How Do You Feel About World Peace?

As a motivational speaker, I have mixed feelings about World Peace…the LA Lakers player who was recently suspended 7 games for a vicious elbow to the head that leveled another player with a concussion. Is it just me, or should your name, company name, tagline or message be in alignment with who you are?

Like peace in the Middle East, this basketball player has struggled with violence for many years.  Formerly known as Ron Artest, he’s had 12 suspensions.  He holds the record for the LONGEST suspension – 86 games that cost him about $7 million dollars after someone threw a Diet Coke at him and he attacked fans in the stands.  In 2007 he was arrested for domestic violence and his dog Socks was taken away from his million dollar mansion.  He was allegedly starving the Great Dane.

In September 2011 he changed his name to Metta World Peace.  Metta is a Buddhist word for loving kindness.  Did he change his name to change his ways?  Is his name a mantra or affirmation, a daily reminder of the behavior he’d like to demonstrate every day?

As someone who used to be 50 pounds heavier and an emotional coward, I truly feel compassion for anyone making an effort to change.  Aligning your thoughts, words, and actions is challenging and requires continual effort.  I trust true change was Ron’s intent when he changed his name and not just to sell basketball merchandise.  (He said to an ESPN reporter “World Peace is going to be the last name, so everybody can get ready to buy their World Peace jerseys.”).  I also think it is ironic that his initial name change request was delayed for a month because of an unpaid parking ticket.  Despite my cynical tone, I respect that I don’t know the full story or situation of Mr. World Peace.

The truth is, you must think it, speak it, and live it.  Without backing up your words, your name, or your brand with consistent action you lose credibility.  People doubt your intentions and your sincerity.

My favorite World Peace story continues to be Gracie Lee Freebush’s  answer to Captain Kirk’s question, “What would be the one most important change our society needs?” twelve years ago in Miss Congeniality.  Part of me wanted Sandra Bullock to answer “world peace” with a sickening smile and part of me wanted her to give an answer more in alignment to her belief system and history of behavior.  “That would be harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.  And, world peace.”

Thanks Gracie Lee for Speaking Your Truth even if it was just a movie.  I hope Mr. World Peace doesn’t make beauty pageant contestants rethink that line. And your thoughts?


Step into the Truth Booth, improve your life, and laugh along the way with funny motivational speaker Colette Carlson. How did she go from emotional coward and the Pizza Delivery’s favorite customer to #1 sales producer for sales legend Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy, featured in Success Magazine, a 50 lb. weight loss, and inspiring audiences at Microsoft, Accenture, Pepsi, Boeing, and organizations worldwide? Visit her at or call 760-230-1212.

Colette founded Speak Your Truth, Inc. to share her success systems and inspire others to Think It! Speak It! Live It! Her tools and takeaways create authentic, long-lasting change in every aspect of your life. With a MA in human behavior, a successful business and 2 teenage daughters, Colette provides a unique combination of education, research, real-life experience, and heartfelt humor to motivate you with her high content programs. Improve your Communication Skills, Work-Life Balance, Sales, Leadership, Assertiveness, Negotiation…all wrapped in the genuine power of Speaking Your Truth.

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  1. Brilliant post, Ms. Carlson.  I love it when people state their opinion (as you did) without making it the ONE TRUE RIGHT HOLY opinion.  Yes, I know which side you fall on, but you really do invite us all to think about this in a more conscious way.  So here’s how I’m thinking about it.  The word, “name” means, “the nature of.”  And if that’s the case, then something’s off here.  

    Thank you for making me think, Colette! 

  2. Such an important point, Colette.  No matter if you’re a sports star, a motivational speaker, or a struggling mom or dad in the world, what you claim yourself to be you must think it, speak it and live it to stay credible with yourself, as well as the people you effect.  Thank you for reminding me to take a close look! 

  3. Great post Colette – we all must live our personal brand, especially if we go to such great lengths to change our name!  As a motivational speaker, I have a personal brand about living life in the front-row. So, naturally, I try to sit in the front-row whenever possible.  When it’s not possible and someone calls me on it, I always say ‘With the right attitude and perspective, any seat can be a front-row seat!”   And it’s funny because I had an article published in Toastmasters magazine about getting a front-row seat, and there was an ad placed within the article for the National Speakers Association annual convention.  There was a picture of a crowd giving someone a standing ovation inviting the magazine readers to come join the fun at the following year’s convention.  Coincidentally, I was in the front-row of the picture!  Can  you imagine if I was still visible in the photo in the 5th or 6th row?  Yes, we gotta live our brand and Mr. World Peace could use a reminder to do the same!

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