INSPIRING PEOPLE TO LEAD UNCOMMON LIVES
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“Don’t ever let someone make you feel like you’re crazy for wanting what you deserve.” - LaFleur
How do you go about getting what you deserve?
“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if you think in terms of ten years, plant a tree; if you think in terms of one hundred years, teach others.” - Confucius
How far out will your legacy reach?
When you suspect you're going wrong,
Or lack the strength to move along
With placid poise among your peers,
Because of haunting doubts or fears:
It's time for you to shift your pack,
And steer upon another tack!
When wind and waves assail your ship,
When anchors from the bottom slip;
When clouds of mist obscure your sun,
And foaming waters madly run:
It's time for you to change your plan
And make a port while yet you can!
When men laugh at your woeful plight,
And seek your old repute to blight;
When all the world bestows a frown,
While you are sliding swiftly down:
It's time for you to show your grit.
And let the scoffers know you're fit!
When failure opes your luckless door,
And struts across the creaking floor;
When fortune flees and leaves you bare,
And former friends but coldly stare:
It's time for you to take a tack,
And show the world you're "coming back!"
By: Lilburn Harwood Townsend
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” - Plato
What do you do with the power you have?
“A person finds their greatest strength when they love to live and live to love.” - Erwin Raphael McManus
Where does the strength of your life come from?
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” - Joshua Marine
What challenges are giving meaning to your life?
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” - Steve Jobs
How are you spending your limited time?
Profile in Courage
For many young people, the outbreak of the greatest War this planet had ever seen would come just a little too early for them to get in on the action. But Jacklyn Lucas was not just any young person. This is the story of the man – actually a boy – who enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1942 at age 14.
We could go on to call him a boy throughout his entire Marine Corps career, but when you are awarded the Medal of Honor as a minor, you get the benefit of the doubt to be called a man. When an entire nation overcame what would seem like insurmountable odds at times, why a let little thing like age hold you back from taking your place in the halls of military history!
Born in Plymouth, North Carolina in 1928, Jacklyn Lucas attended Edwards Military Institute where he would not doubt nourish his desire to join the United States Military. Proving to be an all-round athlete, he was captain of the football team and took part in just about any sporting activity. His physical training would play a significant role in his ability to enlist at such a young age as, by the time he was only 14 years old, he stood 5’8” and weighed 180 pounds.
Lucas then took this stocky frame, paid off a notary to swear that he was 17, and headed to his local recruiter who would ship him off to Parris Island for Marine Corps Boot Camp. Not surprisingly, the young Lucas excelled at training due to his athletic ability and determination. No one was the wiser, and young 14-year-old Lucas became a United States Marine. After additional training, he was sent to Camp Caitlin on the island of Oahu Hawaii.
In November of 1943, Lucas found himself one step closer to reaching his dream of seeing combat with the Marines. That was until a military censor read a letter home to his girlfriend which let them know he was in fact only 15 years old. The Marines threatened to send him home, but when he told them that he would just join the Army they relented and allowed him to stay in Hawaii driving a troop transport truck.
Furious that he had been removed from his combat unit, Lucas spent the next year fighting with other Marines and proving himself less than a stellar garrison Marine. But the same kid who didn’t let the rules stop him from enlisting was not about to let them keep him out of combat when he was this close.
On January 10th, 1945, a 17-year-old Lucas decided now was the time to act. He walked away from his camp with a pair of boots and set of fatigues determined to find his way into a combat unit. At Pearl Harbor, he found his way onto a Higgins boat ferrying Marines to their troop transport ships and managed to stow away on the USS Deuel as it steamed away for the one and only Iwo Jima. If Lucas was determined to see action, then he had just struck combat gold.
His garrison unit back in Hawaii was less than thrilled and reported him as a deserter and reduced him in rank to private. As the USS Deuel drew closer to its destination, Lucas turned himself in on February 8th, 1945 and much to his delight was assigned to a combat unit for the coming battle on Iwo Jima.
The battle of Iwo Jima began on February 19th and by the 20th, Lucas and his rifle squad were approaching an airstrip northeast of Mount Suribachi. Under heavy Japanese fire, they took cover in a trench with the Japanese a short distance away. 17-year-old Lucas shot and killed two Japanese soldiers before noticing that two grenades had landed in close proximity in their trench.
Rather than flee for cover, this young Marine jumped on not one, but two grenades to shield his fellow Marines. One grenade exploded while the other failed to detonate and 17-year-old Jacklyn Lucas miraculously, or just in keeping with his character, survived.
After breaking the law by forging his age, defying Marine Corps regulations by racking up seventeen convictions, and being declared a deserter, Lucas was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day on Iwo Jima. With more than two hundred bits of metal in his body, his injuries were severe and required multiple surgeries and an extended recovery time.
Declared physically unfit for military service due to his wounds, he was finally discharged from the Marines and returned home to North Carolina in September of 1945.
Fittingly, his military convictions were all wiped clean before receiving his Medal of Honor on October 5th, 1945 right next to other legendary Marines such as World War II Ace Gregory “Pappy” Boyington. Lucas would go on to try his hand at civilian life before joining the Army in 1961.
Despite completing paratrooper training, Lucas was denied the opportunity to see combat in Vietnam and unsurprisingly decided he was done with military life. A truly remarkable life, heroic by any standard, and regardless of his age, this boy deserves the full title of man and every bit of respect that comes with it.
For if you had any doubt, just take a step back and reminisce what you were doing at age 14.
The brave die never, though they sleep in dust, their courage nerves a thousand living men.” - Minot J. Savage
How does your courage inspire others?
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” - Christopher Columbus
What is stopping you from crossing the ocean to your success?
“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” - Jim Rohn
What is stopping you from changing your direction?
In Christopher Farley's book, Habits, he talks about how our failure to discover or rid ourselves of a single bad habit can cost us a successful future. Some excerpts from the book include:
Our success lies hidden in our daily habits: For example, Do we jump out of bed or roll out of bed? Do we bring positive or negative energy to our activities? Are we usually early or late for appointments?
Our daily habits are one of the most powerful weapons we have against complacency and failure: For example: If we make learning a daily habit, we consciously make success our destiny. If we make hard work a daily habit, we consciously make a lifetime of success our destiny.
Success is a process, but so is failure. Neither success nor failure shows up randomly in our lives: For example: We are continually making decisions and forming habits that lead to success or failure. Daily habits are preparing us for the future.
Our failure is found in the results of our habits: For example, Things we are doing today will decide how we're doing tomorrow. Paying attention to the results of our habits allows us to see the future. Changing our habits changes us, which changes our future.
“We are products of our past but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” - LaFleur
How has your past shaped the person you are today?
“The measure of a person’s success is not in the outcome but in the intention.” - Erwin Raphael McManus
How are your intentions leading you to success?
Take time for prayer – it will give you strength.
Take time to work – it is the way to success.
Take time to play – it refreshes the spirit.
Take time to be friendly – it is the source of happiness.
Take time to be alone – to find peace of mind.
Take time to read – it is the foundation of knowledge.
Take time to laugh – it lightens the heaviest burden.
Take time to dream – for all great things begin with a dream.
Take time to love – it is the essence of life.
Take time to plan – it is the secret of having time for the first nine things.
I have reinvented myself numerous times over my professional career.