My childhood dream was to become a Walt Disney animator. In November 1995, during the pursuit of my dream, I booked a flight from Florida to California. I’d never been on an airplane much less to California. Was my dream worth moving across the United States?
Being a country boy at heart—California’s mountains, lakes, and oceans were more appealing than Florida’s flatlands. Runs along massive beaches, visits to major tourist sites, and Yosemite National Park made this a monumental trip. So what event caused me stay in Florida?
A lady with an ora of wealth sat next to me during my return flight to Florida. Okay, maybe it wasn’t her ora as much as her gem-covered hands reflecting wealth. Who was she? Are those costume rings? How did she earn her wealth? I awkwardly asked, “You appear successful. May I ask how it happened?”
She smiled back. I anticipated a fantastic story! Her answer wasn’t fantastic, but an interview of my life. She asked questions about my family, occupation, recreation, and monetary goals. Her questions were genuine, as she listened to each of my answers. Twenty minutes into the conversation, she asked, “Do you still want to know how I became successful?”
“Yes! Of course I do.” I said.
She said, “The secret is three books. Practice everything in each book. Don’t read the next book until you’ve completed last. The first book is How to Win Friends & Influence People.”
“My college friends and I joke about this book.” I chuckled.
“You shouldn’t laugh. We’ve talked for nearly thirty minutes, and you haven’t asked my name. Read this book first!” she said.
In so many ways, she was right. My listening improves each time I read this book. That’s why I’m reading How to Win Friends & Influence People this month. Her second book was even more impactful. I’ll share it next month.