The Power of Believing in Yourself

August 22, 2007

By Janet Walgren 

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it. This suggests that the best way to know what is coming is to put yourself in charge of creating the situation you want.”

~Arnold H. Glasow 

My youngest daughter graduated from college last week. It was a grand occasion full of excitement and anticipation. As the mother of six children, seven step-children, and the sister of nine, I have been to a lot of graduation ceremonies in my lifetime. This one was noticeably different in one regard – the commencement speech. Every commencement speech that I have ever heard has been full of promise where speakers tell the new graduates about the opportunities that await them due to their years of preparation. This time, the commencement speaker counseled the graduates to believe in themselves. They were told not to wait for opportunities to come knocking at their doors. Instead, the graduates were told to make their own opportunities so that they would not be left behind.  

Have you ever considered what our world would be like if some incredible people didn’t make their own opportunities and believe in themselves? The following quotes from famous people who were considered experts in their fields will give you some interesting insights into the power of believing in yourself: 

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
Charles H. Duell, Commission, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943. 

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
Decca Recording Co., rejecting the Beatles, 1962

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, President, Chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977. 

There have been many changes in our world since 1895 when the first quote was spoken. History has proven these experts’ opinions were very wrong. Consider what would have happened if the Wright brothers had believed Lord Kelvin or Philo T. Farnsworth had listened to Charles Duell.  

Philo T. Farnsworth is best known for inventing the television but he held 300 U.S. and foreign patents at the time of his death. He was responsible for or instrumental in the development of  the infant incubator, the first electron microscope, radar, and peacetime uses of atomic energy. It is worthy of notice that his genius for inventing wonderful things that now bless the lives of all of us was accompanied by more than his share of financial and legal trials as well as the trial of loosing a child. Philo T. Farnsworth struggled all his life with obstacles that would have stopped most men in their tracks but he believed in himself and never gave up. 

I was living in the Detroit area during a slump in the auto industry in the late 80’s. Although I was not in real estate at that time, I remember a newspaper article about a real estate agent who, unlike her colleagues, was very successful during the slump. When she was asked what set her apart, why she was so successful when everyone else was failing miserably, she responded that it was her attitude. She said that everyone else was listening to the expert’s gloomy forecasts and telling themselves that no one was going to buy a house because the city was in a recession. She simply told herself that because the auto industry was in a slump; her clients had a lot of time to find the perfect property… their dream house. What others viewed as an obstacle, she viewed as an opportunity. 

“Consider what is coming, what needs to happen and how you can rise to the occasion. Stay loose. Remain flexible. Be light on your feet. Instead of changing with the times, make a habit of changing just a little ahead of the times.”

~Arnold H. Glasow 

Today there are many “experts” in our world who are preaching doom and gloom. This presents a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs. Follow the example of those who bucked the trend by not listening to gloomy forecasts. Many have amassed fortunes by believing in themselves; you can do the same.

I would like to wish all of the new college graduates the best in life. Congratulations! 


An Opened Mind

August 15, 2007

By Janet Walgren
Have you ever held a strong opinion on a subject and then encountered new information that totally changed your mind on the subject? I had that experience this week concerning the Iraq and Gulf wars. 

I was in favor of the first Gulf war and very much against the Iraq war. I thought that Senior President Bush blew our chances to eliminate Saddam at the end of the Gulf war and that Junior President Bush blew it when he invaded Iraq. I was totally for pulling our troops out of Iraq as soon as possible and allowing the “Iraq Civil War” to take its natural course.  

I know that this region of the world has been bathed in blood for 6,000 years. I understand the prophecies regarding The Middle East in the last days. I have listened carefully to the news reports and articles coming out of, or about, that region of the world. My daughter studied the history of the Middle East extensively in college and discussed what she was learning with me on a daily basis. I have had Arabic neighbors in two states and we talked about their lives in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Amman and The United Arab Emirates. I studied the Middle East in my International Government classes in college. I thought that I had a very good understanding of and informed opinions about that area of the world. 

Putting It All Into Perspective 

Last Sunday I had the privilege to sit and listen for two hours at the feet of a person who know things that very few persons in the world will ever know. Heads of countries in counsels behind closed doors consider things that are not repeated to the press or to generals…the public does not get the honest truth. That said; let me tell you some things that changed some of my opinions. 

