Column: Finding your path and following it successfully

'My Point'

At certain times in our lives we take stock in how we’re doing, what we’ve done and where we still want to go and do with our limited time here on earth.

Personally I’ve tried to reach for the stars with my job and recreational passion which everyone knows is tennis. It started as a young teenager and still goes strong today.

My grandfather made me feel as if I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to. Find a passion and learn all you can about it, he suggested.

It seems he did the same. He told me that as a 17-year-old cub reporter he jumped a train that Henry Ford was on to catch an impromptu interview with a man who didn’t give interviews as it passed through his hometown of Springfield, Ohio.

Ford was so caught up with the young man he granted a short interview. My grandfather got off at the next stop and happily went back home with his prize - the year 1918.

He went on to own his own newspaper at the age of 22 (the Madison Press), start a magazine called “Horse Shoe World,” become the President of the National Newspaper Association during World War II, started his own public relations firm and loved everything to do with writing, promoting people and ideas.

It takes special people like that in your life to help make you believe in yourself.

Reading the book, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, which was written in 1937 was also an eye-opener for me.

Hill, who was inspired by Andrew Carnegie to interview the most successful men of his time - and without a salary to do so, spent years doing just that. After 40 interviews of presidents to business magnates - garnering their thoughts and ideas - he composed this book, of which over 100 million copies have been sold.

The book shows a way of life to reaching goals, to give more than you get, to persevere when you feel like quitting, to succeed not only in business, but in life with - desire, faith, auto-suggestion, specialized knowledge, imagination, organized planning, decision, persistence, power of the master mind, The mystery of sex transmutation, the subconscious mind, the brain and the sixth sense.

For me the book created a mental atmosphere of going over-and-beyond what we really think success is no matter a personal relationship, a business deal, your job, playing a sport, family and spiritual thoughts.

Doing things you don’t particularly like to do, or want to do and pushing through them - at times taking yourself out of your comfort zone to accomplish things that wouldn’t happen otherwise.

Our own little Taylor Johnson, now 17 and playing women’s professional tennis, tell me that isn’t at times uncomfortable. Sometimes winning, but at this point in time losing a lot more. There has to be times when she thinks: Is this all worth it? Will I make it? Her time will come - and I truly believe that.

It’s not about the money - it’s about the journey and doing something you love - so my advice is, “find your passion and make it work!

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@gmail.com.