• By: Marek Kubiakowski
  • Tue 11 Jun, 2019


Does anyone here recognise the names Madeline Mims or Steve Allen?

Madeline Manning Mims was born in the ghetto in Cleveland Ohio. An inner city child, she was told she would not be able to get out of her environment.

Everything was against her.

She found that she could run out of the ghetto when she put God on the throne of her life.

She became an Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist, qualifying for the Olympics four consecutive times over 16 years.

Meanwhile, in 1921 in Harlem, New York; a small boy was frequently left with relatives so that his parents could go on tour with their friends.

His mother was mean and abusive, often venting her temper on her young son. He stayed with many relatives who were alcoholics. He went to 18 different schools before he graduated from high school. At 13 he ran away on a bicycle, heading for California, hunting an aunt who lived there. When the bicycle broke down he stole rides on trains, eating whatever food other homeless people had left behind.

He later served sometime in the army, and began a radio career in the late 1940s.

Now he is remembered for being an accomplished musician and lyricist, who wrote more than 4,000 songs.

Steve Allen is best known for creating the late-night talk show format for television and in 1953, he created the “The Tonight Show”.


Madam, President, Master Toastmaster, Honourable Members and most welcome guests; at some point in time, nearly everyone must live through a storm of some kind.

Perhaps it's due to a “broken” heart, loss of a job or breakup of a marriage. Sooner or later, adversity comes to all of us.

This is the time we wonder if life is worth living. We may wonder, “Is the dream, worth the price?”


We look at famous people such as Steve Allen and Madeline Mims, and say, “They made it, and I could have too IF I had their breaks, or IF I had been in their shoes.”

We look enviously at the successes of others, whose lives seem so glamorous.

It has been my observation over the years, that 90% of us bring our own defeats in various ways; be it by having too much or too little confidence, or by being pessimistic even when things have a good outlook.

This is the time to GO FOR IT.

In the early 19th century, a young man in London aspired to be a writer. Everything seemed to be against him. He had not been able to attend school for more than four years. His father had been flung into jail as he couldn’t pay his debts, and this young man often experienced pangs of hunger.

He had so little confidence in his ability to write, he would sneak out at night to mail his first manuscript so that people would not laugh. Story after story was refused, until one day one was accepted. One editor praised him and gave him recognition. He was so thrilled that he would walk around the streets with tears rolling down his cheek. This particular manuscript changed his life, and had it not been for that encouragement, he wouldn’t have reached his goal. You might recognise the name of that boy – it was Charles Dickens.

Another boy in London, was making his living as a store clerk. He had to get up at 5am, sweep the floor and slave away for 14 hours a day. It was sheer drudgery and he despised it.

One day he had had enough; he went to see his mother and pleaded with her and threated to kill himself if he had to remain working in that shop. He then wrote a pathetic letter to his old school teacher and told him that he was heartbroken and that he no longer wanted to live. His old school teacher gave him a little praise and assured him that he was intelligent. That praise changed the boy's future and made a lasting impression on the history of English literature. The boy went on to write innumerable bestselling books, making millions from his writing. You might have also heard of him; he was known as Herbert George Wells.


Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition and will do almost anything to get it.



Invest time and seek the counsel of wise people. Be a student of those who succeeded before you. Appreciate the accomplishments of others.

Never, ever give up.

Winners are just ex-losers who got mad. The battle belongs to the persistent. The victory will go to the one who does not quit:

  • God made you climb and not crawl.
  • God made you to fly and not fall.
  • God made you to swim and not sink.

You were not made to dig in the dirt with the chickens, but to soar in the clouds with the wings of an eagle.




The most powerful force in your life is your tongue. Your tongue can destroy, build, tear up, or mend. Use your words to build confidence in others. Refuse to gossip about, or slander anyone else. To control your tongue is to control your very life.

GO DO IT! Today is YOUR day.

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