There I was, only 3 weeks after coming into this world, and this 43 year old woman was standing there telling me I would never amount to anything! Those startling words came from the mouth of the woman I came to know as “MOM”. Her opinion, on what my impact on the rest of the world would be, took me more than 40 years to overcome.
Butchy (me), started life, perhaps a little chubby, in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of the borough of Brooklyn, grew up in Flatbush and attended Erasmus Hall High School, a school renowned for the many infamous Brooklynites who occupied its’ sacred walls. You probably don’t know Butchy, he’s not famous, but you may have grown up or are growing up with someone just like him. He began life with a mother whose family imposed a demeaning and threatening idea of “self”. His mom’s idea had a devastating effect on Butchy. It took him what seemed to be eons to overcome his deep-seated feeling of inferiority. He found it difficult to develop a good feeling about him and what he could accomplish in life. Now, at 65 years of age, Butchy is beginning to achieve his goals, see his real role in life and be able to lead a happy and fulfilling life.
Unlike Benjamin Button, his life does move forward and he’s now enjoying it more. Hopefully, by reading Butchy’s story and the stories to come, you’ll feel good about yourself and be able to move your life forward in a positive direction.
My reasons for writing this article and future articles on this subject are not to bore you with the details of my life. Although I had some good times and enjoyed lots great stuff, instead I’m going to share with you the words and thoughts of some of the greatest minds the world has produced. I hope that what they have to say and what they’ve accomplished by saying it moves you to build upon your strengths and not focus on your weaknesses. You, the reader, should understand that I am not a Subject Matter Expert (SME), but experienced life from both sides; weaknesses, being told that I would never amount to anything; strengths from the results of the reading lots of stuff that has literally turned my life around. Realizing and building upon my strengths is only the beginning of a meaningful, happy and fulfilled life.
The words that follow will introduce you to a number of folks who wrote some interesting stuff, to say the very least. I have read their words and they helped turn my life around. I trust they do the same for you. Let me know what you think. Let’s start with Mr. Napolean Hill. He was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal success literature.
His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich is one of the best-selling books of all time. Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is one of Hill’s hallmark expressions.
Dan Green coined the phrase, “Finish Strong“. In the early nineties, Dan discovered the power of adopting a Finish Strong mindset. By accepting this attitude, he was able to overcome adversity in his professional life and realize greater satisfaction in his personal life. Dan recognized that if this attitude could help him, others could benefit too. In 1996, he trademarked the name with the vision of creating a global inspirational brand.
Wow, words to live by. What a concept, but what about STARTING STRONG? It will take work, and guess what, “what the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”, it’ll be the greatest achievement of your life.
More than several years ago, and still being an avid “Fighting Irish” fan, I became fascinated with the movie “Rudy”. It’s the true story about an amazing, focused young man whose ultimate goal was to play Notre Dame Football. The flick documents his uphill battle. I would suggest that you keep close tabs on your TV guide for the film’s next showing. I hope you’ll be as fascinated?
Some time ago I experienced a deep depression. I was in the doldrums. Totally out of it, I read somewhere that the best way to “kind of start over” would be to rid myself of the negativity surrounding my life, personal and otherwise. I shed myself of friends and relationships, who put my “head” in a downward spiral. Guess what, it worked!
One of the greatest influences in putting me onto the straight and narrow is, Dr. Wayne Dyer, a popular American self-help guru, lecturer and author. His 1976 book, “Erroneous Zone” has sold over 30 million copies. I’ve read it and most of his books; he really has lots to say. What I consider words to live by: “assess past influences on your life, make sure you’re not hanging onto the belief that anyone else is responsible for what you are feeling or doing, or even failing to do today. If you catch yourself blaming your parents, grandparents, the times, bad times or whatever, for your present troubles, keeps this little sentence in mind: “If my past is at fault for what I am today, and the past cannot be changed, I am doomed to stay as I am. Today is always a brand-new experience, and you can decide now to chuck out all the old unpleasant things you remember about your past and make this moment a pleasant one”. Thank you Dr. Dyer!
This is my first article, of many I hope, on the subject of my thoughts and of those folks who have the right idea of the how, what, and when of living a good and “strength based life”. More to come! So glue yourself to that desktop, l-Pad, Laptop or whatever provides you with information, for subsequent chapters.
In closing, I hope and pray that what took me almost 65 years to learn, takes you a lot less! Make it a great day!