From Thug to Scholar...Unmask with me!

As we journey through life, life has a unique way of presenting obstacles or tests along our capricious paths. Many of us capitulate to those obstacles and choose the easy path, or as Robert Frost eloquently conveys in his poem The Road Not Taken, we walk the path chosen by many. It appears natural for us to follow the majority and to ingratiate ourselves with peers from similar living and learning environments. Yet, we must remember that the easy path is not the intended path; God never intended for our existence to be a pliant one because the pursuit of an easy path, normally leads to a hard and unfulfilled trek during our existence on Earth.

Many of us attempt to be like this world, so we seek manmade inventions and worldly pleasures to earn a since of utopia or heaven on Earth. The problem with that heavenly pursuit is that it cannot be achieved through finite knowledge and hedonistic perspectives. Fierceness individuals have no fear because their faith comes from a deep-rooted understanding that everlasting joy derives from the formless, shapeless, alpha, and omega that cannot be explained fully through manmade ideals and beliefs. Inciting us to saunter on a distinct journey that requires us to have a personal relationship with this immeasurable and formless spirit; a spirit that we know as God. This purposeful relationship activates a godly spirit that cannot be gauged by intricate devices, prompting us to tap into the unseen, the spiritual realm.

This special realm cannot be evoked without faith; a robust faith that challenges us to step outside of our typical comfort zones. Comfort zones that encourage us to focus on attempting to please our friends and love ones, which may tempt us to engage in sex, violence, or other detrimental activities. We were formed and designed for greatness; a greatness that derives from an infinite source that has unlimited love and constructive resources. These provisions are given freely to those who walk with an internal fire and power, operating with a faith that they can move mountains. Mountains can come in many forms.

Our mountains can show up as a lack of confidence in ourselves: I am not pretty enough, I am not born into the right family, I do not have enough money, I am not smart enough, or I am not good enough. All of these negative ideas about one’s self can pile so high to produce insurmountable within most people lives; the sad fact is that they are created by our individual beliefs about ourselves. “For God (infinite) did not give us the spirit of fear, but gives us power, love, and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). We are made to be conquers during our existence, but it will only come when we believe we are great internally. We should have mirror talk when we arise to view our physical selves in the bathroom every morning.

Practice saying, I am smart, I am perfectly made, I was chosen for greatness, I am the righteousness of God, and I see my so-called flaws as perfections. When we think it, believe it, and speak it, our uniqueness and greatness will begin to emerge and surge in our lives. Remember, God spoke the world into existence, and we must speak positive affirmations in our lives to start living as a positive being. This understanding and conscious decision to live in this fashion enabled me to transition from a drug dealer, pistol packing, and street fighter to a professional actor, author, professor, speaker, business leader, and former arena football player. I am no different or better than any of you who are reading this article.

I was a broken, a lost, and a confused individual who sought to placate the desires of others; I accepted failure and surrendered to myriad of ignorant situations. You do not have to walk my path because you have been exposed to the wisdom needed to unmask and to tap into your personal greatness. You are destined for mastery, and if you are willing to live without fear and to commit to being fierce; you will fear less and open yourself up to a world of limitless gifts, blessings, and productive opportunities. When you reach your ideal pinnacle of success, and you will reach your perceived best, remember, it is your job to be better than your best. Keep the faith and never stop believing in your internal perfection and genius.

This book can be purchase online at or
Connect with me at or [email protected]
Assistant Professor at University of Tennessee
IG: Unmaskytp; Twitter: Unmaskytp; FB: From Thug to Scholar and James Arthur Williams

Written By: James A Williams, Ph.D., D.M., CHE, CC