Beginnings – Equal Opportunity
Over the summer of 2019, we drove across the United States, much of the time on back roads and we camped in 15 different states. I have marveled at the difference in quality, size, neatness and clutter of the homes we’ve driven by. Some of these homes amount to no more than a falling-down “shack,” overgrown with weeds and junk cars. Other homes are stately with beautiful landscaping and “white horse fencing.” What accounts for these differences? All these people live in the same country and have the same opportunity. This great disparity is not unique to one state or one region. It is characteristic of our entire country.
We drove through Locust Ridge, the hometown of Dolly Parton in the Blueridge Mountains of Tennessee. Contrast Locust Ridge to Pigeon Forge, TN where Dollywood, Dolly’s dream-come-true theme park is located. We also camped at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch with conference center, coal mine tours, and over 100 RV sites. This legacy of Loretta Lynn’s contrasts dramatically with her “coal miner’s daughter” upbringing.
Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn were born in 1946 and 1932, respectively. By any standard, both were born into poverty. They have become wealthy, successful entrepreneurs who enjoy all the luxuries life can afford. How? What makes the difference? It isn’t for lack of opportunity. Is there one answer? Yes, there is!
It’s the same answer that applies to many Olympic gold medal winners like Wilma Rudolph and Claressa Shields, born destitute, yet went on to lead lives of success and fame. The same answer is true for Dr. Daniel Hale Williams and Dr. Ben Carson. These African-American medical doctors overcame poverty and prejudice to break into the medical profession and pioneer heart and brain surgeries never before performed.
So, what is this secret hidden in plain sight? These winners had a vision of life that was dramatically different than the world’s they were born into. They held to this vision without compromise, forgoing immediate pleasure and gratification. They believed, they knew in their hearts, their vision would one day be theirs, never losing belief in themselves and their destiny.
Are you completely satisfied with all aspects of your life? What is your 2020 Vision? Take time to nurture and rehearse your vision every day – see it, smell it, taste it, feel it. Rehearse your vision as you go to sleep, and as you first come to consciousness each morning. New opportunities will come your way. Soon your long-held belief will be your new reality.
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible,
then they seem improbable,
and then when we summon the will,
they soon become inevitable.”
– Christopher Reeve 1952 – 2004,
Superman, on-stage and off-stage