Think, Believe, Dream, Dare
Walt Disney

This quote by Walt Disney has been hanging on my office wall for decades. Also in my office, are 2 checks that paid my membership many years ago when I first joined R&J Health Studio LONG before I realized my dream of owning it and a jar of coal my Dad gave me for Christmas. I know it sounds like an odd combination but let me explain. All of the above, are there because I was bold enough to take the challenge from Walt Disney to Think, Believe, Dream and Dare.

I grew up being told not to dream. “You are such a dreamer, why don’t you grow up!” I would be told time and time again as a child. Then when I got older and had a family, I constantly had people close to me reminding me that I shouldn’t dream. I had a family to support. I am being selfish and childish. I am not smart enough, educated enough or good enough to do the things I want to achieve. I should just settle for my lot in life. People will discourage you because they know they can’t do it. Let me tell you right now, if you are hearing things like that, don’t listen! Those words are right out of the pit of hell. Let no man dictate what you can and can not do. You were created for greatness. I am very fortunate that the most important person in my life, my beautiful wife Cathy, has always encouraged me and told me to focus on my dreams and to be all I could be. I am truly blessed with a wonderful encourager for a wife.

The reason I have Walt Disney’s quote hanging on my office wall next to the check to R&J Health Studio and a jar of coal sitting on my desk, is for a daily reminder to myself that if I DO think, believe, dream and dare, I can achieve what seems to be the impossible. When I was a young man, I talked about owning a gym just like R&J Health Studio and I was constantly shot down by everyone but my wife. You may be getting the same thing with your speaking career. When other can’t do it the want you to fail as well. They may start by discouraging you and then by offering you what seems to be “good advice” to short circuit your success. It is your job to push through to success.

Yes, I did buy R&J Health Studio and the years I owned it were some of the best years of my life. The coal on my desk was given to me by my dad. I had just gotten into Manhattan real estate at William B. May on Madison Avenue and that very Christmas, Dad gave me and my brothers a jar of coal to remind us of our family roots. My dad’s ancestors were coal miners in Pennsylvania. But for me it held an additional meaning. One of my duties while working in a New York City Public School was to shovel coal into boilers to heat the building. A LOT of coal. Not only did I shovel the coal into the boiler, but I had to bring the coal from the coal pit to the boiler. Then after the coal was burned, I had to clean out all the ash, put it into the cans and bring the ash cans up out to the street for pick up. It was physically exhausting, filthy work. I kept that jar of coal on my desk as a reminder that regardless of how many challenges I may have in the business world, it could be worse. I could be back in the boiler room breathing in coal dust and shoveling coal into a boiler. There is nothing wrong with shoveling coal, it is good honest work, but the thought leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. (pun not intended) You see, I had people telling me that I should be doing just that – ONLY that - all the while, trying to discourage me from trying to “conquer the world”. For me, I would rather not have to do it again..., ever.

Most people are not being malicious when they try to discourage you from striving for outstanding success. They are just voicing their own fears. To them, failure is the worst thing that can happen. To ME failure is simply a part of success and not trying is failure. Let them keep their fear and negativity I don’t want any part of it and neither should you. Remember, success and failure aren’t’ opposites, they are neighbors separated by a thin line… by a single decision… the decision not to quit.

I once heard that Walt Disney wouldn’t even take on a project unless every person on his board of directors told him not to do it! You heard right…not to do it! He believed that if everyone agreed with him, that he wasn’t thinking big enough. He also said "We did it (referring to Disneyland), in the knowledge that most of the people I talked to, thought it would be a financial disaster - closed and forgotten within the first year." Good thing for us old Walt didn’t listen to those people. What should you be doing that you are holding back on, out of fear? What great dream have you had that others told you was impossible or that you were nuts to even consider? Should you be speaking more often or starting that book that is in your heart? If Walt Disney is any example, the very things you “aren’t” doing may be your road to greatness. Go for it! Pursue your dreams with passion and enthusiasm and I will see you on top of your ladder of success!

Author's Bio: 

John M. Rowley

Taking You from Ordinary to Extraordinary!

John Rowley’s amazing rise to the top has become the stuff of legend and inspiration. His credentials include being a college athlete whose career was cut short by a near fatal car accident, a career as a janitor and the nerve to tackle the high powered world of Manhattan real estate and the dynamic international field of fitness. Although John’s athletic career was cut short he studied kinesiology, exercise, anatomy, fitness and nutrition with intensity in order to get his body healthy again after the devastating accident.

Knowing success left clues, John also immersed himself in the study and implementation of the science of human potential and peak performance. Success came but not without obstacles. John has been on the verge of bankruptcy and at times his family didn’t have food to eat or money to pay the bills but John was unwilling to give up. With his wife Cathy at his side and without connections John started at the bottom as a janitor in Brooklyn and then earned a position at one of the most prestigious real estate companies in Manhattan. John also bought R&J Health Studio, started several other companies and was involved with real estate investments over the years but John was always convinced that his savviest investment was in himself and in the people around him.

In real estate John made a name for himself managing some of the most prestigious properties on Park Avenue and the upper east side of New York and managing the holdings for many notables including Harry and Leona Helmsley. John also owned R&J Health Studio, the gym known as “The East Coast Mecca of Bodybuilding.’’ R&J Health Studio received international attention when it was featured in the movie, Pumping Iron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. John is an internationally recognized motivational and fitness expert, and is a columnist for several publications and maintains an academic certification as a Certified Fitness Trainer. He routinely consults with athletes and business people alike helping them to revitalize their bodies and ignite their passion and energy through diet, exercise and a well balanced emotional and spiritual life for lifelong success.

John’s motivational, inspirational and sometimes bold tell-it-like-it-is attitude is a fresh approach to lifelong success.

John’s book, Climb YOUR Ladder of Success Without Running Out of Gas! Will be released in November 2007 by Morgan James Publishing.