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The Achiever Newsletter

Thoughts from a "Famous Motivational Speaker"

By Harry K. Jones

motivational speaker Harry K. JonesLife can be a mysterious journey. The older I get, the more I see evidence to attest to that fact. I've always taken pride in the fact that I'm a positive person who always attempts to look on the bright side of things. However, from time to time, I must admit that I fall victim to ongoing negativity.

As a motivational speaker, I recently returned from a long, hectic road trip consisting of several speaking engagements. I was exhausted from a combination of jag lag and battling the many airport barriers confronting today's frequent flyers. As if that weren't enough, I was behind in my reading. As a management consultant, my work requires me to research books, magazines, and newspapers on a regular basis. In that one day's edition of a national newspaper, I found stories on the following subject areas:

  • Whistleblower testifies against FBI;
  • Arthur Anderson jury still deliberating;
  • Catholic religious crisis;
  • Young girl kidnapped from her Utah bedroom;
  • Homeland defense calls for $37 billion and 169,000 employees;
  • Amtrak on the verge of shutdown;
  • Suicide bombers on the West Bank; and
  • Gas prices continue to increase.

There was much more but I decided to stop at this point. That was plenty for one day. It was quite obvious that this had become one of those days when negativity was overcoming my positive attitude. That's when it happened. Before calling it a day, I disciplined myself to check my e-mail. That led to even greater depression when I discovered 231 new e-mails. At this point, I decided I was too exhausted to start opening any of them. I did, however, browse several of the addresses and subject titles. For some unknown reason, one particular subject title caught my eye. It was unlike any title I had seen before... plain and simple but unusual in some strange way. It intrigued me to take a peek. I did just that and suddenly found myself on that mysterious journey I mentioned earlier. I found a short, direct request from a charming young lady of 14 by the name of Carly. It read as follows:

"My name is Carly Ann _______ and I am 14. My brothers and I collect business cards from famous motivational speakers. Would you please send us three of your business cards for our collections and sign them on the back side. Thank you for joining our collections."

She signed off with her mailing address which was a small town not far from Indianapolis. I can't explain why but that short message brought an immediate smile to my face, outweighed all of the negativity I mentioned earlier and, in short, made my day! As I now reflect back on the message content, I realize my reaction was the result of a combination of things.

  1. This young lady was a mere 14 years of age.
  2. She was utilizing technology to achieve a personal goal.
  3. She was representing her brothers.
  4. She was very direct in her request.
  5. She identified me as a "famous motivational speaker." (This young lady is destined for greatness she knows how to get what she wants!)
  6. She thanked me in advance.
  7. She and her brothers have chosen a very unique, positive hobby.

Despite my exhaustion, I felt rejuvenated and compelled to sign three business cards and get them into the mail immediately. However, I was very impressed and curious by this young lady so I composed a short message to her e-mail address. I thanked her for her kind note, assured her that I would get the cards to her, and then asked a few short questions. I asked for the names and ages of her brothers, what inspired her to pursue this unusual hobby, and how many autographs she had in her collection. I received a prompt reply with answers to all of my questions. Part of her reply included these comments:

"Our dad is very active in his trade association. He has been the president and national committee person. He takes us to the state convention and to the_______ _______ Annual Meeting to hear motivational speakers. He has also spoken to groups. We have always liked hearing speakers. We started collecting cards from motivational speakers, cartoonists (political, comics & comic books) and CEO's of large companies. I have been doing this since I learned to use the internet (maybe age 7). We each have two full binders with baseball card pages. I do not know the exact number. I have been interviewed on a radio station in Philadelphia about my collection. Thank you for your help. We may get to hear you some day."

Obviously, this bright young lady and her brothers have been influenced in a very positive way by loving, concerned parents. Carly has demonstrated intelligence, creativity, and initiative which will obviously prepare her for the challenges she'll meet later in life. I'm certain she's well equipped and prepared to achieve any and all goals she has created for her future. Her parents are to be commended, and I have to believe they're very proud of her. I also have a strange feeling that I may some day get a call from her requesting me to speak to the organization she leads in her role as CEO!

In the meantime, I want to thank her for "making the day" for this famous motivational speaker.She not only brought a smile to my face but she reminded me that we have a wonderful, intelligent, creative, generation of young people who are ready, willing, and able to lead us into a very bright future. Thank you, Carly! I hope someday we'll meet one another in person on this strange, mysterious journey we call Life.

Publication Date: Spring 2002

motivational speaker Harry K. JonesHarry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services.

Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management

For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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