Duppy Conqueror

Here is some #MondayMotivation brought to you by Mercedes Shanelle of Joint Season

Negative attitudes can plague our psyches, therefore, handicapping the process of mental elevation and personal growth. We all recognize a negative attitude when we come across one, but how can we focus on the good that surrounds us, and curve the bad?

This honestly may come as a surprise to some, but in order for us to experience personal growth, we must redirect our energy and focus from society, to within ourselves. One cannot expect progression in the absence of self-efficacy and self-awareness. So, first, be confident in whatever it is that you’re called to do. Next, change your attitude for the better! Many people’s fears, troubles, anxiety, failures, and set-backs lie within their own thought processes, attitudes, and actions.

Segueing, overcoming our own obstacles is the most important step to achieving that personal growth, happiness, and success. Por ejemplo, the musical icon and legend, Robert Nesta Marley (Bob Marley) sang to us in regards to a battle with the “Duppy“, which can be interpreted as an evil spirit, bad vibes, a ghost that haunts one’s dreams, or any internal fight one may have that can prohibit true happiness and success. Music always helped people to reach a state of tranquility. Authors Stephen King and Richard Jensen state, “musically, reggae is powerful because it is effective in areas of high illiteracy. In those regions, the music acts as a catharsis which helps free people from the problems of the outside world” (King & Jensen, 2010). Listening to more music, especially Reggae can help your mind state to become more calm and positive. Change is more effective and sustainable with slow progression. By first improving one’s own mental state, this allows opportunity for widespread change.


Take a minute to seriously think of the Duppies and Bull-buckers of Babylon that are preventing you from experiencing an elevated sense of being, Mount Zion, and a better mood and desired successes…………………………okay, great!

The most common thing to do now is to think of why you feel that way. F*ck allat! How you got to that mental state is in the past, we are concerned with the present and more importantly, the future. In other words and for the purpose of this blog, the goal is to change attitude and behavior, not to match past regretful behaviors with self-proclaimed logical explanations. Those in opposition may say something along the lines of, “well, we should know what caused us to get to a negative state so that we can try to avoid it later on.” First off, remove those people from your immediate circle because dwelling on the past never helped in the search of happiness, progression, or improved status. Secondly, time is money, and who wants to waste it wondering what you “could have done”? …Exactly.

According to Revathi Turaga, “positive attitude is often ascertained as a power” (Turaga, 2011). In most cases, having power means that you are in control of a situation whether it be your situation, or someone else’s. We have all experienced a time when power felt great, whether the power was earned or imposed. Ever get that job promotion where you can finally manage a team and that yielded higher status, respect, and pay? All you wanted to scream was, “I’VE GOT THE POWWWWAH!” Sadly, so many people do not possess the power to control their own inner thoughts, attitudes and actions. Luckily for those individuals, it is never too late to begin the “healing process”.

Turaga gives us a step-by-step template on how to successfully change one’s attitude in exchange for a happier existence. “Observe yourself in situations, listen to your inner voice, change your inner dialogue, change your attitude, change your actions, [and finally] change your outcomes” (Turaga 2011).

Try taking these steps to emancipate your mind from mental slavery, haters, society and Babylon, and watch your attitude and overall being blossom into the Duppy Conqueror that you’ve always been.

This journey will only be a difficult one if you tell yourself that it will be, so keep that in mind!


Mercedes Shanelle is a second year public health graduate student at Montclair State University. As a researcher, she uses peer-reviewed and scholarly articles to construct blog posts that communicate her love of the idea of paying it forward and giving back to the community. She delves into the art of research, allowing everyone to easily access insightful information about topics related to various aspects of health pertaining to the mind, body, and soul. She one day wishes to begin her own research and disease prevention programs in underdeveloped countries with dreams of contagiously spreading enlightenment about preventable health issues. She currently works as a research study data collector in support of her professor on a quantitative study entitled, Adolescent Family Life Project, a study assessing various levels of support of pregnant foster teens in New York City.  She is also President of Montclair State University’s Public Health Student’s Association (MPHSO), as well as an active member and research presenter of the Pubic Health Association of NYC (PHANYC), and a new member of the American Public Health Association (APHA).


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