McKinley Williams is Returning to Los Angeles in September!

MW Smiling with Beard

August 19, 2015

Hello Friends and Colleagues!

I’m returning to Los Angeles this fall! I have accomplished what I set out to accomplish here in Hood River, Oregon and now I am headed back to re-engage with all that I love about Los Angeles – which includes those of you who reside in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Since arriving in Hood River last October, I have had the good fortune to have been able to invest in a disciplined practice that made it possible for me to dig deeper into what has purpose and meaning for me at this time in my life and to get a lot of words on the page. What has emerged is the realization that instead of one book, I am writing the first book of what will be a book series. The book is titled “Find Your Own Way Home.” I’ll write more about the book and my Oregon experience in the weeks ahead, but today I wanted to share my excitement with you about returning to Los Angeles! For a brief time I entertained the idea of moving to Portland, Oregon where I resided for seventeen years from 1985 until the fall of 2001. But after careful consideration and checking in with my heart of hearts, the message that I received was almost deafening…and it said “Come Back Home, Now!” Hood River is a special little town located in the Columbia River Gorge and it will always hold a special place in my heart for helping me achieve clarity about the direction in which I want to move my life in this stage. But, given that time is so precious and that none of us knows how much time we will be given in this lifetime, I am ready to get back into the swing of things after three years of major life reinvention and a transformation that has been both difficult and enriching in so many ways. I’ll write more about my transformation in future blog posts. Some of you already know that I have been engaged in deep inner work and spiritual growth during this period and in order to devote myself to this work, I found it necessary to quiet my mind and to slow my life down so that this transformation could take hold and bring me to a new level of consciousness. I am happy to say that I have completed what I sense is the most difficult work that was needed (which was emptying myself and letting go of so much of what I had identified with prior to engaging in this inner work) and now I am available to fill my life up with new experiences, new realizations, new commitments, and a totally new and joyful direction. I am very happy to share all of this with you.

Please return to my blog weekly to learn more. I am in the process of linking my blog posts to my social media accounts so that I can share these updates more efficiently.

With deepest bows of respect and admiration!


Response to Andy Shaw’s Footstep “You must get good grades…Or your life will be bad!”

Earlier today I read Andy Shaw’s post (he calls them Footsteps) at his web site Andy Shaw’s A BUG FREE MIND. You can find the original article here:

Here is my response to the article:

Hi Andy,

Your Footstep post today (as many of them do) touched a cord in me and I wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic with such great integrity. There are so many myths that pass for wisdom, and this is equally true in the personal development industry. I agree with your position vis a vis Jim Rohn’s canard about the 5 people you spend the most time with. I salute you for providing such sage guidance to your son about what truly matters and to all of us about being true to ourselves. I did not grow up in a family with parents who were self-made or conscious of the fact that they were creating their own realities. My father was incarerated during the first 20+ years of my life and then, soon after he was free from prison, was killed in an unsolved homicide. My mother, who I did not grow up with until I reached my teen years, struggled to survive and yet kept the maternal love in her heart for all of her children. As the high achieving child in my sibling group, I was left on my own to navigate the murky waters of what is true and what is false. Particularly, when one is young and impressionable, everyone seems to be vying for your “mindshare” and for your devotion to their version of reality. As a “natural leader” and an academically gifted child and youth, I was influenced to go to a “good school,” meaning at the time a small, private, four-year, top-tier, expensive liberal arts college. I applied, was accepted, received scholarships and grants and attended this lovely institution of higher learning (Occidental College located in Los Angeles). It was quite difficult (especially when one has no one else in the family to lean on for support or guidance) to know if this was the “right” decision for me. No one in my family felt they were in the position to give any qualified input about this decision one way or another. I took in the inputs from teachers, counselors, administrators, college catalogues, etc. and made the best decision that I could at that time. Would I make the same decision today knowing what I now know? I’m not sure. You see, the truth is that I was also a very excellent singer, a good piano player and a very gifted lyricist. But, even with so many urging me to go in this direction, I faltered and chose not to pursue this as a life course because, at the same time, so many people were urging me to avoid this path. They were concerned about the uncertainty I would face, the lack of “guaranteed success,” the loads of rejection I might face, the likely limited financial rewards, etc, etc. Years later I have sometimes regretted not having gone in this direction. Over time I learned to be much more careful about allowing others to influence my decisions and have found that I can incorporate all of those things that have meaning for me into my life and into the work that I choose to do. I am learning how to do this now and am finding that at any time in one’s life you can stand up and decide for yourself the kind of person you want to be and how you want to contribute your talents and gifts to this world. We are free if we choose to be free. One of my favorite singer/songwriters and performers who had commercial success in the 60s and 70s, and performed up until his death in 2013, was Richie Havens. When I think of my life journey and how it unfolded after I began to rely on my own feelings and after I became better at tuning into the agenda of my soul, I often recall one of his songs, “I Was Educated By Myself.” It has relevance for the message you are sharing today in your Footstep. Go give a listen (the song is on YouTube). Thank you Andy for being such a beacon of hope and clarity to so many who are waking up from the dream that has been dreaming them for far too long. You are making a difference in our lives. I am grateful for your having stood up for yourself and for having made the choice to claim your birthright to be fully yourself. – McKinley Williams

