The bullet went through his jaw…
If it was 2cm lower, I wouldn’t be here today.
I’m here in Lithuania for the 8th annual Blacksmith Liberty Camp.
We have over 60 students from around the world. They came from Australia, Sri Lanka, Russia and the U.S.
But these aren’t your normal “students.” These are entrepreneurs.
And entrepreneurs are value creators. We have actors, charity workers, teachers, employees. They’re free thinkers. Some of them own incredibly successful businesses. Some of them are wondering how to get started in business, or how to change careers.
But they’re all here for the same reason…
To connect with each other. And to learn skills from each other and the nine, expert instructors teaching at the camp.
But the important thing is, we’re all here. Which brings me back to the story of the gun shot…
Two brothers, Josiah and George, enlisted in the 19th infantry Louisiana regiment in 1863.
They fought in all the major battles of the civil war – Shiloh, Manasas, the Atlanta campaign.
In the battle of Ezra church in Atlanta, both brothers were shot.
But Josiah was shot in the jaw. He survived.
Josiah left the war in 1863 to heal. He re-enlisted in 1865 and immediately went back to battle.
He was captured by union soldiers one day before General Robert E. Lee surrendered.
After spending a month in Union prison, Josiah was released.
He returned home to Bozier, Louisiana and married his sweetheart, Hattie.
They moved to Texas to start a family.
Josiah was my great, great grandfather.
I’m here today, teaching these students today, because Josiah survived.
If the bullet landed 2cm in another direction, Josiah would have died. And I’d be nothing.
The point of my story is we’re all here. Don’t waste the opportunity.
You could have been born a cockroach. And plenty of cockroaches would happily trade places with you.
Some people think the pinnacle of success is working four hours a week. It’s bullshit.
Make the most of this life. Work hard, acquire skills ruthlessly, reflect on yourself to make sure you’re doing what you really should.
Most of all, learn to create value for the world.
And how do you create value? The secret is hard work. Constantly raise the bar. Surround yourself with people that are better for you. Strive to be more and do more. And look outside yourself for the answers.
That’s why we’re here in Lithuania… to share our ideals and teach success.
Hopefully we’ll see you at our camp in Lithuania next year.