Hall of Fame

“Forget the lottery. Bet on yourself instead.” Brian Koslow

The introductory remarks of Gil Carpal – who pioneered the Hall of Fame Award for the Customized Logistics Delivery Association (CLDA) and former CLDA Board member – are soon followed by the same words he has used in past conventions: “This year’s Hall of Fame inductee is . . .”  I am sitting in this audience gathered in New Orleans, Louisiana as Gil declares our new inductee — Ronnie Burns, one of the original creators of our association. How appropriate it is to honor one of our founders in a convention that is hosted in the city where he works and lives. Ronnie’s family is seated in the back of the audience, making this honor even more special.

Before Ronnie goes to the podium to address his family and professional peers, his son Jason is invited to make a few remarks. It is an emotional moment for father and son.  In times like this, I have found that the heartfelt words generally offer wisdom we all can embrace and apply in our own journey.

Jason describes Ronnie as a dedicated father who is always caring and thoughtful toward his family and fellowmen. He describes him as a mentor for others.  It is the kind of portrait we all would like to reveal in describing our fathers and father figures who have enriched our lives. In this special recognition of Ronnie, one particular description catches my undivided attention . . . I am struck by the words. . . a notable commendation that has profoundly affected my own successful journey.

His three words depict a powerful success principle that has shaped lives for centuries – an essential ground rule that significantly matters in the most challenging moments in life; such principles that have sustained me through some of my toughest moments. When the company that my wife and I had built was almost lost, it was this kind of understanding that miraculously guided us back on course.  What a powerful principle to teach our kids! Jason’s words are:

Bet on yourself!  

It matters not how small you are in the current world where you live. Perhaps, others do not appreciate or value what you are doing. Perhaps you are discouraged.  It may be a challenging moment. A troubling time.  Maybe, you see what others do not see. The words shared by this young man represent the kind of wisdom my mother applied throughout her entire life – words that she taught by example. Never give up. Never! Do not lose hope. Instead . . .

Bet on yourself!

 If there is a loving God, as I believe there is, I can only imagine what He might say to us in the daily challenges we face. It would probably mirror what our mentors and parents might say. Those special people who have been our lifelong support system. What I have coined in my writings and speeches, the centerfielders of our lives.  When knocked down. When others have abandoned us. When the path forward is not clear. Our centerfielders would want to have the final say. They would want us to not lose hope. They would enable us to maintain confidence. They would want us to pick ourselves up when we encounter sharp blows.

I listen with deliberation to Jason’s words.  This moment does not slip by without reflection.  It is a reminder what others have taught me again and again. As in the past, I covet this wisdom now, and will embrace the principles in the future when they matter the most.

In this special moment, as worthy teachers, Jason and Ronnie reach out and share a powerful success principle.

Bet on yourself!