Adam Braun was on the fast-track to success. He had comfortable life and while at Brown University he decided to spend a semester at sea. That semester while he was only 21 changed his life forever. In Adam’s book, “The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person can create Extraordinary Change,” he chronicles this trip and more. On one of the last stops of the trip he went to India, and met a young boy begging on the street. When Adam asked the boy what he most wanted in the world, he simply replied,
That interaction became Adam’s inspiration. He started a non profit called Pencils of Promise, with just an investment of $25 and five years of hard work, this organization has been responsible for funding and building over 200 schools around the world!
I found the book to be incredibly practical and inspiring. Each chapter title has a mantra and a story of his journey so that you can make an extraordinary difference:
- Why be normal?
- Get out of your comfort zone.
- Know that you have a purpose.
- Every pencil holds a promise.
- Do the small things that make others feel big.
- Tourists see, but travelers seek.
- Asking for permission is asking for denial.
- Embrace the lightning moments.
- Big dreams start with small, unreasonable acts.
- Practice humility over hubris.
- Speak the language of the person you want to become.
- Walk with a purpose.
- Happiness is found in celebrating others.
- Find the impossible ones.
- Focus on one person in every room.
- Read the signs along the path.
- Create separation to build connection.
- Never take no from someone who can’t say yes.
- Stay guided by your values, not your necessities.
- You can’t fake authenticity.
- There is only one chance at a first impression.
- Fess up to your failures.
- Learn to close the loop.
- Change your words to change your worth.
- A goal realized is a goal defined.
- Surround yourself with those who make you better.
- Vulnerability is vital.
- Listen to your echoes.
- If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.
- Make your life a story worth telling.
Adam Braun’s thirty mantras have guided him well- in just five years. He has built a global for-purpose organization that will impact many thousands of lives for years to come.
Now it’s your turn!
Which of these mantras appeal to you the most?
What is the mantra or mantras that you live by?
Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments section below.
(And as a bonus, I’ve bought 3 Kindle copies of the book , that I’ll give away to 3 random commenters here on ChurchMag during the month of April.)
I also will be posting the graphical mantras to my Instagram account during the month of April 2014 with commentary of how they inspire me. If you want to follow along with me on this month long journey visit instagram.com/chipdizard.