My dad used to tell me that anything was possible. “Some things are unlikely,” he would say, “but anything is possible!”
I once looked at Dad’s high school yearbook. The students were asked what they aspired to “be” after completing school. While some classmates wanted to become doctors, lawyers, or successful businessmen, next to Dad’s name was “Cowboy!” And, by golly, for a time, he was! He competed on the rodeo circuit before enlisting in the Marines.
Afterward, he joined corporate America as a salesman, but he never let go of his cowboy spirit. He was more action than talk. He kept a positive, can-do attitude most of the time. Dad could tackle any job with great diligence and a commitment to excellence.
He had a great love of nature. Once when I was 12, he took our family of six on a six-week vacation. It was a combination camping and business trip, and we covered every state west of the Mississippi River, as well as Canada and Mexico. In the mornings, he would put on a suit and tie, exit the tent for his business calls, then return to camp to share in the day’s adventure. From Pikes Peak to the Grand Canyon, from the painted forest at Yellowstone Park to the giant redwoods at Yosemite, from the desert to Disneyland, we saw it all.
We had our challenges along the way, but Dad remained undeterred. Nothing would keep him from accomplishing a goal. I wondered how he kept his spirits up all the time.
Shortly after our marathon vacation, I found out the secret was stored in his library. I began reading his books: The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. These books taught me I could accomplish whatever I put my mind to.
While my belief was strong, I often found it tested in the “real” world. I had faith that I could point myself in a direction and achieve a goal, but I had not yet learned the most important part. I needed to discover who I was first. Only then did empowering my creative nature make sense.
During my 20s and 30s, I sought to discover who I was and what I was to do in this world. My life changed when I attended a personal growth workshop and learned about spiritual principles. I learned to forgive myself and others, and I learned the power of applied faith—putting “feet on my prayers.” I needed to apply spiritual principles in my own life, to prove them to myself, and to teach them to others. I became a minister—that’s what I was meant to do, and I have been doing it for more than 20 years.
Dad taught me much. He did not succeed in every venture he undertook, but he always exhibited confidence and optimism. From him, I learned to move forward with conviction, faith, and patience; to believe in God, believe in myself, and believe in infinite potential. After all, anything is possible!