No. 521


The famous motivational writer, the late Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) once said, "If you are successful remember that somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a lift or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to God and others until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped." Without having the benefit of knowing this quotation, I have been trying to do that for the past several years of my life. You would not believe the number of people who have written, called or come to see me in person seeking information to help them become a syndicated writer.
I always tell these individuals that it is not easy but will help them any way I can, and as a result of this commitment, have spent a great deal of time doing my best to help them. To my knowledge, only a few have achieved even limited success, mainly because they lack the commitment to throw caution to the wind and stay with their goals long enough to reap the rewards of success. If you will keep what I have just shared in the back of your mind, I would like to share a few thoughts with you that could completely change your life for the better.
Based on more than 35 years of working with people in the field of human resources, I have observed that the vast majority of people I have been privileged to know and serve have far more power to succeed than they realize. It's kind of like having an automobile with 120 on the speedometer but always driving it about 10 miles an hour. All that power under the hood but it's never used. A friend of mine, Scot Morrissey, the newspaper publisher here in our community, often talks about the power of one in relation to some project, goal or topic we are discussing. As I have thought about this simple statement over the past several months, I have come to realize just how true it is.
This thinking was crystallized even more when a reader over in Lenoir, N.C., told me about a book titled, "How To Be Like Women of Influence." This book is about the lives and success stories of 20 of the greatest women who have lived in modern times; this is to say over the past 200 years. I won't take time to mention all of them, but here are a few names you will recognize Ñ Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Mary Kay Ash, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Oprah Winfrey, Florence Nightingale, Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony. As I read about each one, I noted that all had a few things in common.
One of the things that stood out, that is also a passion for me, is that they were all avid readers. You can't really succeed in anything if you can't read or won't read. But I guess the thing most prominent was the fact they did their best at the time, in whatever set of circumstances they found themselves. To be sure they did not start out as prime minister, cosmetic guru, human rights activist, and what couldn't you say about Helen Keller, as well as the others. Life is a process, and if we do our very best right where we are, goals will begin to appear, and in time we will find our calling or purpose.
The central idea that I would like to impart to you is that you have that same power, the power of one, that will help you achieve things that at one time you did not think were possible. This column is about you and not about me, but I want to tell you what happened a couple of years ago when I made a commitment to spend the rest of my life trying to improve literacy in our nation. The only way to ever achieve anything truly worthwhile is that other people must be willing to help you. These wonderful people have come along, at just the right time, so I know God is in it and we are making progress I never dreamed possible.
"One person, totally committed can achieve more than a hundred who have only a passing interest." Author unknown.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)