Monday, January 23, 2012
This week’s blog was supposed to be about a girl who became homeless at 15 because both her parents were drug addicts and dying of aids. And somehow she rose from the ashes of such a shaky foundation puts herself through school getting a later start in high school than most kids her age and then earns a full scholarship to Harvard where she graduates becoming a graduate of Harvard. Quite the accomplishment for a girl who was literal homeless the entire time she went through high school.
Yet I found myself hesitant to tell her story yes she had beat a lot of odds but she is not rich or well known as let’s say Dr. Phil. Yes she has become a motivational speaker, she’s been on Oprah Winfrey show, and she has had a movie made about her life and accomplishment. But the intriguing part of her story the part that she was homeless seemed a bit less aspiring when I realized a lot of celebrity’s were once homeless before acquiring fame. Wouldn’t they be a better choice to write about? After all these were stars, and Liz well she was a homeless girl who made it to Harvard.
So I found myself studying the entertainers and their road to success, the hardships they faced, as yes, some in their pursuit, became homeless. I actual found a website that listed well known celebrities who were once homeless, and I was shocked at some of the names I found. Two of which I personally am found of, singer song writer-Kelly Clarkson and actor-director-writer-producer; playwright- Tyler Perry (who I will soon be covering in one of my upcoming blogs).
But you know what is really sad? As I researched I was both in amazement at the persistence and integrity that some of those men and woman showed while no one knew them or was watching them from a video camera. And sadden that there were those who rose to great heights reaching their dreams but in a way that is not fit for retelling .
This is something that we should all consider as we move forward in our own dreams. For when it comes time to tell your story will it be one that reflects honor and integrity? Because the choices we make today will be written in black and white right along with our accomplishments, so make sure that they are worthy of retelling. There are truly some remarkable people in our world and everyday someone new is reaching their full potential and seeing their dream become a reality. For Liz it was simply to have a better life.
But her story is not finished She is now a Harvard graduate, a New York Times Bestselling author, and founder and director of Manifest Living, a New York based company whose mission it is to empower adults to create the extraordinary in their own lives. She has been awarded the White House Project’s Role Model Award, a Christopher Award as well as being among the first to receive from Oprah Winfrey, the “Chutzpah Award,” on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Murray’s inspirational story that was captured on Lifetime Television’s original film, Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story, which was nominated for three Emmys. Liz has been featured on ABC News 20/20, Good Morning America, the Today Show, CNN, written up in The New York Times, as well as numerous other media outlets. She has authored advice columns in the New York Times Upfront Magazine and she is the author of the New York Times bestselling Breaking Night, her memoir, which was released in September 2010.
Her dreams now “are to help transform the lives of others” She quotes one of her favorite quotes by: Coach John Wooden “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” And I strongly agree with her!
What are your dreams? And where are you at on your journey? I would like to extend my deepest prayers and hopes today and encourage you to never give up even when the tunnel seems dark and you don’t know where to go next.
Listen to that little voice inside saying “you can do this!” Because ……
"You can and you will be all that you dream to be.”