Paul Smith is the bestselling author behind “Parenting with a Story” and “Lead with a Story”… two books that never would have been written if not for his Dad.
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Only a few years ago, Paul wasn’t writing at all. He was in a twenty-year career that was no longer exciting or fulfilling. He enjoyed a reliable income and benefits, but his heart wasn’t in it. In his heart, he knew writing and public speaking would be more emotionally meaningful, but would it be financially wise?
This struggle probably sounds familiar to anyone who has felt that their monetary needs and personal dreams are in conflict.
Unsure of where to turn next, he write to his 80-year-old dad and asked for some advice. His dad’s response absolutely blew Paul away!
Check out Dad’s letter below:
When I was 5 or 6 years old I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to be a singer–yeah, a singer–like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, or Tony Bennett.
My mother always had the radio on listening to all the popular music of the day, and I listened. And I just knew that’s what I wanted to do
By the time I started 1st grade I knew all the popular songs–words and music by heart. During the second or third week of school, the teacher asked if anyone in the class had some talent like dancing or singing or doing magic tricks–things like that.
Well, I put up my hand and said I could sing. So she asked if I would sing a song for the class. Despite the fact that I’d never sung in front of anyone except my mother, I said yes.
I picked my favorite song, and I did it. I sang the whole song–all the right words and melody. I still remember the song. It was ‘I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire’ by the Ink Spots.
When I was done, the teacher and students applauded. And that’s when I was certain that’s what I was destined to do with my life.
Well, that turned out to not only be the first time, but also the last time I ever sang in front of an audience. Life got in the way. But it really remained my dream for the rest of my life. I just never had the courage to pursue it.
One day, son, you’ll wake up and be 80 years old like me, and it will be too late.
I’d love to see you pursue your dream. But that doesn’t mean in your lifetime, son–- that means in mine.
After reading the letter, Paul was left in awe.
“My father had laid down the gauntlet in front of me and challenged me to pick up,” writes Paul, “Not sometime in the future, many years down the road, but right now.”
Because of the letter, Paul saw his dream in a new light. “My dream was no longer just my dream,” writes Paul, “It was now my father’s dream too.”
“At this point, he’ll probably never achieve his dream of being a professional singer. But through me, if I have the courage to go through with it, he can enjoy the closure he never had with his own dream.”
The man who gave Paul life was the same man giving him “the courage to truly live it.”
Paul said that just days after reading his father’s words, he walked into his boss’s office and resigned from his job to pursue his dream.
Now Paul wants to encourage you to do the same. Not just for you, but for all the people who love you are are rooting for you.
What is your dream?
Share this powerful advice today!
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