On campus at Occidental College in Los Angeles circa 2011

On campus at Occidental College in Los Angeles circa 2011

Today’s News from McKinley

Please support my Dreams into Action Project

April 10, 2014

I am at a crucial turning point in my Dreams into Action – The Waiting Is Over project. So many positive developments are underway. I am in conversation with film producer/director David Leaf about helming the documentary film that is at the core of the project (learn more about David’s work here: I am consulting with fellow members of my business networking group regarding the development of the website (learn more about the site here: Things are moving in a very positive direction.

Now, I have arrived at a point where I must reach out to my personal and professional network of friends and colleagues for financial support to keep going. As many of you know, I am “all in” with this venture and for me there is no turning back! Your gift will help propel me forward on my soulful journey as a social entrepreneur and transformational leader.

Please give a gift of any amount now. Use this link:

Your gift is tax deductible. You will receive a thank you letter with tax deduction information via e-mail.

I truly appreciate your support!

McKinley Williams

For more information please contact:

McKinley Williams
Dreams into Action
A Triumphé Media Group Project
(310) 975-9359

Major update to website has been completed!

Please enjoy changes made to this website! Changes in format bring a fresh look to the site and a lot more content has been added. The new content reflects the culmination of recent business planning and re-conceptualization of projects that are in progress at this time.  An exciting new development is the launch of Dreams into Action Life Purpose Consultancy and Coaching.  Also included are demonstration recordings of four songs that are slated to appear on Songs in the Great Turning, an album of original songs by McKinley. Another exciting addition are the pages that describe Dreams into Action – The Waiting Is Over which is a film project that is in very early development. I thank you for investing some of your time to learn more about my life and the projects that I am committed to at this stage in my life. Please visit the site often and read my blog posts. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Brief Progess Report – March 25, 2014

In addition to being well on my way to completing my book (I’d say 70% complete) and an album of original songs (60% complete), I am in early stage development of a documentary film that I will share more about if you would like to learn more about it. These intellectual properties will be produced and distributed under the Triumphé Media Group brand, the name I have chosen for my company.

I have made what I believe is a very good start on articulating a compelling vision for Triumphé Media Group. This is a life vision as opposed to a traditional business plan. I am now working on the tactical business development plan. To ensure that this plan is actionable and reflects the actions that are in alignment with my vision, I have engaged a business coach and have enrolled in a course specifically designed for social entrepreneurs to help me overcome obstacles and break through to success and profitability.

Who we truly are does matter. Don’t be afraid to shine!

Try to fit in and be like everyone else appears to be.
Forget they were attracted to you because you appeared to bring
that special something different that was needed…
the part of you that made their hearts sing.

If you are too different the fear is that you won’t last long.
If you’re the same, you make sure the status quo
is the only game everyone plays to belong.
Then you hide who you are and no longer soar.

…Or you can fly high and see what is not being seen.
You can leap to the future and be what has not been.
You can let others see you jump so they know
what is possible when we are really willing to go.

From Native American Wisdom Teachings
(No specific author attributed)

Breakthrough of the Week!

