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I recently attended an event that included bestselling authors, and wildly successful business entrepreneurs. But this one young man stole the show for me, and helped me understand what redefining success means. Here I am with Emmanuel Kelly:
Some of you may remember him from the TV show X Factor. Rather writing his story here, please watch this 8 minute video.
I had honor of meeting Emmanuel after his performance. When I asked him about his dream, he smiled and said that he wants to be one of the top singers in the world, and will make sure that anyone can make a difference if they want to.
In his life, his mother made a profound difference in helping him pursue his goals. When I speak to so many successful people, they can often look back on a key person whose support shaped their potential.
Bill Gates recently shared a story he had never before told anyone publicly. He cited his elementary school librarian as someone who made a profound difference in h is life. She encouraged him to read and made books feel exciting and accessible to him.
Emmanuel is an inspiration to all of us, shows us that anyone — despite where they come, their circumstances, or financial means— can achieve success. When he sang, half of the audience were in their tears listening to his life story and mesmerized by his commitment to make a difference.
I would like to end with a simple question inspired by a speech Fred Rogers, of the TV Show Mister Rogers, once gave:
“Would you just take 10 seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are.”
When the 10 seconds were up, he said this:
“Whomever you have been thinking about, how please they must be, to know the difference you feel they have made.”
That “difference” is something I am obsessed with. Thank you for being on this journey with me.