As I reflect on my childhood I remember even though the times were tough and close to impossible for any improvements in being financially stable, my family had this positive attitude. In my latest book, Winning the Game of Life, I write about those hard times and how we overcame the emotional side of this horrible season of our lives. We just stayed positive and consistently believed in hope.
When I was around 8 years old, my dad got into Amway. He had got into the reading program in which they push books like, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and finally, The Power of Positive Thinking by Normal Vincent Peale. In each of these books, the author talks about being thankful and making sure you celebrate life which could mean that you might not have a dime to your name, but you are thankful for your health and family. These books talked about the power of positive thinking and how this can make or break you for your future dreams.
We were a family of hope and dreams and they were all not happening. For years we struggled and at some points had to rely on others for money and groceries. My dad said we would come out of this horrible mess and we would be okay. I just knew we would somehow make it out. But by us reading these books it changed us. They gave us hope when we wanted to give up and throw in the towel. We just kept dreaming of what we could do to make our mark in life. Who could we help and how we could be used to change others’ lives. Our faith in God and our new teachings on how to stay positive during the toughest times were what kept us living life as it was.
When I was younger and we wanted to celebrate for no reason, we would throw a family party. It was not an elaborate party but a party for the four of us–me, my brother, my mom and dad. We just took what money we had and at several times during year had cheese dip and chips. We would sit at the bar and just talk and laugh at funny things we did or that my dad did. We would laugh and talk for hours. Because of this, it revived our hope and it caused us to think about what we had and not what we did not have. Maybe we were behind in paying our bills and no job in sight for my dad, but we hung in there for those breakthroughs which did eventually come.
The key to our family pulling out of the hard times was thankfulness and keeping a positive attitude that the future might be tough now, but look ahead, because there is more for us to do in this life. Until then, stay positive, stay focused and keep up your prayer life. These are things I think that are essential to breaking through to the life you hope for.