UMHB alumnus, author, and motivational speaker Lamar Collins spoke to students about his book Before You Turn 20 in chapel April 10. Collins has made history by becoming the first black mayoral candidate in Temple, Texas.
However, his speech to students focused on five keys to success that he detailed in his book. The five points are as follows:
Develop good friendships
Maintain a positive attitude
Discern God’s plan
“The gist of this book is to talk to, specifically, high school graduates and college graduates about the next phase of success in their life,” Collins said.
He wants students to find their own strengths and apply those in their life.
“When you feel bad about what you don’t have, you rob the world of the greatness that’s in you,” he said. “When you focus on the things you do well, you open up the doors of possibility to excel at what you do.”
To illustrate the importance of good friendships, Collins talked about how captured crabs can never climb out of a bucket because when one gets to the top, another will pull it back down in its own attempt to escape.
“Stay away from people who are like crabs in a bucket,” Collins said. “The second reason I tell you that story is to discourage you from being a crab in someone else’s bucket.”
He finished his address quickly, going over the three final points from his book, reminding them to stay positive.
“Life is a boomerang, and whatever you throw out, it comes back at you,” Collins said. “That’s why it’s important to be a perpetually optimistic person.”
He concluded the chapel service with an exhortation to the university.
“So to the students and individuals here at UMHB I want to challenge you to be uncommon,” Collins said. “Here’s why I want you to be uncommon because success is uncommon. … So if you want to be successful, you can’t do what common people do.”
In response to Collins’ thoughts, freshman business management major Austin Stecher said, “I liked how he encouraged everyone to find and act on their own strengths.”
Sophomore exercise sport science major Daniel Villarreal responded positively to Collins’ encouragement.
“Being normal is overrated,” Villarreal said. “The person who gets the job is the one who stands out. You have to go above and beyond.”