master’s in Business, you look at society and you look at where you came from, okay? And here you are and you just said, fundamentally, “As a young black guy I did not want to be on the streets selling drugs, being a victim of ‘oh, I’m poor’”, etc, etc.
CHUCK: Okay? Now, help me understand. What was the difference for you as compared to your peers? Because I have to ask this question, in fairness, you said, “I wanted to be the only black guy in an AP class.” Why weren’t other people around you choosing the same thing?
MORRIS: Maybe I was just stupid, Chuck. Maybe I was so dumb, seriously, that I was so dumb that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Have you ever done something, Chuck, that was a really, really good decision and afterwards you realized that you kind of lucked yourself into that decision and never really consciously did it? And I’m not saying I wasn’t intentional because I was, but there were some things, when I look back, I mean, seriously, I was up till 4 a.m. doing somebody’s projects, but, Chuck, that’s who I was. To answer your question specifically, the thing that made me different, and I can’t answer for other people, what made me different was I walked into a church one day that was right up the street from my house and I don’t remember everything that that pastor said, but I remember when I walked out, he was preaching on some messages that were centered around stuff like Jeremiah 1:5 which says, God said, “I knew you even before I formed you in your mother’s belly. I blessed you. I gave you crazy talent and abilities and I put you there.” See, Chuck, my faith helped my understand how a kid like me can come from a lady who went to New York City and then my father who was a drug dealer and a murderer on the streets of New York City and a crazy temper and so crazy that they called him Wild Man. I’m thinking, how could I come from those two parents? But I know how; it’s because every single person in this world was thought about and created for a reason and everybody has a story. You can either choose to cross to examine your whole life, “Why did I come here? Why aren’t these my parents? Why did I…” Well, you could just shut up and say, “This is who I am. I’m here. This is what I want to do with my life.” And that’s simply how I was and I made a lot of selfish decisions. I’ve decided to put myself first a lot, Chuck, and when you decide to put yourself first and try to be as healthy as you can, even if it means saying “no” to some other stuff, you get clarity about who you are and what you want.
CHUCK: As we wrap up this segment, Morris, I have to say this and I know you on a personal level. You are an inspiration and I have to say this, you should be a very, very busy person because when you see what takes place, you see issues that happen in this country and racism still exists. To say it doesn’t would be stupid, but to see the fact that you can say some things are wrong and I’m not going to do that because I’m better than that and I’m here for a reason is incredible. Gosh, I want to keep going with this, but we’ve got to stop for a commercial break.
My guest is Morris Morrison. He is an incredible person to help you position yourself for success because of the clarity that he has shared. His website is morrismorrison.com and we’ll be back right after this message to continue on with this incredible story and talk about the impact today. Stick with us, we’ll be right back.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: My guest is Morris Morrison and this is Straight Talk Radio and we have had a wonderful discussion about how Morris helps people position themselves for success through his success and, Morris, I guess I have to say, boy, I wish you were the guy that was talking with people in [37:35] or you were the person in Baltimore because so many times, and listen, I say this because my stand in prison put me as a minority and I’m sitting around, looking at 70% of the people that I was incarcerated with were drug dealers and the majority were either African-American or Hispanic and you could hear the conversations and some people got it. My cell mate was a guy by the name of Buck. It was Buck and Chuck and I think that was for comic relief, frankly, but Buck never went back because he made a decision that he was worth more than being nothing other than a number in a federal prison. You made the decision not to ever go and I applaud you for that, but talk to us a bit about where this takes you today and the impact that you have with the organizations?
MORRIS: I like to think that I have an impact, Chuck, so thank you for even eluding to the fact that I do.
CHUCK: I do.
