The Lesson

This week’s challenge is inspired by Ted Williams. Not the legendary Hall of Fame major leaguer who smacked 521 balls out of the park, but Ted the legendary panhandler who shocked the world this past week when a clip of him showing off his God-given gift of a golden voice went viral on YouTube.

Seemingly, overnight that YouTube clip took Ted from the streets of Columbus, Ohio to the sets of TV studios everywhere, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Early Show, and Late Nate with Jimmy Fallon. The Cleveland Cavaliers want him. Oprah wants him. And he has even signed on for voice work with Kraft and MSNBC.

Anyone who hears his velvet voice knows it is truly amazing, however, the buzz isn’t really about his voice so much as it is his story. Take a moment to watch Ted share a little bit of his personal struggle on the CBS’ The Early Show:

Ted Williams – CBS

Powerful stuff.

The fact of the matter is that we love underdogs. We love seeing people who are down and out get back up, brush the dust off, and move on. We love watching people overcome challenges. Stories such as Ted’s touch us deep within. Maybe you even jerked a tear watching those clips. C’mon, admit it.

Some of us might be living vicariously through Ted’s experience. Maybe we’ve never been homeless. Maybe we’ve never been addicted to drugs and alcohol. But certainly we’ve all faced severe challenges in life. Challenges that tested the core of who we are. Challenges that pushed us to our limits. Challenges where we couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Challenges that broke us down and brought tears to our eyes.

The Challenge

Deep down, we want Ted to be a winner. However, if you’ve been following his story, you know that he recently came clean about not being clean, even though interview after interview he professed to being sober for more than two years.

Was Ted too embarrassed and ashamed to tell the truth from the beginning? Was he in denial? Did he think no one would root for him if they knew the real Ted? Maybe he thought that being honest would cause him to miss his second chance. The only person that knows the truth is Ted.

Failure to be honest with ourselves, leads to being dishonest with others. It’s that simple. And while there are many lessons to be learned from Ted’s story, the one I want to challenge you with this week is the one about being truthful – with yourself. It all starts there. Without being honest with ourselves, how can we expect to be honest with others? Without being honest with ourselves, how can we expect to break through to the next level and achieve our dreams? Being truthful with ourselves can allow us to best focus our time and energy, while enlisting the proper support and encouragement from others.

The Reflection

1.    Have you ever pretended to like something in order to fit in with your friends or coworkers?
2.    What one lie could you stop telling yourself right now that would greatly improve your life?
3.    Ted’s story contains many life lessons. Which one is your favorite?
4.    Do you think Ted’s honesty with himself will allow him to break free from his addictions once and for all?

Have a great week!

Gary Jensen
Editor | collector mentor

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Published bimonthly, collector mentor is a quick-read publication dedicated entirely to delivering articles and practical advice that teaches credit and collection professionals how to increase collection results, enhance productivity, improve teamwork, and become better stewards of the industr

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