Do you ever wish you had accomplished and more success in your life? In this episode, Jimmy challenges you to be tenacious about your goals, dreams, lifestyle, and more.
- The importance of being adaptable to unexpected circumstances that cause you to struggle.
- Why you must develop your tenacity muscle to help you focus on your goals when distraction arise in life.
- When you were born is not the limiting factor to your success. Who you become is totally dependent on your attitude.
- We make many choices in life but choosing your parents isn’t one of them!
- When the outlook of life looks bleak, the uplook will help you gain perspective to continue the journey.
Good morning! This is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life By Design, your Monday morning moments of motivation, helping you become bigger, better, and bolder at whatever you want to accomplish in life. Man, I have got to share with you today, I just came back from 31 days of sabbatical. You work hard. You get to that point in life that you just need to take a break to sharpen those motions, get those skills even more refined. And then there’s those times you just need to take a break and go to the desert. No… Hey, this is Jimmy Williams. I got to tell you, I had a wonderful time over the last month, but I did get an opportunity to visit some places I haven’t been in a while and got to see some old friends… Just rejuvenated, feeling excited. I got to tell you I was so pumped up, I got up an hour early. I woke up at 4:00AM for whatever reason, just ready to go to the office, get some things done, get with the team and get that energy flowing again.
And boy, little did I know… Shout out to the greatest team in the world at Compass Capital Management, they just performed flawlessly the whole time I was out. As a matter of fact, I believe they performed so well, I may just do this again in another month or two. So, you know, one of those things, you’ve just got to take advantage of it when they serve it to you like that, right? That’s a softball. But, you know, I want to share with you something I learned while I was out in the desert of Arizona. I was staying at a resort there with my wife, and I would look out across our veranda at this beautiful landscape of desert scene. You’d see cactus flowers that you have never seen where I live, they only grow as indigenous to that area… You would see animals that you wouldn’t find where I currently reside. You’d see just the beauty of what comes from the desert. And then one evening, the most odd thing happened. I looked across there and I saw a cactus. I mean, this was a giant cactus. This thing had to be 25, 30 feet tall in the air at least, probably that or 40 feet, it was big. One of the biggest cactus I’ve seen. And I got to thinking about that particular plant. Keep in mind, they do not get a lot of rain in the desert. So how did a cactus grow to be that size? Well, I’m going to give you a secret. You know me by now, I like to do my own research. Hey, find out the unique things in life that others just simply pass by. I looked at what really does the cactus do to grow the size it does in a climate where the moisture is so limited. Well, first, it did something that you and I must do – and I’m going to focus on that today – is it is adaptable. It adapted to its environment. Now, I’m not saying that it compromised its reasons for living. It merely adapted to maximize its growth with the limited inputs that it had in its environment.
So if you think about it this way, none of us start out in life, or I should say most of us, start out in life with all the clothing, all the education, all the housing, all the familial support. We just simply aren’t that lucky. You know, there’s one thing in life you can choose with free will. You have a brain that you can choose anything you want to make in life, do in life, drink in life, eat in life. You can choose anything but who your parents are. You see, that’s one choice that’s made for us. And man, I just got to tell you, I happened to hit a home run. The youngest of six children I had to, early on in my age, or excuse me, of my family, have to figure out at my age that I am going to have to work, to gain the success I craved.
One thing that I want to visit with you about today is this ability to adapt. But I want to share with you a couple of success stories. This first person started out life as the 10th of 17 children. Now, maybe by telling you just simply that he was the number 10 in line of 17 children, his parents were not wealthy by any means. But what they did teach the young man was how to work – work ethics. He taught that he was taught morals. He was taught also to believe in himself and to not allow others to rob him of what he wanted in life. His success, his education, his tenacity to grow as a person was well-rewarded later in life, but he didn’t start out that way, just like that small cactus is. It’s fighting for the moisture it can gain with a shorter root system, then the much larger 40 feet tall cactus that has a root system that can exceed 100 feet of surface. Think about that. That is a network of water absorbing roots that feed this cactus, and this smaller cactus has to adapt. It has to figure out a way to gain more moisture so it can continue to grow and exist.
But those life struggles came along for this young man. He did get started on what we would consider a formal education. He went to grade school, but only to the age of 10. The family was so large, they needed all of the boys and some of the girls to work to help take care of the families, bills, food, housing, and so forth. You see, he didn’t just simply get to go to school and come home, kick back, do his reader, do some vocab words. You know, the same things that we may do with our children today, he had no opportunity to explore at his age of 10. One of the great things was that this little man learned that he could learn. Now, I hope you take that into context. He learned by the short age of 10 in grade school that he could learn. And so he did. He taught himself to become a voracious reader. He read every book that he could put his hands on. And then basically at the age of 12, he was already a skilled writer. He actually became a published author for a newspaper. By the time he was aged 16. He was a diligent and industrious young man. By the age of 18, he was ready to do something on his own and struck out to leave his home with his family behind. He went to a foreign country, London, England, and there, he found employment as a printing business. He opened, then, his own printing shop just two years later, finding great success, printing everything from books, to pamphlets, even currency. For his time, he was so successful. He then began in helping to build his community. Now this is where it really gets beneficial. You heard me say he became successful. He only became successful to the point that he desired to become successful. He was tenacious in his ideals to become successful.
