So imagine having to talk one letter at a time, where you sit there and bump a machine with your head to spell out an entire sentence and then hit a button and it speaks out loud for you.
And this young man, he went to high school. When he was in high school, he heard about a young boy who got in a car accident and he was paralyzed. And they were going to have a benefit run for him. And so he said, dad, I want to run in this. So his dad said, okay. I’m not a runner, but I’ll push you.
And that was the very first race they ever did. And he pushed him. And when they got home, he typed to his dad, “Dad, when you were pushing me in the race, I felt like a normal boy. I didn’t feel like I was disabled.” And that’s all his dad had to hear to know that it made his son feel alive and normal and healthy.
And all of a sudden, that was it. That was his inspiration. It’s his reason why.
Since then, they’ve competed in thousands of races. From marathons, triathlons and even iron man competitions, where he pushes, pulls and bikes his son, a hundred pound son, through the entire iron man.
Now, I know people in their 20s and 30s who barely finish, if not don’t even finish the entire iron man on their own. Imagine having to carry, push and swim, towing an extra hundred pound son of yours through the race. And it’s amazing.
And when you look at it, what’s fascinating about the story is it’s so beautiful to see how much a father is willing to do to give his son the ability to feel alive and to feel normal and to feel like he’s just human and full of life.
But the beautiful part is how it affected and how it’s literally saved his father’s life. Because now they’re in, I believe, their 60s and 40s, and his father’s still running the Iron Man. They just ran the Boston Marathon a couple of months ago and they completed it.
It’s keeping his father healthy and alive because he’s staying healthy to run and push and pull and drag his son through all these things. It’s keeping him healthy and alive, which is causing his life to expand. It’s beautiful how it’s a reciprocal giving that’s happening there, even though it feels like he’s just giving to his son. It’s really beautiful.
But I’ll tell you where that lesson really came from deeper in my life. We share that story in the book. We share a couple of other stories of how it affects your ability to overcome fear and to break through obstacles.
But where that story came from in my life is I looked around and I have two people that I tremendously look up to: my grandmother on my mom’s side and my father, obviously, on my father’s side.
And I look at these two people because they’ve both been able to achieve what most people call massive success. Most people never heard of my grandma, even though she’s won every award you can imagine in every sales team she’s ever been on. She has the key to the City of Los Angeles. She’s Business Woman of the Year in L.A.
She was on the cover of Newsweek magazine. She’s in her mid-seventies and still cold calls three days a week and makes multiples six figures a year in her business. Not only that, she’s an awesome grandma and takes amazing care of mentoring and growing and nurturing our entire family.
Now, what’s amazing is, when I looked at what caused her to be so successful, it was always what she did with the money when no one was paying attention. She never told anyone about it. She never gloated about it. She just quietly did it when no one noticed.
And I remember one day, I was helping clean her office and I knocked over an envelope and a bunch of receipts came out. When I sorted through them, she was paying for her secretary to go through college. Her books, her tuition, the whole thing. Not telling another person. Nobody.
And when I asked her about it, she said, hey, it doesn’t matter. Leave it alone. Don’t say anything.
I said, wow. That’s amazing. And I wondered how many other things she was doing that she never told anyone about. And it created a belief inside of me that life supports that which supports life.
And I said where else is this true. And I looked for the next most successful person in my family. And I looked at my dad. And it doesn’t matter who he is. I’ll just tell you a little bit about him, to see how big of a gap he crossed.
At sixteen years old, he was living in the back of his car. And at sixteen years old, he had actually been touched earlier when he about twelve, thirteen years old. His family was going through struggles around Thanksgiving time. And a random stranger came to the door with a bag of groceries. Because he said, “Hey, I heard your family’s going through a struggle. I just wanted to give you guys this gift from the community. It’s from a stranger. I’m just delivering it.”
And I remember my dad being touched by that moment, noticing that strangers care about “who I am and who my family is.” Therefore, I’m going to find a way to care about them in the future. And it sparked something inside of him. At sixteen years old, when he was living in the back of his car, homeless basically, working a door-to-door sales job, selling cassette tapes back in the day was his job.
The indestructible way to preserve your business for life was the pitch. But when he was doing that, he was saving money to give away to a family on Thanksgiving who was in need.