BORN IN A RENTED West Virginia basement during the Great Depression, there were no funds for the corrective surgery necessary to repair his severe lisp. Now, still lisping, he is considered by many to be the nation's premier motivational speaker, delivering his message across the country to Fortune 500 companies when not broadcasting as a studio analyst for CBS Sports.
HIS FATHER NEVER GOT PAST THIRD GRADE. No one on either side of his family had ever attended college. Graduating in the lower half of his high school class, his IQ was considered average at best. Determined that he would have the opportunity to attend college, his mother worked the graveyard shift as a nurse's aide to pay his tuition. Fueled by the example of his mother's sacrifice, he earned a Bachelor's degree in history from Kent State University and a Masters in education from the University of Iowa. He has since authored several books; The Fighting Spirit reaching the New York Times bestseller list.
WEARING THICK GLASSES, his less than athletic 5'10" 150 pound physique earned him a spot on the third string throughout most of his brief football-playing career. Yet he ascended to the pinnacle of college football; his resume including head coaching positions at the College of William and Mary, North Carolina State, the University of Arkansas, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Notre Dame. Assuming those teams with losing records, he turned each into a winner, becoming one of the top 15 winningest coaches in college football history.
ADDRESSING HIS VICTORIOUS NOTRE DAME SQUAD at the conclusion of the National Championship game in 1988, Lou Holtz said,
"We didn't go out and try to win a national championship. We went out and tried to be the best we could be. You plan. You commit to excellence. And if it happens, if you achieve your highest goal, you have the reward of knowing it was by your efforts that you earned it. Today that has happened. If someday it doesn't, be sure it isn't for a lack of trying."
HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS REMARKABLE, the foundation of Holtz's philosophy is further reflected in his statement, "Everything that happens to us is the result of the choices we make. We choose to act or procrastinate, believe or doubt, help or hinder, succeed or fail. I've never encountered a person who achieved anything that didn't overcome obstacles. Expect them."
NO RESOURCES? Obstacles to financial success will always exist. Our response at the moment of choice is the key. Let there never be a lack of trying. Obstacles overcome are monuments to your resolve. Make monuments, choose to succeed!