Hello I am Brian.
I was born 2 months premature and had to fight to do everything I did. Through my childhood, I was teased by both my family and classmates for my learning difficulties and was often called names. Horrible names. It hurt me but in the end, it made me stronger. Why? Because I had to prove them wrong in order for them to accept me. I strived through grade school.
In the sixth grade, to everyone’s surprise, my grades shot up dramatically. In fact, the principal was so skeptical that he would not allow the teacher to give me a B average on my report card because he said there was no way I could improve that much! The tests they give me at the end of each year showed that I improved 21 months in a 9 month period in everything. The principal thought that I had cheated. He had my teachers watch me in 8th grade to see if I was cheating. Of course, I wasn’t.
Then in High school, the same principal thought that the subjects I had chosen in High school was way above my head. Since he would not allow me to take what I wanted, he sent me to a school psychologist to convince me I could not do it. They ruined my health, but I would not give in. I worked too hard to get to where I was.
Finally the doctors ordered the school system to allow me to take whatever I wanted and to let me find out for myself whether or not I was truly capable. I proved to them I was able to do more than they said I could. I won by a landslide an award for the highest degree of perseverance in obtaining my diploma. My sister said that the award was a slap in the face for everyone who had tried to put me down. They had to do something to cover the school system up because I proved them wrong.
In 1987 I wanted to take a Dale Carnegie course. Again, my parents tried to convince me I could not do it. They even had a neighbor, who had known me since I was a baby, to try and tell me I was wasting my money because I could not do it. I said, “Here we go again!” I was going to prove them wrong yet again.
I was in a class of 40 students, all with different backgrounds. In the first class, I participated so much and gave so many ideas about how to get things done that the teacher said, “We normally have to find a leader for the group. I think I just found one.”
In the second class the teacher asked who wants to give the very first speech. Even though I had to cough outside to clear my vocal cords from the medicine I was taking at the time, I raised my hand. I gave my speech and then 39 others gave theirs. The teacher then said we have to vote on who gave the best speech based on how it was given, how the person spoke, and the substance of the speech. I won the award. I burst into tears. Nobody knew what I was up against. I said I can go home not only to say I can do it, I proved that I had done it.
When I completed the course 12 weeks later the teacher said, “Brian, you are a very rare and exceptional student. You not only won the first award but were voted in the top four for doing the best 3 more times. You were the leader of the class. Most people who do as well as you did normally drop out thinking they don’t need it”.
When my Father who had Huntington’s disease, he was told that within 3 months, he would not be able to stand up and would be a vegetable within a year. The brain was shrinking and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it. I said that I had heard the same thing my whole life. I was determined to be as strict on my Father as I was myself, with pure perseverance and an iron will.
I turned my Father completely around in two years. I had him doing everything for himself for 12 more years. He ended up in a nursing home for 4 years after that and I had him doing things that I was told could not possibly be done. He was supposed to die 3 times in 3 different years. In every single time, I helped him recover. I helped my dad live for an additional 18 years despite the doctors saying he should have died within a year. We proved them wrong.
Over and over again, I was asked, “How was your dad doing this? How are YOU doing this?” We put our minds together towards a mission and got it done. Mind over matter. Where there is a will, there is a way. I was told ten years after I started this that I had repaired his brain. The power of positive thinking is more powerful than you can imagine.
Brian V. Lanza