Category Archives: success

The Corporal’s Lesson on Greatness

By Mark Bowser

In her wonderful volumes on American history, Mara Pratt shared a story about George Washington that we should all take to heart.

One day during the American Revolution, General George Washington rode upon a number of soldiers who were working to raise a beam up to the top of a military structure. The men somehow didn’t recognize Washington.

All the men were working except one. That one man continued to bark out orders. He yelled at the other men, “Now you have it! Already! Pull!”

Washington guided his horse a little closer to the order barking soldier. He quietly asked the soldier why he wasn’t helping the others. The young man looked up at Washington and angrily said, “Sir, don’t you know that I am the corporal?

Washington said, “I did not realize it. Beg pardon, Mr. Corporal.”

Washington then got off his horse, walked over to the soldiers and began helping them move the heavy beam. The General continued until the beam was put in place on top of the structure. Then, with sweat pouring down his face, he turned to the corporal and said, “If ever you need assistance like this again, call upon Washington, your commander- in-chief, and I will come.”

What is it that makes a great leader? Simply, a servant’s heart.

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The Extra Ingredient of Success

By Mark Bowser

What is that little extra ingredient that can take us from the jaws of defeat and thrust us onto the mountain peak of success? In his book, Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, Harvey McKay tells a wonderful story. In 1988, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team led by Coach Lou Holtz was undefeated. Their next game was against the also undefeated Miami Hurricanes. The game was to be played on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana.

These two teams were considered the two best football teams in college football. It was believed that the national championship would come down to these two teams at the end of the season.

The night before the big game, Notre Dame held a pep rally on campus. That pep rally had twenty thousand people in attendance. They yelled cheers, sang the school fight song, and really pumped everyone up.

At the very end, Coach Holtz stood to speak. His remarks were short and they ended with this: “I just want you to do me a very simple favor. You go find Jimmy Johnson (the Miami coach) and tell him we are going to beat the dog out of Miami.”

As you can imagine, the students went crazy. They leapt to their feet, they clapped their hands, and they cheered with everything they had … all except the team. The team stood there quietly looking at the ground and shuffling their feet. This had been going on during the entire pep rally. This behavior didn’t go unnoticed by Coach Holtz.

Why did Coach Holtz say such a provocative statement that was sure to get Miami all pumped up … and put a lot of pressure on the Fighting Irish at the same time? Because he knew what his team needed at that moment. The team needed motivation and a belief in themself!

In the previous four head-to-head games between Notre Dame and Miami, the Hurricanes had gotten the better hand … dramatically. In fact, they had dominated over the Irish. In those four games they had a combined score of 133 to 20. This truth had not been forgotten by the Notre Dame football players. No wonder they were a little down in the dumps.

After the pep rally, the team was to meet across campus for what was known as a chalk talk. Back then, coaches didn’t have the fancy equipment and smart boards that they have today. They had a blackboard and a piece of chalk.

As soon as Coach Holtz and his team met for their chalk talk, coach picked up a piece of chalk and he wrote on the board “We are going to beat the dog out of Miami”

He then looked at his team and asked, “Why did I say that?” He heard crickets. Nobody responded. So, coach repeated his question. “Why did I say that?”

One hand went up. Holtz gestured with one hand and the player said, “Because we’ve got a better kicking game.” Holtz then went on to write “better kicking game” on the board.

Coach then asked, “Is that it?”

Finally, another player shyly raised his hand. That player said, “Our offensive line gets off quicker than theirs.” Holt wrote that on the board too and then asked, “Anything else?”

Another player said with more confidence now, “Pass defense.…”

This went on for little while with Coach Holtz writing each of the phrases that the players said on the board. With each phrase, the confidence begin to grow in the room. Pretty soon, the team began to believe in themselves.

Coach Holtz paused and looked at his team. He then raised his voice and asked, “Who’s going to get an interception for Notre Dame tomorrow? Who’s going to get a sack for Notre Dame tomorrow? Who’s going to strip the ball and recover it for Notre Dame?”

After each question, a number of hands went up. What was the result of all this motivation? Notre Dame won the game 31 to 30. Motivation is that little extra that can take you from the valley of defeat to the mountain peak of success. And, later that season, Notre Dame won the national championship.

ANNOUNCING! A New Podcast Gaining Attention — Let Me Tell You A Story with Mark Bowser

Stories are everywhere! We all love them! We love them in books, at the movies, and in our favorite podcasts. But, what if a story could be — more? What if a story could change your life in a substantial, positive way? What if a story could take you to the pinnacles of success and show you how to scale life’s mountains too?

