How to Be All You Can Be

How to Be All You Can Be

How do you prefer to live? Being pushed and pressed by others, or being pulled and stretched as you reach for your dream? Here’s what you need to do to be all you can be.

MOTIVATIONAL AUTHOR and speaker Earl Nightingale believes that most people live in small, confining prisons of their own manufacture, and they never recognize that their greatest strength lies in their brains and talent. “We invent our lives. Or, we let other people do it for us,” he says.

“A dream is a deeply felt and yearned-for hope of the possible,” adds motivational speaker and author Joe Batten, who coined the phrase, Be All You Can Be. “Unless you have thought or will think through your dream, there is no way you can achieve it,” he emphasizes.

You do have a choice. You can decide to change your life, and reaching for a secret dream is one of the best stretching exercises you’ll ever get. If you’re still on the fence, just ask yourself how you prefer to live: being pushed and pressed by others, or being pulled and stretched as you reach for your dream?


I’M GRATEFUL to be feeling so mentally energized at an age when so many people younger than I have decided their lives are set in stone, that they’re too old to learn certain things or that it’s too late for them to start a new venture or realize a lifelong secret dream. But I’m here to remind you that it is NEVER too late to follow your dream and go where your heart leads you.

I did that in late 2009 when I decided to write and self-publish the first of three memoirs I’d been thinking about for years. The thing that finally pushed me over the edge from dreaming to actually doing was a networking telephone conversation with a fellow writer and former client who had just published his first memoir.

Earlier in a telephone consult, I had encouraged this author to self-publish after he’d spent several years trying but failing to interest a trade publisher in his work. Later his excitement about his writing and publishing achievement was just the encouragement I needed to finally get moving on my own memoir about a drummer named Harry. Future conversations with this author ultimately influenced the direction of that book’s writing by prompting me to include very personal content I hadn’t considered before. After that book was published in 2010, we continued to be helpful to one another by exchanging ideas on promotion and marketing.

In 2017, I published a second memoir, one about my remarkable mother. This book is unusual because it is actually two books in one, and its publication achieved not only a dream and goal I’d had for many years, but one that fulfilled my mother’s secret dream to one day see her name on the cover of book she’d written. When Mother typed her memoir on a little manual typewriter and published it privately for her family, she realized a dream she’d had when she was in high school, and by putting her name on my book, I made her life-long dream come true posthumously.

I’m currently working on my third memoir, one delayed by a number of life-related happenings, but a book I hope to soon finish and self-publish. 

Common Success Traits

WHAT DOES IT TAKE to achieve a new goal or make a secret dream come true? A study of successful business owner has revealed the following common success traits. It may cheer you to realize how many of them you already have:

Optimism and self-reliance
Organizational abilities
Independent and highly-motivated nature
An inquisitive mind
High self-esteem
Goal oriented, with high energy
Tenacity, persuasiveness, and flexibility.

From my own experience as a self-employed individual, I would add the importance of having:

The courage to make changes when necessary;
Faith in yourself; and
A source of power you can tap when you
need more than what you can give yourself.

It’s essential to have faith in yourself, but this kind of belief is not always enough, in spite of the many books and people out there saying, “You can do it! All you have to do is believe in yourself.” I’ve always had great self-confidence in my abilities, but I learned the hard way that there is a limit to the number of times you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps. The real secret to success in life and business, I’ve learned, is to plug into a source of power greater than yourself.

I’ve written about how I did that in the article: “Found by Barbara: A New Source of Strength.” Once I connected myself to God, new people began to populate my life within days, and over the next few years, several unprofitable doors of endeavor I had struggled to keep open for years slammed shut (much to my relief) even as new windows of opportunity began to open. Making God my CEO was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve learned that, given half a chance, God will help us achieve our special dreams and “be all we can be” in both our personal and professional lives. Our greatest strength may well lie in our brains and talent, but let’s never forget who gave them to us in the first place.

Do You Need a “Listening Ear?”

I THINK WHAT MANY PEOPLE NEED most today—besides a listening ear—is someone to believe in them and motivate them to move forward in life. If you’ve been feeling burned out lately from the stress of too many too-long workdays—or perhaps from having to do the same things over and over to the point of boredom—what you probably need more than anything now is to vent. Or maybe you’re excited about a new idea that you want to do something about but aren’t sure how to proceed. Either way, you need someone who will listen to you, someone who can see your situation from a different viewpoint.

My consulting fee is so low that anyone can afford at least twenty minutes of my time, which might be all the help you need to get moving in a new direction. Using the strategy of networking and just plain talk, I not only got through the hard grieving period after my husband died, but also found the help and encouragement I needed to reinvent myself on the web. For some time I’ve been helping people simply by talking to them for awhile on the phone, so do check out my very affordable rate for a phone chat.

At the very least, find a friend who understands what you’re doing, where you’ve been, and where you’d really like to go, and then talk your way through whatever burnout/boredom/excited state you happen to be in at the moment.


Be a Fearless Dreamer and Reinvent Yourself at Any Age! Inspirational thoughts and research about the importance of dreaming and changing your life or work if it’s not all you want it to be.

Making a Dream Come True. How an artist found the courage to make her secret dream come true. This special tribute to Susan Young holds an inspirational message for everyone who has ever had a secret dream and wished they had the courage to try to make it come true.

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