Dream. Act. Achieve.

In one of his audio programs, motivational speaker Brian Tracy asked this question: “What would you do if you KNEW you could not fail?”

I asked myself that question this morning.  Now I’m asking you.  What would YOU do if you knew whatever you attempted would be a great success?

When my son Josh was in the 7th grade his teachers made him enter a speech contest at school.  Josh didn’t really want to enter the contest, so he drug his feet when it came to preparing for the contest.  During the weeks before the contest, Josh’s mother would ask him how his speech practice was going.  Josh would shrug his shoulders and say, “Meh…it’s going fine”, but he either wouldn’t practice or he would half-heartedly put in practice time.

The contest was held in the late afternoon / early evening timeframe.  I wasn’t able to attend, but I made it home before Josh and his mother got back from the contest.  My wife, Teresa, was the first person through the door when she and Josh got home.  I asked her how things went.  Before she could give me any details, Josh came in.  He had a bronze metal around his neck, a look on his face like he was about to cry, and he walked hurriedly past me.  Josh went up the stairs, after which I heard his door slam shut followed by muffled sounds of sobbing.  My wife said, “You should go talk to him.”

Up the stairs I went.  I opened his door and said, “Josh, whats the matter, buddy?  You did great.  You got 3rd place!”  Josh, in words between sobs said, “There were only 3 people in the conteeeeeeeeeeest!”.  He followed this statement up with wailing.

Well…what can you say in that situation?  My foot was firmly in my mouth and I was at a loss for words.  So, I said, “Uh…okay…well…if you put your mind to it you can do better next year.”

I didn’t know it at the time, but my son Josh has a pretty big ego.  He wants to do well.  He doesn’t like to lose…especially if he knows he could have done better; and he KNEW he was capable of more.

The next year when speech contest time rolled around, Josh was chomping at the bit to do whatever he thought was needed to win the contest.  First, he made up a quick plan.  He said, “The people that did the best last year read poems.  I read the Gettysburg Address, but this year I’m going to read a poem.”  Then Josh started practicing.  He chose a poem called, “Binker”, by A.A. Milne.  He practiced that poem over and over and over and over and over again.  Night after night, each night becoming more animated, until he had mastered the movements and voice variations and inflections he was going to use.  By the time contest night came, Josh had practiced that poem so much that knew Binker cold…and I knew Binker cold, and his mother knew Binker cold, and his sisters knew Binker cold.  He was ready and raring to go.

The night of Josh’s contest I was in a speech contest of my own, so I couldn’t attend.  However, coincidentally, as I pulled out of the parking lot from the venue I was speaking at, my wife and son passed me on the road.  I caught up with them and called my wife to let her know I was right beside her.  When my son saw me out the window, he held his first place trophy up to the window so I could see it.  I just thought, “Awesome!”

Josh took defeat and let it motivate him.  He dreamed big and developed a plan of action.  He acted.  He achieved.

What do you want to achieve?  What would you do if you KNEW you couldn’t fail.

If your past hasn’t worked out like you wanted, know that high achievement is available to you.  Dream BIG.  Develop a plan of action.  ACT.  Achieve!

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