“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.” Josh Billings
It is an emotional interview. How could it notbe? Overcome with tears, Clyde stops talking a couple of times. Only five months earlier, he lost his son Paul in a plane crash. In the midst of Clyde’s great sadness, I am privileged to hear his inspiring story . . . unable to listen without being affected.
As parents, we understand the yearning to have a positive influence on our children, an effort in which Clyde was exceedingly successful. One special way he made a difference was through a distinctive message he shared again and again.
During Paul’s last visit with his parents, and in a special tribute to his dad, he gets a tattoo blanketing his chest bearing the same words of his father’s message. It is weeks before Paul’s untimely death.
I ask Clyde to elaborate on the meaning of the tattoo. He states simply that he wanted to tell his children that they belonged to the family of God; and to always remember that truth in their daily lives. Is it possible that a simple four-word message might have such great influence? Yes, it is possible.
What others often teach us through lengthy documents and presentations might be effectively stated in just a short sentence or two. Funeral orations are never a sermon on 50 things about the person we loved and have now lost – such eulogies often come down to one or two things we recall that was special about the person we love.
“Remember who you are,” is Clyde’s simple and powerful message to his family and the words used in Paul’s tattoo. “I copied it,” he says.“It was something a popular singer of the past often said. It sounded right and so I made it a sentence for our family.”
Wow! Creative and inspirational. A very special family statement. . . a legacy.
If we had just one sentence to pass onto our family and friends . . .
If we had just one message that we used to influence others in our lives . . .
If we were limited to just one core communication . . .
What would be the words?
I know mine. I know what I want to pass on.
Make The BET.
BET is an acronym that stands for a simple success formula inspired by a baseball game I pitched as a 10-year old. Then 10 years later, at age 20, it became my mantra for life: Belief, Enthusiasm, Team.
Every single day of your life . . .
- Believe in yourself. Believe in others. Have faith. Never, ever give up.
- Find your passion. Pursue it with all your heart. Do what you love to do.
- Be a team player. Get help from others. Discover the centerfielders – those who will make great plays for you because they love you. Equally, determine to be a centerfielder for others.
BET. Belief. Enthusiasm. Team. BET is my sentence. What is yours?
Do you have a unique special statement? Do you have a central message that you are sharing with others? Is there one core truth that you believe and proclaim? How is this working? Are others hearing what you are speaking? Is there clarity? Does it resonate with who you are now and the person you most want to become?
Thanks, Clyde, for reminding us of the power we have to influence others by the example we faithfully live. We will always underestimate our influence. And, we do not need many words. Short and powerful, the right message can be inspirational and everlasting. Paul believed – and lived – the message of his dad.
Today . . .
I will remember who I am.
I will make the BET.