Welcome to “How You Living?” a transformative podcast featuring best-selling author, inspirational speaker and minister, Dr. Rick Rigsby—and, now, Dr. Rick.
Dr. Rigsby: Hello, friends. Thank you so much for listening today. I want to discuss not quitting, not giving up, not throwing in the towel, refusing to give in, something my father summed up in one word, “stand.”
My father was the wisest man I've ever met in my life. Yet, he was just a third-grade dropout and he taught me several lessons about life, the most profound lesson summed up in one word, “stand.” [00:58.7]
I read biographies regularly because I love good stories, but I've also discovered something about reading all those biographies that every single successful person that I've ever read about, they don't just have ups, but they have their fair share of downs, and they offer these several things in common. They have a singleness of purpose. They have a burning desire to accomplish that purpose. They possess an undeniable, unquestionable passion. They are not afraid to fail and they never ever quit.
They embody the words of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Back in the 1940s, Churchill was battling Nazi Germany. He visits a school during this time, Harrow School. He used to be a student at Harrow School and he goes there to give a speech. [01:57.6]
Now, there are varying accounts that chronicle exactly what Churchill said. Some reports say that Churchill said, “Never, never, never, never give up,” but the text that appears most often is the prime minister challenging students to “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in.”
Regardless of the account you believe, Churchill's statement represents a bold defiant stance rooted in staggering bravado and supreme confidence. You don't quit. You don't give up. You don't give in. You stand. I love collecting stories about those who have persevered, despite insurmountable odds from the Truett Cathys of the world. You know Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A. [03:02.8]
What about Walt Disney, founding the Disney Corporation with the theme parks and the resorts, first discovering Mickey Mouse and bringing him to the attention of the world. How about J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series? She went from a single mom on welfare to a billionaire.
But I also loved the stories of the non-famous, those hidden gems of perseverance. Here's one of my favorites. One of my dear friends is Dr. Eli Jones, a renowned educator and most recently former dean of the lowry mays school of business at Texas A&M University in College Station, Tex.
Eli and his siblings grew up in Houston, Tex., and it was there several decades ago that his parents had a dream of owning a dry cleaning and laundry business. When no bank would loan Mr. Jones money based on the color of his skin, Mr. Jones refused to give in. He refused to quit. He did not give up. [04:11.8]
In a fantastic new book titled Run toward Your Goliaths, Eli vividly chronicles how his father would collect and repair broken equipment from the scrap piles of other cleaning companies. His tenacity paid off. Before long, Mr. Jones was operating his own dry cleaning business.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones gained such an incredible reputation for excellence that decades later they'd sell their business to a major cleaning franchise. They’d move and build a beautiful ranch home in Central Texas and send all their children to college. Friends, you don't give in. You don't give up. You keep standing.
In fact, I love movies that reflect this theme. Don't you? I can't get enough of them. That's probably why a couple of my favorite movies of all time have this same kind of overcoming theme. [05:13.1]
I'm thinking right now about Erin Brockovich, a single mom who goes against a major utility company.
How about Apollo 13, three guys fighting the odds in a disabled spaceship and having to figure out, with the help of ground support, how to stay alive and survive.
How about Rudy, a 5-foot-nothing, a 100-and-nothing-pound guy who is going to walk on from the practice squad at Notre Dame? Are you kidding me?
How about my favorite of all time? A movie called The Great Debaters. This is one you have to see, folks. It was produced by and stars Denzel Washington. It is a biopic about a black debate team from little Wiley College in East Texas back in the 1930s. This team simply does the impossible. One of the greatest qualities we can possess is perseverance to stand against all odds. [06:17.3]
Gordon MacDonald wrote a book titled A Resilient Life. His argument challenges our outcome-oriented mentality. According to MacDonald, learning to stand, learning to be resilient is about process. McDonald argues that, quote, “Winning is a process, not a destination. Resilient people are committed to finishing strong. They believe quitting is not an option. They are convinced that building resilience is a daily pursuit,” end quote.
The great Zig Ziglar once said, “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” In other words, keep standing. As the old folks used to say, you gotta keep on keeping on. [07:07.5]
By the way, I believe that you can enhance your life if you read anything by or about Zig Ziglar. In his book, Born to Win, Ziglar talked about PC, persistent consistency. Ziglar said, with the exception of character and integrity, persistent consistency is the biggest key to success.
