by Mark Victor Hansen
Each one of us has amazing talents and unique gifts to give to the world. No one else can make our special offer. These are things we can do that no one else is capable of doing quite the way we do them. We all have a purpose, a reason for living, breathing and existing. The most important thing we can do in life is to understand what that purpose is and how we can use it to benefit humanity. We owe it to the universe, our family, others, the future, our legacy and ourselves. Become significant—think big and serve big.
A friend, Tom Harken, was born with both polio and tuberculosis. He spent the first six years of his life in an iron lung. Everyone was afraid of tuberculosis, so no one would touch him. After he recovered, Harken started to attend school. The first day, the teacher told him to go to the chalkboard and spell “cat.” He wrote k-a-t.
The teacher told him—in front of the entire class—that he would never become successful. He dropped out of school, humiliated and chagrined. But he decided to prove them wrong. When he became old enough, he went out and started selling vacuums. He sold 17 a day. Harken memorized all of the information each customer gave to him because he had not learned to read or write.
He was fortunate enough to find a wonderful woman—Miss Melba, as he affectionately calls her—and they got married. He never told anyone he was illiterate until, at age 55, he announced it with tears in his eyes to an astonished audience while being honored at the Horatio Alger Awards. Upon hearing his confession, his sons rushed up to the stage, told him they loved him anyway and would help him. It had always been his and Miss Melba’s secret.
Within one year he had learned how to read. He is now part of the crusade to eradicate the slavery called “illiteracy.” His book, The Millionaire’s Secret, is a heartfelt eye opener.
His story goes to show that anything is possible. Just like Tom, the only thing standing in the way of our success is us—our beliefs about what’s possible, our attitude toward ourselves and our desire to achieve what we really want, regardless of what is happening around us. We are the only barriers keeping our dreams at bay.
Our minds determine our success or failure. It is the ultimate strength and weakness. Everything begins and ends with our thinking. The amazing mind can help us achieve everything we want to do in life. Our mind is precious. Develop it. Because in the end, if we don’t use it, we lose it.
Mark Victor Hansen is universally known for his career as a professional inspirational and educational speaker, as well as being a major bestselling author. He founded, co-created and authored Chicken Soup for the Soul and several other book series. He will be a keynote speaker at the Mind Body Spirit Expo, held November 21 through 23 at the Valley Forge Convention Center. For more information, visit MindBodySpiritExpo.com. November 2014.