Beliefnet

A story from The Push. (Excerpted from You Gotta Read This Book)

After a change in head coaches at the University of South Carolina earlier in his career, Lou Holtz, then a defensive coach, found himself unemployed.

"I was unemployed for over a month, a long time for someone like me who had worked since he was nine; I felt very defeated. Our savings account was down to four figures: around $10.95. With a growing family to support, I was feeling pressure. It would have been an unbearable period, if not for my wife. She could not have been more supportive or encouraging. Beth never complained. She went to work as an x-ray technician to help keep us in groceries. She also brought me the motivational book, The Magic of Thinking Big, by David Schwartz, hoping it would help me feel less depressed.

In his chapter on goals, Schwartz writes that anyone who is bored by life has probably forgotten his or her dreams. He invites readers to get back in touch with them. As a first step, we are asked to list all the things we have ever wanted to accomplish. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I took out a pencil and paper and divided my list into five categories:

1. As a husband/father

2. Spiritually

3. Professionally

4. Financially

5. Simply for excitement

It was in the fifth category that I let my imagination run wild. Here are some of the things I included:

Jump out of an airplane, land a jet fighter on an aircraft carrier, travel the ocean in a submarine, go white-water rafting on the Snake River at Hells Canyon, be on the Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson, attend a White House dinner with the President, meet the Pope, go on an African safari, become a scratch golfer and play the top 50 golf courses in the world, run with the bulls in Pamplona (provided I was matched with a much slower person).

And on it went. I had 107 goals on my original list. Suddenly, I was looking at my life differently and was excited about the future. When I told Beth that I was determined we do all of them, she said, "Gee, that's great honey, but why don't you add ';I want to find a job.'" Good note-the list expanded to 108.

So far, we've managed to achieve 102 of those dreams-including dining at the White House and meeting the Pope. We're still working on the others. From the moment I made that list, we became participants, rather than spectators, in our life. You do the same and you'll find you don't want to spend so much time sleeping; you'll be afraid you might miss something!

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