Welcome to “New Man, New Woman, New Week.” I’m Ben Newman, and I am fired up today to talk to you about the greatness that lies inside of you.
I have had the unbelievable opportunity to meet so many individuals and hear so many amazing stories, and what I have learned from meeting incredible people in my journey in my life is that I clearly now understand that regardless of obstacles, greatness lies within you.
I think of December 10, 2012, I had the opportunity to speak to 780 Wounded Warriors at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. I remember watching Officer Stockton stand up from his chair, walk over right in front of George Washington’s medallion, the Purple Heart. Officer Stockton walked over, stood behind that Purple Heart; he stood straight as can be, 6’4” in his fatigues. The Commander of the Army walked right over. He mentioned incredible things about Officer Stockton, incredible things about his journey and his commitment when he surrendered to a purpose that was bigger than him. And then he mentioned that Officer Stockton had both of his legs blown off by an IED in Afghanistan.
Officer Stockton was then given the microphone, and the Commander said, “Officer Stockton do you have anything to say?” And he proudly grabbed that microphone. He stood tall as can be, and he said, “The day that I put on this uniform was the proudest day of my life, and if I had to do it all over again the exact same way, I would,” and he passed the microphone back.
See, regardless of your obstacles, when you know your purpose, you can identify and continue to fight because greatness lies within you.
I had my dear friend, John O’Leary, burned on 99% of his body when he was 9 years old, given a half percent chance of making it on the first night. He’s gone on to be one of the most sought after speakers in the world. I know that greatness lies inside of you.
I think of Aeneas Williams, the former cornerback for the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals, a three-time finalist for the Hall of Fame; he walked on to his college football team at Southern University when he was a junior. If you don’t like sports, what that means is he wasn’t invited to be there. He wasn’t supposed to be there. The coaches didn’t know who he was. Now fast forward from that decision to walk on, he was recognized after his career as one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play the game of football. So what I think of for you on your journey is what if Aeneas Williams didn’t walk on to that football team? He would’ve gone to the grave with the potential to be one of the greatest football players to ever live. Dig down deep in your life. What greatness lies inside of you?
I think of Dr. Martha Skinner, my mother’s doctor. She never gave up. She never listened to those advocates. She continued to fight when there was no funding for treatment of amyloidosis, and she is now one of two women in the entire women that has discovered that people can live with amyloidosis through chemotherapy so that little boys like me can grow up with their mothers.
I know that greatness lies inside of you.
If my mother was able to walk down the long hallway to get to the dinner table as an educator to ask my brother and I how our days were at school, I know you can dig down deep on some of your toughest days to tap into that greatness. I now greatness lies inside of you. You see, because when I was the age that my son is right now, I only had 899 days left on Earth with my mother. The way that mother chose to live her life is an example for all of us that each and every day is a choice to tap into our greatness because I know that greatness lies inside of you. Why not you and why not now?
This is “New Man, New Woman, New Week,” and we’re bringing the fire to you every single Monday so you can continue to go do great things.