Well, that is what Let Me Tell You a Story podcast with Mark Bowser is all about. Professional Speaker & Author Mark Bowser will take you behind the scenes of some of history’s greatest feats and unknown achievements so that their stories can be a city on a hill shining like a beacon in the night inspiring us to live our best! Come join us every Monday and Thursday! Please subscribe now so that you won’t miss one exciting episode. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, etc….

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https://pinecast.com/feed/stories

Coast to Coast in Sixty-three Days

By Mark Bowser

In 1903, Horatio Nelson Jackson was visiting the University Club of San Francisco. While he was there, someone wagered fifty dollars that it would be impossible to drive a horseless carriage, or automobile, from San Francisco to New York in less than ninety days.

Horatio immediately excepted the bet. Now, he had to figure out how to do it. Let’s take a look for a moment at the challenges that Horatio had in front of him.

• At that time, the United States only had about 150 miles of paved roads in the entire country. And, most of them were in the cities.

• It had never been done before.

• Horatio didn’t know that much about the mechanics of cars.

• And to top it off, he didn’t even own a car.

So as you can see, Horatio may have bit off a little more than he could chew. Or, did he?

The first item on the to do list was to get a car. So, he purchased a used, very small twenty horsepower car and commissioned it into his service as theVermont in honor of his home state.

The next challenge on the list was to overcome not being very mechanically minded. That is where Sewall Crocker comes into the story. Horatio hired this talented mechanic to go on the adventure with him.

Horatio and Sewall loaded up the Vermont with supplies and on May 23, 1903, they disembarked on their journey. Waving goodbye to San Francisco and an anticipated hello for the Big Apple.

Saying this coast to coast journey was hard would be an understatement. What roads there were weren’t more than a couple of worn patches on the ground. Horatio and Sewall got stuck in mud more times than Pinocchio told lies. They blew tires, broke springs, and had more sounds coming from the engine block that would have even made A.J. Foyt nervous. But, they kept the car together and continued to forge forth towards New York. At one point, they received bad directions and got lost hundreds of miles off course. But not even that could keep them discouraged.

In Idaho they took on another passenger. His name was Bud and he was a bulldog. They fitted the dog with driving goggles and the journey continued. On July 26, our trio sped into New York City. Despite all the setbacks, they had completed the journey in only sixty-three days.

So, the next time you go on a road trip, think about Horatio, Sewall, and Bud. Because without them, your adventure wouldn’t be possible. Who’s ready to hit the road?

ANNOUNCING! A New Podcast Gaining Attention — Let Me Tell You A Story with Mark Bowser

Stories are everywhere! We all love them! We love them in books, at the movies, and in our favorite podcasts. But, what if a story could be — more? What if a story could change your life in a substantial, positive way? What if a story could take you to the pinnacles of success and show you how to scale life’s mountains too?

Well, that is what Let Me Tell You a Story podcast with Mark Bowser is all about. Professional Speaker & Author Mark Bowser will take you behind the scenes of some of history’s greatest feats and unknown achievements so that their stories can be a city on a hill shining like a beacon in the night inspiring us to live our best! Come join us every Monday and Thursday! Please subscribe now so that you won’t miss one exciting episode. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, etc….

Subscribe Now!

The Foundations of Success: The Power of Plussing Like Walt Disney

What is plussing? How can it take you to the next level of success? Find out in this inspiring video by Professional Speaker, Author, and Master Sales Trainer Mark Bowser

https://youtu.be/Y9EHnmkkQaI

The Philosophy of the Vault: Your Key to Successful Living

Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues for a Successful Life

Success leaves clues. In order for us to become champions, we must watch champions. If we model what they do, think what they think, believe what they believe, learn what they learned, then we will get similar results. One such champion I think we can learn from is one of the great thinkers, inventors, and leaders in history Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin had a goal of Moral Perfection. Even though he never reached that goal, Franklin believes the endeavor for perfection made him a happier, more successful person. Franklin discovered that this habit was the key to success. Franklin observed,

It was about this time I conceiv’d the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish’d to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into. As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my care was emply’d in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not sufficient to prevent our slipping; and that the contrary habits must be broken, and good ones acquired and established, before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct. For this purpose I therefore contrived the following method.

