I was waiting on another student and when he came in, he said to me, ‘Young man, go to the board and write what I’m about to tell you.’
And I said, ‘I can’t do that, sir.’
He said, ‘Why not?’
I said, ‘I’m not one of your students.’
He said, ‘It doesn’t matter. Follow my directions now.’
I said, ‘I can’t do that, sir.’
He said, ‘Why not?’
I said, ‘Because I am educable mentally retarded.’
And he came from behind his desk and he looked at me, he said, ‘Don’t ever say that again. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.’
And that man Mr. Leroy Washington did something for me. He started planting seeds in my mind that enabled me to begin to dream as Dexter has been doing for you. And ladies and gentlemen, I started working on my dream and most people don’t work on their dreams; why? For many years I didn’t. One is because of fear — the fear of failure. What if things don’t work out. And the fear of success: What if they do and I can’t handle it.
The other thing is that most people, ladies and gentlemen, they get comfortable. They stop growing, they stop working on themselves, they stop stretching. They stop pushing themselves and they end up becoming very cynical about life and they throw in the towel on themselves, on their families and on their dreams.
And the other thing is that most people don’t feel worthy. What I’m doing now, I could have been doing years ago. But because I did not have a college education, because I didn’t believe in myself, because I allowed other people’s opinion of me to control my destiny, I didn’t act on my ideas. So I applaud you for your dreaming, for your running towards your dream. I applaud you for believing in yourself, because that’s what life is about: stretching and challenging, looking for ways that you can begin to improve yourself.
And ladies and gentlemen, as a result of stretching out, of acting on my dream and I don’t know what that dream is for you. I can tell you that it’s possible. No one could have convinced me that after just over six years I would have my own book entitled ‘Live Your Dreams’. Just over six years I would have five specials on public television. Just over six years I’ve done motivational speaking for AT&T, Procter & Gamble, Mcdonald’s Corporation, Xerox, IBM. Just over six years I will now have my own talk show that will premiere on Monday, Labor Day. I’m saying to you: your dream is possible.
Your dream is possible. But not only is it important that you believe and begin to know that it’s possible for you to live your dream as you run toward it. But I’ve done something that I want to share with you called choosing your future. In fact, I’ve developed a set of tapes talking about how to begin to create your own reality by choosing your future. And not only is it important for you to know it’s possible for you to choose your future but it’s necessary that you work on yourself, that you develop yourself. It’s necessary that you get the energy drainers out of your life, people who don’t want anything, people who are not striving, people who are not challenging themselves, people who aren’t growing, people who have stopped dreaming. It’s necessary that you align yourself with people and attract people into your business who are hungry, people who are unstoppable and unreasonable, people who are refusing to live life just as it is and who want more.
My mother used to say birds of a feather flock together. If you run around with losers, you will end up a loser. It’s necessary that you get the losers out of your life if you want to live your dream. It’s necessary to know that everybody won’t see it, that everybody won’t join you, that everybody won’t have the vision. It’s necessary to know that, that a lot of people like to complain but they don’t want to do anything about their situation, that you aren’t uncommon breed. You know, you have to know within yourself that I can do this. Even if no one else sees it for me I must see it for myself. That’s necessary.
It’s also, ladies and gentlemen, necessary that you be creative when you’re working on your ideas, that you understand the importance of changing up, of readjusting your strategies. Many times we can have a great idea but if you’re not advancing it in the right way and things don’t happen, you become discouraged and think the idea doesn’t work. No, that’s not true. It’s necessary that we become creative.