MORRIS: I would say we have a bunch of fun because for anyone listening to this video or watching it right now, understand this, whether it’s racism, whether it’s our economy, whether it’s immigration, whether it’s all these big issues that our country seems to be trying to tackle with in political landscape, I try to find a way to how can I take this story that I have and all these things that I’m so passionate about my research, my experience, and most importantly, Chuck, I’m just a collection of everyone I met because I’m a sponge. I take so much from so many people. I mean, when you’re raised in West Virginia, the best part about being a Mountaineer is that people in West Virginia love each other. Black, white, everyone, and we don’t have a professional sports team so we all love the West Virginia Mountaineers. There’s a couple Marshal fans out there.[Chuck laughs]
MORRIS: You guys have the opportunity for the conversion. But why do I say this about West Virginia?[Chuck laughs]
MORRIS: Because in West Virginia I learned a secret. It’s led me to develop Morrison Global Brands and while we had the opportunity to work with companies like Microsoft or large sports groups like the National Basketball Association, Notre Dame, Florida State. Just two days ago I was in the state of Minnesota with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Department of Human Services, and the whole range of organizations in between. Here’s my message today, Chuck. My message is real simple. I tell people how I fell in love and how I got a chance to be married. I tell people how I got a chance to be a father. Now I’m in love with baby Dorothy Jean. I call her Gummy Bear. You guys are way past gummy bears, that’s what you’ll find on Instagram. I’m in love. When I get a chance to bring around me a family and have love, Chuck, that I feel like I missed out on this kid, love is so important. It’s emotional. Let me tell you what happens to our emotions, and what else is the biggest part of my message. I have this here just to show you. Special release, a lot of people haven’t seen this yet, but it’s the release of our new book that’s coming out this fall. It’s called Overnight Success.
MORRIS: And we looked at the title for a reason. Overnight Success: How to Accelerate the Results That You Want in Life. We titled it Overnight Success, Chuck, because there’s no such thing as overnight success!
MORRIS: And the number one problem, other than a political landscape, economics, prison system in our country right now is what is happening to us emotionally with this idea that all of us want everything instantly. The number one thing that’s changing in this world that we live in is this idea of instant gratification. Why? We can Google something and get it within seconds, Chuck. We can Google it. We can go, “Most of our foods is processed now so we don’t have to go to the farms and get food like we used to.” It’s all right in the refrigerator. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy for us. And you know what, Chuck, if you forget to get your wife’s gift for that special anniversary, or for her birthday, you can Google, go to Amazon, click Tomorrow or Today, the gift can be at your house on the same day. Why am I saying that, Chuck? I’m saying that because I speak to corporate audiences, I speak to college audiences and youth audiences, and here’s what I can tell you what I see happen. Kids today are missing out on the importance of developing commitment and work ethic and taking self-responsibility. Why? Chuck, how many prison inmates have you seen who were incarcerated simply because they wanted to do something, get rich quick?
MORRIS: Right? Right. Whether it’s an account who’s [42:01] numbers and trimming a little bit off the edge just so they can boost their performance of their balance sheet or a drug dealer who’s selling drugs. That translates to even a lot of kids today. You talk to baby boomers, people who are 50, what do they say? “These kids nowadays, they don’t know how to work for anything.” Let me tell you something, Chuck. I don’t think that’s true, because we’ve got some remarkable kids today. With our youth, we see kids in college who expect to graduate and make $100,000 right away, all the way up to people in corporate America and professionals today. If we can get over the notion of wanting things instantly, here’s what will happen. The minute you reject the idea that the most important things that you want to go after are going to come right away, if you can reject that, you will typically position yourself for success.
We know the story of lottery winners, don’t we? Lottery winners, we’ve seen their stories on TV, their great financial windfall that we all see. Chuck, have you ever said, “Oh, if I could just win the lottery.” Have you ever said that before?
CHUCK: I have heard people say it. Let me put it this way. I don’t say it, because that means I got to play, but I have had so many people, Morris, and I know where you’re going, who have said, “If I could just win the lottery,” and it’s like, “Soooo, you’re not willing to put the steps in place to get you want? You just want it somehow handed to you for handing over a $5 bill?”