Franklin’s method consisted of 13 virtues. He would focus on one virtue at a time. He would spend one week focusing on that virtue and then he would move on to the next virtue. Every night, Franklin would record his progress in a book. He would mark every transgression he made that day not only in the virtue he was focusing on but in all 13 virtues. We might describe this exercise as one of great difficulty or one that takes too much time. Well, the road to success has never been easy and that is why there is plenty of room at the top. I am climbing the mountain of success and I want you with me. So, I suggest that we take Benjamin Franklin as one of our guides to the top of the mountain of success. Let’s dig into each of his 13 virtues and see what we can learn.

One, TEMPERANCE.

Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Franklin believed in being in control of mind and body. If we are out of control, then is it possible to succeed? I say no. Any success that might be accomplished while being out of control would come out of luck and would not be lasting.

Two, SILENCE.

Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

We have been told since childhood that if “we can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.” Good advice.

Three, ORDER.

Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

It has been said that many people spend an extra four hours every week looking for something they know is on their desk but still can’t find. Sound familiar? This happened to be the virtue that Franklin struggled with the most. For some of us, order is not an easy task to accomplish. But success moves with order. Athletes talk about getting “in the zone”, writers and speakers talk about the outline that flows, and mothers talk about bedrooms that-well, you know. Success and order go hand in hand. I am not saying your desk, office, or room has to be spotless. What I am saying is that you have to have an order that works for you. Arrange your space so that every thing you need on a consistent basis is in easy reach. Arrange your time in a way that improves your productivity. For me, that means Goalets List (to do list). Find what works for you and then stick with it.

Four, RESOLUTION.

Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

You know what you need to do to succeed. Now, go do it!

Five, FRUGALITY.

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

Be wise with money. Be a good steward of everything you have been given.

Six, INDUSTRY.

Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

One of the areas that wastes a lot of my time is television. I love to veg out in front of the tube. However, I could be using that time to work on my dreams and goals. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying don’t watch T.V. I am saying that we all could probably watch a little less T.V. We need to plan our week. What shows do we really want to watch? Alright, then let’s watch those. Where we will save a lot of valuable time is when we will stop watching shows we don’t care about watching. We plop down in the chair, grab the remote, and start flipping. Don’t see anything good there so let’s flip some more. Before we know it, we have spent an hour flipping channels, watching nothing, and wasting time.

Seven, SINCERITY.

Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

I believe the best way to accomplish this is to open our Bibles and live what we commonly call The Golden Rule. “Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NLT)

Eight, JUSTICE.

Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

The Golden Rule pretty much sums this one up too.

Nine, MODERATION.

Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Forgive people. Most people who are rude to us or do something to hurt us are in fact hurting themselves. Find a need and fill it.

Ten, CLEANLINESS.

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

Is dressing for success really that important? I believe it is. I am not saying you have to have the best shoes and the most expensive outfits. Not at all. I am saying, we need to look sharp and smell good. Our first impression is important.

Eleven, TRANQUILITY.

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

Be proactive at all times. Have some quiet time everyday. A time to reflect and to think.

Twelve, CHASTITY.

Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

King Solomon, the wisest of earthly kings had some great advise for all of us.

“Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1 NLT)

“Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Don’t share it with strangers.” (Proverbs 5:15-17 NLT)

Thirteen, HUMILITY.

Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Many times when we think of humility, we think of mild mannered and weak. Nothing could be further from the truth. Humility is great strength. Humility is having so much confidence in yourself and the ability that God has given you that you don’t have to brag. Jesus Christ never bragged. He told the truth with great confidence and conviction.

Well, there we have it, Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues for success. If we follow them, how can we not reach the mountaintop of success? Even though we can’t keep them perfectly, I am confident that we like Franklin will say, “But, on the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it….”

*Mark Bowser is a Professional Speaker and Author who has trained some of the top organizations in the world including Southwest Airlines, United States Marine Corp, Dell Computers, Kings Daughters Medical Center, FedEx Logistics, and many many more. To book him as a speaker for your next conference or training event then email info@MarkBowser.com or visit http://www.MarkBowser.com.

What Have You Labeled Impossible?

By Mark Bowser

Have you ever felt that something was impossible? Have you ever thought that it couldn’t be done? Have you ever said to someone that they didn’t understand your situation. That it was different and that is why it can’t be fixed? Well, my friend, if you have ever felt that way, then let me ask you a question. Are you sure it is impossible? Or… could it be a POSSIBILITY in the making!

