“Charisma is a sparkle in people that money can’t buy. It’s an invisible energy with visible effects.” -Marianne Williamson
I was first made aware of Dr. Davis about a year ago when I participated, as a finalist, in a contest for local entrepreneurs. Prior to the event, several of the event’s organizers raved about the guest spokesperson, Dr. Miles K. Davis, Dean Of Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School Of Business. Never a fan of my own public speaking, my nervousness caused me to forget much of what occurred that evening, but I do recall the way in which Dr. Davis opened the event and held the audience captive within seconds of speaking. Dr. Davis spoke of entrepreneurship and the need to regenerate one’s persona throughout each rung of the ladder to higher success, or risk stagnation. From that evening on, his message has often been at the forefront of my thoughts as I reach the various goals I’ve set for myself and assess what I need to change or improve upon to reach the next level.
I’ve had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Davis via social media and lay witness to the way in which he weaves fun and individuality into his professional life as though there’s no line dividing the two. It’s been both entertaining and enlightening which is why I reached out to Dr. Davis as the interviewee to launch this section of Kendra Relaunched. Without further ado, please meet Dr. Miles K. Davis.
KR: By way of introduction, how would you describe yourself to someone you’ve just met?
This is a tough question for me, as I believe people often see the person they are interacting with better than the person sees himself or herself. And any description I give is only a glimpse of a partial reality of who I am. A more interesting question is; “How do you see me?” Maybe, I can learn a little about myself to that question.
KR: You are, easily, one of the most positive and encouraging people I know. How do you maintain such a positive outlook?
What do I have to be negative about?! I love my job! I have great kids! I have enough to eat and a roof over my head! My life is a never-ending blessing of possibilities. There are so many who are so much worse off. Can you imagine being a Syrian refugee? Or, having the shelter offered by WATTS your only option to sleep on a cold wet night? I think about those who are suffering from loss; loss of home, family, faith. In light of the realities I see around me I wake up thankful, each and everyday, for all I have been spared and all I have been given.
KR: Name someone who has had a tremendous impact on your life and how they have affected you.
One of the greatest mentors in my life has been a gentleman by the name of Dr. M. Yaqub Mirza. He has shown me the true purpose of wealth accumulation and how to live a life in accordance with divine principles. He is such a caring, humble man, even as he commands millions in resources. He sees himself as a steward of those resources and uses them to benefit the community. Every time I see him he greets everyone with a smile and his humility is over powering. I strive to live a life like his.
KR: As a parent in today’s society, considering how easily a child can be swayed by outside influences, how do you instill confidence in your children to “do the right thing”?
Actually Kendra, I don’t believe children are as easily influenced as most assume. I do believe that parents have abdicated a lot of their responsibilities and hence set children up to be influenced by others, including friends and media. We as parents are responsible for raising our children in ways that allow them to determine what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, I see too many parents working too hard on their jobs and not enough at home to help to guide their children, or they are trying to be friends with the children instead of their parent. If our children are not doing the right thing we need to examine how well we are teaching them what the right thing is.
KR: On social media, I often see you using the hashtag #myhighdeflife. What’s that all about?
I am learning to live my life in High Definition. Not an ordinary life, but an extra-ordinary one. One where I exceed the constraints others may impose by virtue of things they may assume about me. I am trying to encourage others to exceed their pre-defined boundaries and break free of the thoughts that captivate their ability to live their dreams, and move beyond their fears.
KR: When was the last time you had a deep, deep belly laugh and what caused your laughter?
I have one each and everyday, often laughing at myself. LooooooooL. You have no idea how surreal my life is to me given the poor inner-city kid I was. I am forever thankful and forever amused at the mysterious ways in which God works.
KR: You mentioned being a poor inner-city kid, could you expand upon that and briefly describe how you were able to get to where you are today?
First, let me acknowledge, faith played a large part in my ability to transcend an environment where nearly all my friends are dead, in jail or strung out on drugs. The second greatest impact was my parents emphasis on education. I was taught that education was a passport out of poverty. It is amazing when I look at the lack of support for education today. In fact a senator just killed a loan program designed for low income students (Perkins Loans). This is at a time when most new jobs being created will require a college degree! Finally, I think that my experience in the U.S. Navy helped me quite a bit. It was the Navy that first allowed me to travel and be exposed to not only different people across the US, but also different people and cultures around the world. That exposure gave me a bigger vision of the world and myself. It hep to create new possibilities.
KR: What advice might you give to kids who are in a similar situation?
I would tell them that their circumstances do not define them. They have untapped potential that transcends their immediate situation. That hard work and discipline do indeed payoff. Finally, I would tell them that human beings move in the direction of their thoughts. Negative thinking, leads to negative actions with negative consequences. To change your circumstances, change your thinking. Move in the direction of positivity and possibilities. Even if your present environment lacks anything you see as good, take the long view. Whatever you are going through right now–just like the things I went through growing up–helps prepare you for the great future ahead of you.
KR: Thank you, again, for taking the time to answer my questions! In closing, what’s next for you on your High Def Life journey?
Stay tuned for that;-)
The “Interviews” section of Kendra Relaunched is a spin-off of an interview-only website idea I had earlier this year. Interview questions are not meant to be typical questions that highlight a career or a laundry list of accomplishments that offer nothing of an individual’s personality. This section is humbly dedicated to individuals that fascinate, inspire and motivate me. It is a privilege to be surrounded by people of such high caliber that I can reach out to for advice, a laugh, or words of encouragement, often, without them even knowing how far reaching their influence is. This section is my way of celebrating those individuals by saying “Thank you.” Tune in, soon, for more interviews.