Everybody seems to love being near legendary golfer Arnold Palmer. Even today, on the senior golfers tournament circuit, he's still a big draw. "Arnie's Army" of fans consider him, among other things, a good father and husband and a regular fellow who has never let fame go to his head. Consequently, a number of people have looked for all kinds of explanations for Palmer's great competitive spirit and success. A significant clue might be a plaque that is said to hang on his office wall; it reads:
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but think you can't,
It's almost certain you won't.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger woman or man,
But sooner or later, those who win
Are those who think they can.
That philosophy should be on every salesperson's wall. It's what living is all about. Taking risks, having confidence in yourself, always going for the gold ring and living passionately. In short, each day counts, and having a negative attitude does nothing for anyone.
And then I read a story about a fellow in Indianapolis by the name of Darrell Colson, who is confined to a wheelchair. Four years ago Colson, a former tree trimmer, was paralyzed from the waist down after falling from a tree. A tough break for anyone, but Colson hasn't given up. As a matter of fact, just a few weeks ago he saved the life of 20-year-old Orain Williams, who almost drowned.
He was leaving an apartment complex with his fiance, who noticed a woman lying at the bottom of the pool. The 34-year-old Colson, who swims for therapy, immediately rolled his wheelchair to the edge of the pool and dived in. Williams was submerged in about eight feet of water, but Colson was able to drag her to the edge of the pool. His fiance helped him lift her out and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until help arrived. Colson, by the way, is unemployed and has a son who regularly visits the pool. Over the past few months, he has practiced getting into the pool quickly so he could get to his son if anything happened.
That story should inspire all of us. Why is it so many individuals with so-called handicaps are able to perform such incredible feats? Stories similar to this one appear in newspapers every week. Maybe people who endure physical mishaps have a better perspective of what life is all about. They don't wallow in self-pity and sob stories; they simply get on with their lives and do incredible things-like saving other people's lives. Maybe they realize what Palmer discovered decades ago: If you think you can, you will.
You definitely can,
Charles S. Lauer