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“Dare to be what your best self knows you ought to be. Dare to be a bigger human being than you have ever been. Have great hopes, and dare to go all out for them. Have great dreams, and dare to live them. Have tremendous expectations, and believe in them. The more you dare to be great, the more you will be great.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

I dare you.

I dare you to see yourself as God sees you – as mighty men and women of fearless courage, vast potential and spines of unbending steel.

I dare you to throw out harmful phrases, never to use them again. Don’t speak or think them. Because what you speak is what you become. What you believe and dream will eventually materialize in your life.

I dare you to never say, “I quit.” Basketball great Michael Jordan failed many times. He didn’t quit when he missed shots, but instead, savored the opportunity to try again. He said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed.”

I dare you to never say, “I can’t.” Walt Disney was a high school drop-out, yet went on to become an international icon and household name.

I dare you to never say, “I’m too old to try that.” World-famous American folk artist Grandma Moses began her prolific painting career when in her seventies. She didn’t let age be her downfall. She was probably “younger” than many half her age.

Besides what you speak and think, I dare you to step out of your own personal universe; to place your own interests and desires on the back-burner, and instead dedicate yourself to helping the hurting and suffering. We all hurt and suffer in some way.

The irony is that when you help someone, however big or small, you are also helping yourself – it makes you feel wonderful!

Don’t think you have nothing to offer. Small gestures, such as a friendly, sincere smile, a compliment, or a word of encouragement, can have a profound impact on someone’s life. For example, doesn’t it feel great to help a stranger by giving them driving directions when they are lost?

I dare you to hope, to dream and to believe. To hope for a life of deep purpose and bountiful blessings, to dream the impossible, and to believe that yes, what may seem impossible, is actually quite possible with God.

And lastly, I dare you to follow Norman Vincent Peale’s advice: “Dream creative dreams. Set high and worthwhile goals. Take the first decisive step toward your goal. Then take another step, and another, and another, until the goal is reached, the ambition realized, the mission accomplished. No matter how long it takes, persist. No matter how discouraged you get, persevere. No matter how much you want to quit, hang in there.”

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I'm an orphan from Ohio. My father died of a brain tumor when I was 12. Two years later my stepfather murdered my mother. Pushed her off a bridge. When the fall didn't kill her he jumped in the water and drowned her. I then fled to live with my grandparents. My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer's disease and later choked to death at the dinner table. Before being convicted, my stepfather changed the locks on the home my parents built, sold my household possessions at public auction, and cashed the life insurance policy he took out on my mother weeks before her murder. I received none of those profits.

I lost what seemed like everything. My father. My mother. My home. My youth. Decades of severe adversity followed. However, I eventually earned college degrees, which is rare for orphans.

Today, I'm the Christian author of Selected to Suffer. It deals with things we all suffer with in life, such as loneliness, stress, fear, worry, loss, courage and faith. I show how to overcome, or at least how to cope/endure. I'm also the founder of the American Orphan Association (, a 501(c)3 charity that helps America's orphans. (I define 'orphan' as an individual who lost both biological parents to death before his/her 18th birthday.) 

For more information, please visit

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dear Jim,
    Thank you for your article which was truly motivating! After going through so many trials and tribulations, it is very normal for a person to become bitter and depressed. Instead, you have risen above your suffering not only to overcome it but also to give solace to others in similar situations. May the Lord bless you and take care of you!

  2. Jim: I particularly like and agree with this statement: I dare you to throw out harmful phrases, never to use them again. Don’t speak or think them. Because what you speak is what you become. What you believe and dream will eventually materialize in your life. Thanks for these good reminders.

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