MORRIS: Yeah, yeah. Chuck, I want to tell you something. Most of those people who won the lottery who get a financial windfall, they don’t have the happily ever after story that they want [43:29], right? And some people say, “It’s too much money.” It’s not the money, Chuck. It’s not that they came into too much money too fast. It’s how they acquire the money. It came too fast.
I tell you something. Even our Bible tells us, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” Whether it’s the Bible, whether it’s discipline, we know the value of commitment. Once again, the moment you have an opportunity to do what that doctor taught me how to do that day at that hospital on the worst day of my life, when you take responsibility for your life, you understand that you’re going to commit to whatever you have to do to live your process and that’s what this book Overnight Success is about. It’s about that I met named Clyde Randall in New York LaGuardia Airport. I happened to chat with him and talk to a millionaire, young guy in his early thirties. He said, “Morris, I’ve dated the hottest women, I’ve got a beautiful girlfriend, I’ve got three houses, I’ve got a house in the Hamptons and everything,” he said, “but, Morris, something’s missing.”
Let me tell you something, Chuck. When you have the ability to commit to what you want in life and you commit to your process and you have an opportunity to commit to stick to it and going after what you want, you understand that there are no shortcuts. When you understand there are no shortcuts, what happens to you brain, your brain, our brain– You go back thousands of years, Chuck, food wasn’t available for us in the refrigerator. A wife with the little babies stayed in a cave or wherever makeshift houses were when we were hunters and gatherers, and what that men commit to, we committed that we were going out and we weren’t coming back until we had food. We would pitch chance out in the night, we wouldn’t come back until we had food. That’s why we ate whole foods. All the food wasn’t processed. Nothing’s good with the word “instant”.
By the way, Chuck, remember I just told you I just came from Minnesota, the State Department of Human Services?
CHUCK: Yes, absolutely.
MORRIS: We talked about 700 of the top professionals in the state of Minnesota, and as our company, we did a research, we realized there’s a brochure, some supplemental stuff that they kind of put out for the participants who are on welfare where they teach them how to show for groceries. You know one of the things I saw on the brochures? They said, “Please, don’t buy instant rice or instant oatmeal because it’s not good for you. It doesn’t have high nutritional value. It’s going to have more sugar content. Buy the dry stuff. It’s whole and it’s in bags. Yes, this is going to take a little longer to cook, but it’s going to be healthier for you,” and this idea of overnight success, Chuck, why is it really pressing our country? What’s the biggest problem with our country right now? Chuck, we’re all so busy. We’re all so busy! I see parent make mistakes not with food or just with daycare options. I see parents making mistakes because they’re parenting out of convenience. Why do parents parent out of convenience? Because they don’t have enough time.
So overnight success is not just about hey, you want to play the lottery to get what you want quick. No, I see organizations will make decisions for their employees based on the goals of their business units, Chuck, and are sometimes unhealthy for their organizations. You have to do things that are going to help you sustain your progress to your organization because nothing happens over night, whether it’s the food we eat or whether it’s the goals that we have in our personal lives or in organizations, we have to be committed, Chuck.
CHUCK: Morris, as we wrap up the show, two things I want to say. To those who have listened Morris’s story sets the stage or understanding the value of making a commitment to moving yourself forward and for that reason alone, it is absolutely worthwhile for your organization to hire Morris as a person you want to bring in, not because of overnight success, but to understand that overnight success doesn’t get you to create through success.
CHUCK: My guest has been Morris Morrison. This is Straight Talk Radio and we’ve had a lot of straight talk as we had continued this discussion. Visit website morrismorrison.com and look on the website because I’m sure when the book Overnight Success is released, it will be a success.
MORRIS: It’s already there. They can preorder now, Chuck, they can preorder now.
CHUCK: All right. Folks, thank you for taking the time to listen to Straight Talk Radio and, Morris, thank you. Morrismorrison.com. Thank you for being my guest here on Straight Talk Radio and as I close every segment remember, every choice we make in life has a consequence.
MORRIS: That’s right.
CHUCK: Thank you and to our next meeting or more great information here on Straight Talk Radio, this is Chuck Gallagher. Bye for now.
Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency!
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