  1.   When Senior President Bush went to Camp David before the onset of the Gulf War, he went fasting and praying and concluded that the Lord wanted us to go to war. He didn’t understand all the reasons why and so stated it. At the conclusion of the Gulf War, we could have taken out Saddam; we didn’t. The reason being, if we had taken Saddam out, the two parties that supported him in power would have taken control and they were much worse than Saddam ever thought of being. The parties would have become warring factions that would have taken down Iraq in a way that the whole Middle East would have ignited and Armageddon would have happened way before it’s time.
  2.   When 911 happened, those in the know understood that the world had changed forever. Our enemies had become strong enough that they felt emboldened enough to attack the giant of the world on our own ground. We had to stop them or suffer the consequences. It had nothing to do with the excuses that we heard. It had everything to do with the same groups that were behind Saddam and others like them. Iraq happened to be the only place that we could go in. We went.
  3.  When we reached Baghdad, Donald Rumsfeld made two critical mistakes:
    1.  He rewarded the evil men behind Saddam and let them go free.
    2.  He allowed looting.These mistakes sent a message to the Iraq people that we didn’t care about them… we lost the people.
  4.  Junior President Bush didn’t listen to the Department of State and Foreign Service. Our ambassadors refused to be there and we lost Colin Powell’s valuable service. We were fighting hard but making policy wearing blinders and ear plugs.
  5.   Since the Democrats won the majority:
    1. President Bush has started listening to the State Department and Foreign Service.
    2. All of our Ambassadors are back in place with a full diplomatic corps for the first time in six years.
    3. For the last ten months the top two Al-Quaida groups in Iraq have been eliminated.
    4. We can prevail with time and intelligent policy.
  6. The warring factions in Iraq are not in a civil war or a religious war; it is a tribal war.
  7. If we don’t stay in Iraq, we will be fighting Armageddon very soon. We need to conquer the most evil 5% in order to allow the good 95% to prevail. If we leave, we will have left the 95% to be controlled by the Gadianton Robbers and the Mafia combined. All power, armies, monies and weapons will be in their power and we will have willingly handed them the power and resources. 

There is so much more that I heard in the two hours last Sunday that I have not shared. Nor have I shared the source, but I assure you that it is very credible. The main thing that I would like to share with you is that knowledge, even a lot of knowledge, doesn’t necessarily put things into perspective. That is why the scriptures tell us that God thinks differently than man. He alone knows the whole picture – past, present and future, thoughts as well as actions, pitfalls, traps and dangers. He will work to bring to pass the Immortality AND Eternal Life of man IF we allow our minds not only to be open, but to be OPENED.

Dating Integrity

August 8, 2007

by Janet Walgren
Tonight I overheard a phone conversation – actually it was several consecutive conversations – while waiting outside the Orem library for my daughter. I have been considering writing this post for quite some time. The conversations that I heard insured that this post would be written tonight.

Relationships can be great and wonderful. They can also be terrible depending on the integrity of the parties involved. The conversations that I heard tonight were between a young woman and three other parties. The first conversation was with her mother concerning a young man who apparently was in love with her. She didn’t feel the same way about him but didn’t want to tell him because she felt like she would crush his heart. The second conversation was with her roommate about a Victoria Secret purchase for the purpose of further entrapping the young man whom she had no interest in. The third conversation was with the young man and was very enticing and seductive. 

I am sick of seeing men and women pursue each other with no integrity. What is wrong with letting a person know that friendship is all that will ever come out of an acquaintance? Not everyone is made for each other. If you are not in love with someone, tell them. It is okay. If they are not in love with you, let go. Not only is it okay, it allows both of you to put your effort into finding someone who is right for you.  

Why lie? Why cling to a relationship that won’t work? Why let someone cling to a hope that is not there? Why not be friends and let nature take its course? Even if someone isn’t as deceitful as this young woman it is kinder, by far, to let someone know if their regard cannot be returned before they are truly hurt. In situations like these counting your conquests is a heartless behavior if it comes at the price of someone else’s tender feelings.  If a room mate “steals” your love, perhaps the person wasn’t your love but was meant for another. 

Lack of integrity leads to misery and often divorce. Later both parties are shopping for true love and serving up seconds. Why cause both persons to become seconds when both of you could be happy the first go around with a little heartache before the wedding? Why tie up a person and give false hope? Why cause others to put their futures on hold for naught? It is possible to be friends without causing false expectations. 

Honesty is always the best policy.

End of the journey

August 3, 2007

By Janet Walgren
Today I found a quote that I really like. It reminds me of my philosophy for living life:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow – What a ride!'”

~Peter Sage

If parents really understood this, internalized this, and realized that this is the plan of Heaven, I wonder how they would parent differently. If a child is never given feet then wings, how can they turn around and teach their own children how to fly?