In 721 B.C., King Hezekiah of Jerusalem probably felt he had a mountain that could not be overcome until he was forced into the possibility. Has that ever happened to you? Life throws us a curve where our only option is to choose the possible option. That is what happened to King Hezekiah.

In that year of 721 B.C., King Sennacherib and his mighty Assyrian army began to attack the nation of Israel. His strategy was to conquer the coast and Galilee thereby cutting off Jerusalem’s escape routes. Then he would waltz into the mighty city and crush the opposition. Immediately, King Hezekiah called together his leaders to discuss how to deal with this Assyrian threat. He knew Jerusalem was in danger and that they must come up with a defensive strategy.

The first thing they did was to fortify the city walls and build up their armament of weapons. But would that be enough? King Hezekiah knew their most vulnerable spot would be the water supply. If the Assyrians could cut it off then Jerusalem would fall in short order. The only source of water for the city was a spring found at the bottom of a hill outside the protected city walls. How were they to keep it safe? They would have to dig a tunnel through solid rock starting from inside the city wall to the spring.

Meanwhile, Jerusalem was running out of time. The confident Sennacherib and his Assyrian army were advancing swiftly. There wasn’t time to dig the tunnel. They would never finish on time. That is when King Hezekiah was forced into his “possibility” option. The Israelites needed two work crews to dig the tunnel, one inside the city wall digging toward the spring and one digging from the spring toward the city wall. It was there only choice to finish before the Assyrians arrived. But how would they ever wind their way through the 1,700 foot long jungle of solid rock and meet each other in the middle? It seemed impossible. All the Israelites could do was believe… and dig.

One morning, just before the Assyrians arrived to attack the city, one of the work crews heard something. What was it? Were their ears playing tricks on them? It sounded like pick axes! It couldn’t be… or could it? Amazingly the work crews had dug their tunnels and met in the middle only one foot apart. Because of their protected water supply, Jerusalem withstood the attack and King Sennacherib and the Assyrian army returned home with their tales between their legs.

What have you labeled “impossible” in your life? What have you been negative about? Well, I challenge you to take another look at it with fresh eyes. It may not be as impossible as you think. You might only be one foot away from reaching your dream.

*Excerpted from “Unlocking the Champion Within” by Mark Bowser. To check Mark’s speaking availability for your next conference or training event then email info@MarkBowser.com or visit www.MarkBowser.com

Spread Your Wings Through Adversity

By Mark Bowser

A very kind man once found a cocoon of a butterfly. The man was fascinated with the miracle of nature so he decided to study the cocoon.

One day, a small opening appeared on the cocoon. The time had finally arrived. It was time for the birth of a beautiful butterfly. For several hours, the butterfly struggled to force its way through the hole in the cocoon. Finally, with not much success to show for itself, the butterfly appeared to quit trying.

Being a kind soul, the man took a pair scissors and began cutting away the cocoon to free the troubled butterfly. Before long, the butterfly was free, or was it? The butterfly’s little body was swollen and ugly. Its’ wings were small, wrinkly, and weak. What was wrong with this butterfly? Was it deformed? Was it sick? Would it get better?

The sad truth is that the butterfly was destined to a life on the ground. In his attempt to help, the kind man actually unknowingly hurt the butterfly. The man did not understand that the butterfly’s adversity busting through the cocoon is God’s way of making it beautiful and successful. When a butterfly pushes against a cocoon, the struggle actually pushes fluid from its’ body to its’ wings to make them strong, powerful, and beautiful. Once free from its’ prison, it can immediately take flight to freedom. But not this butterfly. Without the struggle, it will never take flight. We are much like the butterfly. The struggles in our lives make us strong, wise, beautiful, and successful.

So, the next time you get hit by adversity, then celebrate because your wings are beginning to grow. Before long, you will be soaring with not only the butterflies but also with the eagles.

☀️Excerpted from “Unlocking the Champion Within” by Mark Bowser. Get your copy now at http://amzn.to/1338abZ

👉 To schedule Mark Bowser as a speaker for your next conference or training event then please email info@MarkBowser.com or visit http://www.MarkBowser.com

Sell Your Way To Success: Tap Into Your Greatness

“If you choose to tap into your greatness, then you will live an extraordinary life. We may not all be famous. We may not all be financially rich. But we all have greatness to make a difference in this world. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”

*Excerpted from “Sell Your Way to Success” by Mark Bowser. Get Your Copy Now from Amazon! http://amzn.to/XWGK8M

Words to Live By: Why You Need to Be a Positive Thinker