I’ve got a question for you before we continue this story. Are you tenacious about ideals, your goals, the success you wish to realize in your life? You see, we all have that gut feeling down there, but is it really burning enough? Is it a hot enough fire to keep you going in the eyes of adversity? When the hill becomes much taller to climb? When the obstacles in front of you are much harder to move or go around, do you have that tenacity? Are those goals clear in your mind?
For this young man, they certainly were, but life wasn’t easy. Even after he had reached some success, his first son died of smallpox at the age of four. Devastated as he was, he realized he must continue for the sake of his family to work and build their dreams together. So he started a number of community projects to help build the little town that he had found himself. He wanted others to have what he did, and he wanted others to have the capability to go to school much further than age 10. He wanted others to have books to read that were not easily available to him. So he started a community organization that is the preface of today’s library system. What books he could find – and they weren’t widely available, as I said, at that time – this library that he started eventually became one of the largest libraries in the United States, at least until about a hundred years ago. The city’s first fire company and police department were also founded by this gentlemen.
He didn’t stop there. He went on to form an academy that provided the education beyond the secondary education level for children in his area. He then established what is now known as the modern day postal service. He was an entrepreneur par excellence. He was the kind of person that got up each day, seeing where there was a need, and filled it with his own thinking. How many of us waste a general amount of time on what I call the boob tube? How many of us… Now, Ii I were to ask you to raise your hands and we can see you, I promise you, many hands would have risen at that question. But let me say this: if, in fact, you had a stronger goals pushing you in the direction that you wish to go, ultimately you will have more control of your life later.
At the end of the day, he was only 42 years of age, and he even expanded his business to other states, increasing his net worth commensurately. He continued to get himself into areas outside of what little education he gained, and then what he earned on his own. He invented the lightening rod, which protects buildings from lightening fires. And then he also founded a stove that worked with greater efficiency by burning less fuel and producing more heat. He even invented the bifocal eyeglasses, admittedly, he said, because he needed them himself, so he could then see up close as well as at a distance. But you know, that didn’t stop him. He continued on in his life and became an ambassador for his country. Now, if I told you someone with only a 10 year of age education – that would put them at about the fourth grade in the United States, in today’s numbers and dates, United States, fourth grade – that was all he gained in formal education.
But then what he did was phenomenal. He became the only person of his era to sign all four documents that liberated the United States from England. He’s the only one to have done that. He became an ambassador, as I said, for our nation. At the same time, he was the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention for then the United Colonies of America. And then he was the one that helped nominate the first president of our country, George Washington.
You of course by now probably know who this person is. If you don’t, I’d like for you to reach into your wallet. And if you have a $100 bill, it will give you a great idea who this person is. Of course, I’m talking about Benjamin Franklin. He remains one of the most celebrated figures in us history for all the contributions he gave us to what we now call modern life. His image appears on that $100 bill to this day and towns, schools, and businesses across America are named on behalf of the man that started life with far little and turned it into greatness.
You see, one of the things that we can do today is not simply look at where we’re from. You can’t choose what family you were born in. What you can do though, is for your children and your grandchildren to experience even greater depth of quality of life by becoming a person that I know is within you. Too often, we see people that fail to realize their full potential, because they didn’t have that burning desire to seek the greatness that was within. They didn’t have the tenacity to stick it out when the times got tough. And the times that got tough will remain even tougher. You know, I’ve often said when somebody says to me, “Well, how did you ever get through that?” Or, “How did you make it above that obstacle?” And I always say it like this: “I’m one of those people that it’s my head or that wall. But at some point, one of the two will give.” Now I don’t bang my head on walls today, but I will tell you, I have that mental picture that I’m not going to be defeated unless I choose to accept defeat on my terms. And I’ve got news for you, good people. You’re not going to be defeated either. As subscribers to Live a Life By Design, you seek that positive, powerful moment that helps you find that one single answer to the most challenging of questions of life. And every Monday, we want you to see it and hear it through our blogs and through our podcast at Live a Life By Design that there is a bigger person within you just waiting to come out.
You know, the struggles that were experienced by Benjamin Franklin were at a time when we didn’t have electricity throughout our houses or our buildings or our city streets. He was at a time that we didn’t have luxury of travel. He had to take a steam ship all the way across the ocean. He took sailing ships all the way across the ocean. You know, it’s one of those things that in life if we don’t have luxuries, we find ways to make things happen. The difficult thing in America in our world today is we’ve got so many luxuries. We sometimes fail to strengthen ourselves for the challenging times that may arise. I can tell you that our country is not going to be on a trajectory of everyone having everything they need in life. It just isn’t feasible. But you can have everything you need in life and everything you want in life if you just work hard enough, if you just learn enough, if you just give enough, you will gain all that you desire. I want to close you with this one challenge this week. You know, I want you to work diligently on forgetting what your current circumstances tell you is possible and I want you to start living the impossible. No one can tell you that success is simply not in your future. You weren’t born with the right name. You weren’t even born in the right neighborhood or you weren’t born in the right country. None of that matters today. You are tenacious toward your goals, your morals, your lifestyle, you desire. Keep striving for success on your terms and prove yourself that you and I mean you alone are strong enough and smart enough to truly live life by your design. Make it a great week. Go out, smiling and share the good news that there is a another day for you to go prove your worth to the world.