You can achieve almost any goal that you have the courage to set—but sometimes it takes a painful experience to light the way.
That was so in my case. When I was 17 years old, I broke my father’s heart. He had saved enough from a very average income to send me to college to become an attorney; 90 days later I was home telling him that I had quit college—and for the first time I saw him cry. With tears in his eyes he said, “Son, I’m always going to love you even though you’ll never amount to anything.”
我的情况就是如此。17 岁的时候，我伤透了父亲的心。他的收入非常一般，却攒够了钱送我上大学，让我成为一名律师。90 天之后，我回到家告诉他我退学了——那是我第一次见到他哭。他含着眼泪说：“儿子，即使你将来一事无成，我还是会爱你的。” That was my first motivational speech. 那是我第一次听到的激励演说。
When I walked out of that room, I was burning with something not everyone has the chance to feel. I didn’t just want to succeed—I had to succeed.
But I couldn’t see how to do it. I became a bridge deck specialist and carried steel up construction ramps for 18 months—and all the time my father’s words were eating at me. I had a wage job that led nowhere except to old age.
可是我不知道怎样才能成功。我成了一名桥板专家，往一个建筑工地的斜坡上扛钢材，一扛就是 18 个月——而父亲的话一直困扰着我。我的工作是按劳计酬，除了混日子，不会有任何前途。
I went into sales—and the wages stopped. I earned nothing because that’s what I knew about my profession. Then, just as I was going under for the third time in sales, a man came by and soldme on the Edwards training seminar. I went, I learned the closes and techniques; I lost no time putting them to work. Soon after that, I started tasting the sweet fruits of success for the first time.
Some time later, I told the management of the company where I worked that my goal was to meet personally with Mr. Edwards. They arranged it for me. When the day came, I told him, “Mr. Edwards, my goal is to someday take your place and someday be able to train people as well as you trained me.”
That all came to pass because I set goals to make it happen. Committing to the goal was the essential element. You can’t rise unless you set goals that make you stretch.