Monday, January 12, 2009

She came back by helping others

We don't always "win," but we can almost always "come back" -- the story of brave Kindra McLennan, surely a must read.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Making your comeback in 2009

Wrote this for a friend's blog, and thought of posting here, too:

TOP 10 “To Do’s” for making your 2009 comeback

If you owned an asset in 2008, chances are it is worth less today.

You may have lost a job, or a home.

If you have a job, you may be thinking, “how secure?”

No one is immune. From Warren Buffett and his fellow billionaires, on down. Only the number of zeros and the degree of suffering varies from person to person.

We are all “one-down,” as the saying goes.

A few years ago I wrote a book: Extraordinary Comebacks: 201 Inspiring Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Success. It was as much for me as for anyone else. I needed a lift, and visiting Border’s (their stock is less than $1, and they’re almost bankrupt now, too, that’s what I mean when I say we are all “one-down”) thought I’d have 20 such volumes to choose from. None (at that time) existed. So I took my tearsheets, and newspaper clippings gathered over the years, and created the manuscript and found a publisher. (I am now completing volume 2.)

500 comeback stories later, what did I learn? How does one “make a comeback?” Here is my summary and I hope it contains at least one idea that is a positive spark, a positive catalyst for you:

1. PERSIST. Don’t quit. “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.” Sir Winston Churchill. As the Bible says, consider the ant.

2. MAKE THE EFFORT. Word hard. Great comebackers use all the hours in the day: chef Paula Deen barbequed all night when she was starting out with her sandwich business, mogul to-be Wayne Huizenga collected trash at night, sold new accounts in the day. Heavyweight George Foreman out-trained younger fighters to retake his crown. You can find your comeback right in the effort you make. The writer of Ecclesiastes said: “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.”

3. UNDERSTAND TRANSIENCE. Don’t extrapolate temporary setbacks into permanent defeat. It’s not always going to be like this. “This, too, shall pass.” Lance Armstrong was given a 2% chance to survive cancer, he went on to win seven, consecutive Tour de Frances. Churchill again: “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

4. CHANGE DIRECTION. Sylvester Stallone was stymied as an actor, so he wrote Rocky after seeing the Wepner-Ali fight. Billy Beane was a so-so baseball player, he quit and became a top GM for the Oakland A’s. Quincy Jones was a talented trumpeter, but after a stroke, he had to quit, and then became a legendary music producer. Someday we’ll all change direction: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Cor 15:19. There’s a big change coming….meanwhile:

5. EMPLOY SUPPORT. Stay away from the nay-sayers, even if they’re famous or going to be (Martin Scorsese told Billy Crystal he had “no talent.”) Pack your corner with friends who won’t let you quit. Ali did that: he wanted to quit during his first heavyweight championship, his manager wouldn’t let him. “Wherever two or three are gathered, there I am in the midst of them…” “Forsake not the assembling together of yourselves…”

6. REPEAT. It took Sir Edmund Hillary two attempts to climb Everest, Peary eight times to reach the North Pole, and various authors scores and sometimes hundreds of tries to get their works published. Go back again, and again, and ………Remember the woman who woke the judge at midnight, and was rewarded for her “importunity?” She was persistent, and in the end, got what she needed.

7. DREAM BIG. Your effort and ideas are worth many times what you may imagine. Fred Smith wrote a college paper that got a “C,” as the story goes, then turned it into $40 billion FedEx. Dean Karnazes ran a 226 mile ultramarathon and 350 mile run, plus 50 marathons in 50 days (2006). J.K. Rowling wrote her ideas about a fictional boy during a train ride. Harry Potter sold 100 million copies, and $4 billion movie box office, and counting. Pavarotti and his fellow two tenors got nothing for the first Three Tenors concert, it was for charity. They re-packaged it for pay the next time around, and a string of concerts and CDs followed. When he passed on, Pavarotti’s estate was valued at $475 million. You can do much more than you imagine. Dream big. The biggest dreams come from God himself: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11

8. STAY HUMBLE. Attitude -- is everything. When tennis legend Andre Agassi fell from No. 1 to No. 141 (1997), he started over, went back to the minor leagues, upped his training, including weightlifting. It set the stage for greater things than ever before. Attitude – not image – is everything. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt. 6:33

9. SELF-PROGRAM. Get a mantra. A psychiatrist-hypnotist provided Rachmaninoff the composer, who had a writing block, with a positive self-talk mantra: “You will begin your concerto. You will work with great facility. The concerto will be excellent.” It worked. He wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2. Many of us Christians employ a special verse that never fails to give a meaningful lift, or helps us refocus on what is truly important: “Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither. Ezek. 40:4” Speaking of which:

10. LOOK UP. Greatest comeback of all time, that of Jesus Christ to his kingdom on earth is still ahead, some say just ahead. That is the last comeback in Extraordinary Comebacks. “I will come again.” “In my house are many mansions.” Hey, Christian. Great news. No matter what the score at halftime, we win in the end. Never forget it, or your worth to God in that kingdom, even for a minute.

Learn more about Extraordinary Comebacks: 201 Inspiring Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Success by John A. Sarkett at or Amazon. He has two blogs: and

Also the author of After Armageddon and A short BOOK OF BIBLE PROPHECY: 77 predictions on USA, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Europe, The Euro, Mideast War, Global Warming, and more, see for more.