Imagine that you walk into your local library searching for answers. What answers you ask? The answers to success and happiness. You walk through the racks of books….wandering about aimlessly until….something catches your eye. It is a small book on the top shelf on the left side of the rack. You reach for it and can barely get your fingers on it. As you pull it off the shelf, dust falls on your forehead. You think to yourself, “It is obvious this book hasn’t been read in a long time.” But there is something about this book that rivets your attention. The title grabs you. Your Five Mentors To Success. Who wrote this book? The author’s name is missing. You have got to read this book.
As you reach the front of the line to check out your book, the librarian looks at you with a puzzled expression. She asks, “Where did you get this book?” You point to a rack of books on the back side of the library. She continues, “This is not one of our books. It doesn’t belong to the library.” She hands you the book and says, “It is yours now. Enjoy.”
You walk out of the library stunned at what just happened. “I wander where this book came from?” You run your hand over the worn, torn, leather cover. You find the first bench you find and begin to read.
You open the book to the first chapter. It reads, Tongue Tied for Success. You think of this as kind of an odd title. You read about a man who was born with a tongue that didn’t work. This man believed he had something to say. Something the world needed to hear. You are amazed at his determination. This man went out into the forest everyday where by himself he would practice and will his tongue to work. Day after day, month after month, year after year…until the day came where this champion became one of the greatest speakers in Greek history. His name was Demosthenes.
The second chapter title reads, Determined to Not Quit. You learn about Bruce Olson. In 1961, Bruce was a determined nineteen year old. He was determined not to change the whole world, just one part of it. Bruce wanted to become a Christian missionary to the Motilone Indians from the jungles of Venezuela.
The Motilone Indians were a violent tribe which was known for their vicious attacks. In the previous fifteen years, the tribe had killed more than 500 oil field workers. What would Bruce be walking into? No matter what, he was committed and determined.
He had no financial backing so he would have to fund the journey himself. That in and of itself would shy away most nineteen year olds. But not Bruce.
The day finally came when Bruce walked into the jungle and made his first contact with the Motilone Indians. The first sign of the tribe was a small rustle in the bushes. The next thing Bruce knew was a shooting pain in his leg as of a result from the arrow sticking out of it. Lying on the ground, he was soon surrounded by a group of the savages. They poked hole after hole into Bruce with their spears. Was this the end? Had he come so far just to be killed within minutes of first contact?
Bruce was carried back to their village as their prisoner. Would they torture him? What were they waiting for? Maybe they were cannibals. Three days after his capture, Bruce came down with amoebic dysentery. He knew his days were numbered if he didn’t escape. Under the darkness of night, Bruce made his escape and was able to make it to help and medical attention.
After recovering from his first experience with the Motilones, Bruce ventured back into the dense jungle to attempt contact again. Soon, he was captured again. This time Bruce came down with hepatitis. Bruce managed to escape death again when a helicopter spotted his distress signal. The Motilones thought the helicopter was a great bird sent by God to take Bruce to heaven to keep them from killing him.
On his third trip back into the jungle, Bruce was slowly and finally accepted by the Motilone Indians. They couldn’t believe he had returned. Eventually, Bruce was able to share his Christian faith in Jesus Christ with the Indians.
The third chapter title reads, The Beautiful Sounds I can’t Hear. You read about Ludwig von Beethoven. “I didn’t know he was deaf,” you think to yourself. How did he create such beautiful music when he couldn’t hear?
The fourth chapter is titled, From Blind to Paradise. You read about the great writer John Milton. He was blind? How did he create such incredible word pictures for us? You think about the first time you read the poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.
You can hardly wait to get to the fifth chapter of this little book. Who will be your fifth mentor? This chapter is simply titled Freedom.
The chapter begins…The rebellion had been thoroughly crushed. On December 8, 1776, General George Washington took what was left of his battered troops and made his escape across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. As the last American troops began crossing the river, the first Redcoat pursuers arrived at the riverbank. However, they were unable to follow the worn out Americans because Washington had had the foresight to take with him every boat within fifty miles.
Freedoms dream appeared to be dead. The American forces had dwindled to only 5,000 soldiers. With enlistments about to retire at the first of the year, Washington could be left with only 1,200 regulars. The one bright spot was that the over confident British decided to hold up for the winter and take care of what was left of the rebels come spring. British General William Howe took his troops to New York City to enjoy the winter months in relative ease and comfort. Howe did however leave a garrison of German mercenaries called Hessians in Trenton, NJ.
The Hessians expected Washington to attack. In fact, they were exhausted by being on alert for more than a week because of this expectation. This worked to Washington’s favor and he did not disappoint the Hessians. At mid-afternoon Christmas day, Washington and 2,400 of his troops marched nine miles up river to McKonkey’s Ferry. At 6:00 PM, General Washington wrote in his diary, “It is fearfully cold and raw and a snow storm setting in. The wind is northeast and beats in the faces of the men. It will be a terrible night for the soldiers who have no shoes. Some of them have old rags tied around their feet, but I have not heard a man complain.”
During the darkness of night in a storm mixed with snow, rain, and hail, Washington and his troops began crossing the Delaware River. It took almost nine hours for the Continental Army to reach the other side. By 4:00 AM, the Continental Army had crossed the river. The Patriots were cold, wet, and exhausted. Washington urged his men forward. Some of the soldiers left a trail of blood from their bare exposed feet.
When the attack began, the Americans gained the upper hand partly due to the Hessians’ exhaustion. When the Hessians finally tried to assemble their troops, American artillery captain Alexander Hamilton was given the order to fire the cannons at point blank range. The battle was over within two hours. Freedoms dream was alive! That day, Washington and his men killed or captured 1000 Hessians and confiscated many supplies. Washington then took his troops, prisoners, and captured supplies back across the Delaware River victoriously.
You close the little book amazed at what you just read and learned. Despite their many handicaps and obstructions, these five mentors found a way to succeed. As you begin to walk home, you make a decision….to succeed. You say out loud to yourself, “It is about belief and decision. That is it!”
Isn’t that how life is? Belief and Decision. I am so glad that you picked up Unlocking the Champion Within. Of all the books you could have chosen, you chose this one. I am honored. And I am committed to showing you the path to your success. I can’t walk that path for you, but I can help light your path. You will face struggles along the way, but if you hold onto your belief and decision then you will succeed.
A number of years ago, as I was struggling both in my personal life as well as my professional life, I had a friend who cared enough about me that he handed me a video tape. On that tape was a speaker. The speaker wasn’t talking just to me, but on that day it was as if he were talking only to me. Though the words he used were few, they ultimately changed my life. In a booming voice that knocked off the cobwebs of mediocrity, the speaker said, “YOU HAVE GREATNESS WITHIN YOU!” I believed him and partly because of that is why you are able to read this book today
My friend, I know something about you. Even though I may never have the privilege of meeting you face to face, I still know something about you. What I know is that you too “HAVE GREATNESS WITHIN YOU!” You see, you and I were born with the seeds of a champion and we were created by God to live the best. And that is what this book is all about….Living the Best! In this book, we are going to unlock the champion inside you. We are going to discover the qualities of the Champion and how to live them in our lives. And my friend, I encourage you not just to read this book, I encourage you to live this book. Take action on what we will learn together. Because when we act upon what we learn, that is when success truly begins and we begin to live the best as Champions.
Excerpted from Mark Bowser’s book “Unlocking the Champion Within” Get your copy today at Amazon! http://amzn.to/1338abZ