“You might as well try to keep the wind from blowing. When you oppose it, it goes around you and often runs you over. When you flow with it and use it, you can ride the wind to heaven.”    – Twelfth-century Confucian sage Zhu Xi

Reflect on this idea whenever you feel events are outside your control.

I am celebrating a major breakthrough that I had this week as a result of two conversations with a wonderful friend and business associate. For a number of months I have been living with the question about the best way to sequence the creative projects that comprise what is a very “big” vision. This question is one that I have been attempting to answer on my own, mostly by utilizing logic and analysis. I’m not entirely certain, but what I believe caused me to become stuck is that I found myself in conflict between what I will call “self-cherishment” consciousness (ego) and my Highest Self consciousness (for the greatest good). Because one of my greatest natural gifts is my capacity for inspirational communication (singing, songwriting and performing), I sometimes get attached to the form (rather than the function) of my soul-derived contribution. And, because I am “reclaiming my voice” after keeping a lid on my heart’s desire for long stretches of my adult life, there’s an energy in me that feels that it’s imperative to “put my musical talent front and center” as opposed to it being in a support role. So, the breakthrough was achieved by my finally seeing clearly and accepting that my business development focus at this time is to establish my mission of service and allow my talent as a musical performer and recording artist to be recognized in a context that is secondary – or in a supportive role.

This breakthrough has catalyzed a rethinking of my business launch where instead of focusing on producing a film as the “umbrella” under which the book, album and TV show projects would emerge, I have repositioned my business launch to begin with establishing a life purpose consultancy, where I will 1) curate/aggregate a blog, 2) develop a community of members, 3) interview authors and consultants in the personal development, life purpose and related subject matter areas, 4) put out my own book and then allow the music album and the film and TV  projects to evolve from the success of this launchpad. Given my current financial resources, it feels like taking this launchpad approach has less risk associated with it, the funding required is certainly a lot less than what the former launch strategy would have required, and it will make it possible for me to begin attracting an audience, not to mention acquiring paying clients, much sooner (reducing the reliance on tax-deductible contributions to fund the film until later on when I am better established).

I have already secured the URLs for the life purpose consultancy and am pressing ahead with re-writing my vision statement so that it reflects this breakthrough. I am also celebrating a number of synchronistic occurrences in these past two weeks that appear to indicate that the universe is both guiding and responding to my choices. After several months of “efforting” really hard, I feel that I have become “unstuck” and that I am once again in the dynamic flow.

How do you want to be remembered by those who knew you best?

I want to be remembered by those who knew me best for my dedication to speaking truth to power and for my willingness to dive deeply into my chosen subject matter in order to produce valuable insights that inspire others to purposeful action. I want to be remembered for conducting great interviews of leading-edge thought leaders in economics, psychology, sociology, science, politics, ecology, history and a broad spectrum of topics of relevance and significance. I want to be remembered as a leading light that redirected himself at mid-life to become an inspirational communicator who used his intelligence, compassion and authenticity as both an artist and media personality to ask essential philosophical questions and express deep psychological truths. I want to be  known for my self-direction and insistence on creative freedom. Additionally, I want to be remembered for my ability to overcome adversity in my life and for having produced powerful and authentic statements through my music as well as through my books and other media works. I want to be remembered as an artistic trailblazer and as an example of a remarkable human being.  I want it to be remembered that I lived one of the most interesting lives in late 20th Century and early 21st  Century America.

Welcome to my new website! As you will see, like me, it’s a work in progress.

MW Smiling with Beard

Hello my dear friends,

I trust you are well and that your summer has been enjoyable and unfolding beautifully.  I am extremely happy to share with you that I am well and that my life since retiring from my job as Development Director at OPCC is undergoing profound realignment and redirection.  What has been most transformative is the crystallization of my life’s higher purpose which has emerged from a discipline of rigorous scholarly immersion, re-contextualization of my long-term self-actualization work spanning 40 years, and my attunement to current social movements and socioeconomic trends. The past year and a half has been an incredible period of personal growth, intellectual expansion and spiritual realization. I am filled with gratitude for having had this wonderful opportunity to further cultivate my capacity for deep and sustained inquiry into subjects of strategic importance. It has been an enriching, strengthening and clarifying exploration that has more deeply defined my life purpose.

Best wishes,

McKinley Williams