Never Let Anyone Tell You The Odds

2 min read

two red-and-white dices
two red-and-white dices

“You'll never make it," they said.

After surviving an assassination attempt in my childhood and living through two civil wars, I left the place of my birth, tears in my eyes and $375 in my pocket, in the pursuit of my American Dream.

I was 17 years old.

You see, like you, I wanted a better life -- a full measure of freedom (financial and otherwise), happiness, and love. I also wanted to see the world and make a difference.

But, back then, I faced seemingly insurmountable challenges and impossible odds.

“You just don’t have what it takes to make it here. You don’t have the right connections and you’re broke!”

This “realistic assessment” was impressed upon me many times.

Thankfully, I had other plans.

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are right.”

I wanted to believe him, so as soon as I arrived at my host family’s home in Milwaukee, I hung up a poster that said, “I want.” “I can.” and “I will succeed”.

Here's what happened next . . .

After getting rejected 148 times, I paid my way through college and graduate school by winning scholarships and fundraising $250,000+. I ran a newspaper, turned around the oldest interfaith center in the United States, co-founded a national program on financial literacy, and at 25, I attended meetings at the White House. At 27, I was a published author, serial entrepreneur, global motivational speaker, and my roster of coaching clients included Fortune 100 executives. This, and more.

But I won’t lie to you. It’s been incredibly difficult.

I dealt with obesity, PTSD, depression, and chronic anxiety. At one point, I was very suicidal, too. All the poverty, loss, rejections, doubts, loneliness, self-defeating beliefs, shame, not feeling good enough . . . it took a toll.

But then, I cracked the code of transformation.

It wasn’t in spite of all those experiences, but because of them that I found a better way -- a path that led to healing, transformation, and success that once was only a dream.

It started with one choice…

Never let anyone tell you the odds.

Unless they motivate you, odds mean nothing.

Courage, tenacity, authenticity, a daring vision, and a proper attitude... That’s how you beat the odds.

It takes the same amount of energy to pursue the life you want as does to live the one you don't want. You might as well ignore all the noise and try to succeed at something you actually want.

My story is a very unlikely one.

Your dreams might feel unlikely to you, too, but that doesn't mean you can’t make them happen.

I know you can. (And I am here to help, too!)

Now, whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.

Just remember, it's always impossible until it's done.