NEVER listen to anyone who denigrates your potential. As a kid, I did~and it almost ruined my life, dimming my prospects.
When I was in 5th grade, my mother and I were pulled into the Principal’s office to discuss the ramifications of my D- average: “Don’t feel bad,” the genius told my mother. “Although your son has a low IQ, garbage collectors can be happy too.”
Great advice! It was a TURNING POINT that would forever change my life. And years later I wrote an entire book titled TURNING POINT, about how every one of us faces trials and crises. How do we get through them? And what do we learn?
And as my mother said just yesterday: “That principal was unbelievably mean and stupid….I was appalled at the time by what he said.”
Compounding my misery was the abuse I took for years from bullying male classmates.
Gym class was a horror. Getting beat up and pushed around was commonplace. And I had no way of fighting back effectively, either verbally or physically.
Nor were there teachers who intervened, as they might today, aware that traumatizing any child that way is unacceptable.
And thereafter I escaped into fantasy, what some might call “visualization,” imagining a greater, more glamorous life, hoping that one day I’d do something notable that would prove my worth.
I spent hours escaping into magazines, reading about the lives of movie stars and politicians. I was particularly fixated on then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Everything she did seemed magical to me.
I dreamed of one day of even meeting her. How ridiculous it must have seemed. There she was the most famous woman in the world; and here I was, just a kid in Buffalo with a low IQ! I had as much chance meeting her as I did appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. Her glamour was beyond imaginable. [And how incredulous when years later I was on the phone with her and meeting her for lunch. She would even write a letter of recommendation for me.]
Flash forward: In a RADIO INTERVIEW released today, I explain to the host Kevin Horek, a journalist for TechZullu and an upcoming media personality, how it all happened—how I came to New York with no friends, no money, no job, and no writing experience–and how I sold my first book anyway, the BIOGRAPHY OF VLADIMIR HOROWITZ. We also talk extensively about the process of ghostwriting and how the entire process works.
I always say, if I could do what I did—anyone out there with a dream to succeed and perseverance can do it too.
Poison words like these must be dismissed: ‘You’re too young…or too old….too skinny or too fat….too dumb or uneducated….it’s never been done.” And one of my all-time favorites: “Get Realistic.”