The first time I heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous
“I Have a Dream” speech – I got goose bumps and
chills all over. I shivered with excitement. The booming
voice, the conviction, the fearlessness and passion. Most of all,
perhaps, was how all of the above flowed through this man
because he had a mission in life that was BIGGER than he was;
one that had a life of its own; one that would outlive him.
I was a junior year in high school when I first heard
this speech – and I will never forgot how it moved me.
A week after seeing it I was competing in a wrestling tournament
in the Tri-Center Neola area of Iowa. We’re talking about a super-small
area of the state. Before I left home on the morning of that tournament,
my mother wished me luck. I turned to her and said, “I’m bringing home
the gold today.”
Twas quite a statement because at that time in my wrestling career, I
wasn’t very good. Had never even posted a winning season.
After winning my first round match at this tournament, I had to face a
man from Audobon. His name was Don Nelson – and he had whooped
me badly in ALL previous encounters.
The first time we met was in the finals of a tournament when I was a
freshman. He pinned me in 1:13 seconds. That’s one minute and thirteen
seconds. Short work.
Less than a week later in a dual meet, he beat me 13-3. It would have been
worse but he kept me on my back most of the match, and the most you get
for doing so, regardless of the length of time, is three points.
As a sophomore he and I never met. But a mere six weeks earlier, when I was
a junior, we met again at a tournament in Spencer. The one-year respite hadn’t
helped much. He beat me 19-4. I felt helpless against him. He was strong, quick
and was always three moves ahead of me.
But something happened to me after I watched the film of Martin Luther King Jr.
speaking before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
Although the speech was given on August 28, 1963, it carried a vibration that
struck a chord inside my soul – and when I went to that tournament in early January
of 1980, I was still buzzing with determination to become a champion, once and for
20 minutes before my match with Nelson, I took a station in the hallway and began
to prance back and forth to warm up. I replayed the film of Dr. King in my mind. I
don’t know why I did this, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. And as I saw
the movie in my mind’s eye I could still hear the power and conviction in his voice
as he repeated the words “I have a dream” over and over again.
Strangely, as I pranced back and forth I began to change the words that came
after “I have a dream.” I changed them to fit my current situation – my dream.
“I have a dream that one day I will walk onto the mat a champion. I will
stop losing and start winning. Yes, I have a dream today.
I have a dream that people who once beat me with ease will stand back
in awe as I mop the floor with them. Yes, I have a dream TODAY.
I have a dream that skills I didn’t used to have will suddenly come to
me whenever and wherever I need them. Yes, I have a DREAM today.”
On and on I went with similar words and phrases.
I worked myself into a trance-like state I had never ever felt
before. And when I walked onto the mat to face Don Nelson, I
was NOT the same person he had faced in our previous three
I was a changed man. I had a mission that was bigger than myself. I had a
dream. I had a dream – TODAY. Right NOW.
As soon as the referee’s whistle blew I shot in on him and took him down – right
to his back. After several seconds he reversed me and the battle of all battles was
I can still see his parents and his sister sitting matside, looking at each other
with “What is going on here?” expressions. I can still see the horror on their
faces as the inevitable was being dealt.
The closing seconds of the match were a virtual repeat of the opening seconds.
I shot in on him and drove him to the mat with what felt like super-sonic speed.
When the final buzzer sounded, I jumped in the air with both fists clenched toward
the heavens. I won the match, 7-6.
Don Nelson and I never competed against each other again and I never saw him
again. To this day, I have profound respect for the beatings he gave me in our first
three bouts, and for him. He helped contribute to my desire to rise above
my former self . Our final match marked a turning point in my athletic career. I was
never the same again.
Today, I suggest you take a moment to listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have
a Dream” speech. And as you listen, allow his energy to grab hold of your
soul like it did mine. USE his energy and make it your own. Use it to make
your life the masterpiece it was meant to be.
P.S. Notice: Members of the Psycho-Cybernetics Success Group are in for
a specail treat this month, as your monthly meditation and visualization will
be a mega-powerful rendition of my “I Have a Dream” experience. Go to
http://www.psycho-cybernetics.com/success_group.html and enroll in
the group right NOW. After going through this visualization you will be