Listen to this, quote, “Consistency means doing the things you need to do in order to achieve success every single day. Persistency means sticking with it and doing the little extra things so that every time you do it, you’re getting better and better,” end quote.
You show me anybody who has achieved anything in life and I'll show you someone who had to make the choice to stand, to persevere, to not give in, to not quit, regardless of the odds. [08:11.3]
I remember when my first wife, Trina, was diagnosed with breast cancer, our family was in the battle of a lifetime. Trina and I were both in our mid-thirties. We had two young sons and there was a very bad prognosis. By the time we discovered Trina's breast cancer, the cancer had metastasized to the lymph nodes and eventually to other parts of her body.
My parents were such a great source of encouragement. I found that I wanted my dad to repeat all those stories of perseverance. I'd heard them all my life. I probably even rolled my eyes hearing them growing up, but now that I was in a battle, I wanted to hear those stories again. Those stories I had heard thousands of times, stories that you got sick and tired of hearing as a child, now became tremendous sources of hope and encouragement. [09:11.8]
I want to tell you something, friends. When I hear about all the episodes of my dad growing up in rural Texas in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, growing up in a time of Jim Crowism, growing up during a time when people of color weren't treated with dignity or respect, and my father choosing to stand and be a man, choosing to respect people, whether they respected him or not, choosing to put one foot in front of the other and say to himself he was going to overcome, he was going to stand regardless of the circumstance, regardless of the situation. Friends, that gave me strength. That gave me encouragement. [10:01.5]
My father would tell stories of overcoming. I know we all have stories like those and perhaps we ought to tell them more, especially to folks who are going through a difficult time. You know what stories like this did for me? It strengthened my heart. It invigorated my spirit. It caused me to hope. It encouraged me.
But, also, choosing to stand will always be met with resistance. I can remember that, 25 years ago, Trina battled hard. She battled real hard. She would eventually pass away, and in the months after her passing, there was heartbreak and loneliness, the likes of which I've never known. There were endless nights of crying and soul-searching. Like a person in the middle of the ocean, I clung to that life preserver, those simple words from a third-grade dropout. [10:59.5]
You see, it was at Trina's funeral that my father said, “Son, just stand.” Just stand. Just stand. I held on to those words for weeks, for months. Truth be told, I still hold onto those words to this very day and I refuse to let go.
Without being overdramatic, I believe that my father telling me to just stand in the middle of a funeral home as I looked into the casket of my first wife was the turning point in my entire life. My father didn't just teach me a lesson that day. He placed a demand upon me to keep going, to not quit, to not give up, to not throw in the towel. [11:49.1]
My dad knew I would not be able to escape the inevitable that the winds would be fierce, the swells would overtake the bow of the ship. In other words, the grieving process is gruesome. He knew the only way I'd survive, the only way my sons would not be completely orphaned, depended on one single decision, not to give up, not to give in, not to quit, but to stand.
If you find yourself listening to this podcast and you're in the middle of a storm, first of all, my heart goes out to you. But allow me to offer you two words that can make all the difference in the world. Just stand.
Make a decision to stand.
Don't give up. Don't give in. Don't quit. Just stand.
Just standing is something I share all over the world with people. I speak before companies big and small, the number never matters to me. It's my dad's legacy, “Just stand.” But to me, it's more than a legacy. [13:09.5]
You see, legacy is how we want to be remembered, but my father did more than just leave a legacy. He left an impact. A legacy is how we want to be remembered. Impact is why people will never forgive you. With a few simple words, my father greatly impacted my life. Those words gave me so much hope and so much encouragement. They literally turned my life around and I believe those words can do the very same thing for you.
Friends, no matter what you're going through, no matter what you're dealing with, no matter how difficult the seas, you keep standing. You just keep standing.
That's going to do it for this episode. Until we meet again, this is Dr. Rick, asking the most important question I can ask, how ya livin’? [14:06.5]
Are you ready to make an impact in your world right now? Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Dr. Rick wants to give you the first chapter of his bestselling book, “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout”, absolutely free. Just go to www.RickRigsby.com/FreeGift to get the print or audiobook right now.
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