There was a boy whose father was a horse trainer. And because of his father’s job, they had to keep moving from stable to stable, from ranch to ranch, training horses. The boy’s schooling was, thus, constantly interrupted. One day at school, his teacher asked him to write about what he wanted to be when he grew up. He did not hesitate a minute and wrote a seven-page paper about his aim to be an owner of a horse ranch. He wrote down many details, drew a location of buildings and stables and even a detailed house plan.
The papers were graded, and the boy received his paper back with the word “F Grade” scrawled on the front page. After the class, he approached the teacher and asked: “Why did I get an F Grade?”
The teacher responded: “I had asked you to write about a realistic dream. For a boy like you, who has no money, no resources and who comes from itinerant family, this dream is too far-fetched. There is no possibility that you will reach your goals one day.” Then the teacher offered to write the paper again with a more realistic view, about a more achievable dream. Later at home, the dispirited boy told his father the events of the day and asked his father how he should act. His father answered: “A decision of such importance should be made by you, without interference from anyone; so you have to make your own mind on this”
After a few days, the boy approached his teacher with another paper. To the teacher’s surprise, there were no changes made to the paper, it was the exact same description of his dream. To answer the teacher’s questioning look, the boy said:
“Keep the ‘F‘ and I will keep my dream”
The boy, known as Monty Roberts, is presently, the owner of a 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of a 200-acre horse ranch. Roberts’ first book, The Man Who Listens to Horses was published in 1996 and stayed in the New York Times Bestsellers list for 58 weeks, selling more than five million copies worldwide, including translations into over 15 languages. Three documentaries on Roberts have been released; also, he has his own television show on Horse & Country channel, Backstage Pass with Monty Roberts. He has received an honorary doctorate in animal psychology from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, amongs’t several other accolades. He still has that school paper, which is framed over his fireplace.
Moral: You have to follow your heart and never let anyone to steal your dreams; if you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.