No. 1273



Our state’s educational television network (AETN) has a slogan that goes, “Where Learning Never Ends.” This slogan has come to mean the world to me.
In 1958 when I dropped out of Arkansas A&M College in Monticello and made my way to Little Rock where I had kinfolks, I did not have a very bright future. However, I did have one thing going for me: I was willing to work.
Before I continue, please permit me to share something that is most important: When I began this column in 1995 I made a commitment to you, and all my readers, that I would have one or more benefits and ideas in each column that would help you in some way. Since beginning the column I have received several thousand letters from readers, which has been a terrific encouragement for me.
Now, back to my story. After the move and getting settled, I found a job in a printing company in the production department, and would spend seven years there. Then I took a job in sales with another printing company. The man who hired me in the sales job was very active in the community and began to get me involved as well. In 1968, I made the decision to take the Dale Carnegie Public Speaking course. I was blessed to be chosen the leader of the class to receive the “Leadership Gavel.” Two years later the instructor, the late Bob Gannaway, came to me and asked me to go into business with him to distribute the Earl Nightingale Attitude Motivation programs that were produced on cassette tape. We started our company in May 1970 in Little Rock.
A full set of motivation tapes and the printed materials cost about $600, a real bargain for a good training program. Soon I discovered that schools were my best prospects, as “Attitude” was the buzz word for educators back in those days. Soon they began to invite me to speak to their faculties, student bodies, commencement exercises and statewide education conferences. Later, I counted up and found that in the decade of the 1970s I spoke to more than 500 different school faculties.
The late Earl Nightingale had a golden voice, and I listened to his “Wisdom of the Ages” recordings over and over again as I drove my car 50,000 miles each year. Earl’s radio program was carried by over 1,000 stations, and this inspired me to begin my own daily radio show. Because of my work with students I called it “How to Plan Your Life.” As was mentioned earlier, I began this column in 1995, and the rest is history.
Now, here is the reason I have shared this, and hopefully it will be of interest and value for you. Without even realizing it, I had chosen a career path that forced me to write and use my mind. I also continued to make speeches. During my career I have written more than 1,400 daily radio programs, 1,300 weekly newspaper columns, and seven books, and have given more than 1,700 speeches. To each of these activities I say, “To God be the glory,” because I could never have done it without His help.
Now you see why I love the AETN slogan, “Where Learning Never Ends.” I dropped out of college but I did not stop learning, and if I can do it, anyone can do it.
Since we need information, to keep up with new technology and changing times, it is important that we never stop learning and using that marvelous mind that God has given each of us. Thank you for reading this, and I hope it encourages you to continue or begin a regular reading program. Here is an idea that I hope you will consider. “By spending one hour each day reading and making notes in our personal notebook, we can become a national authority or expert in a year or less.” Good luck my friend.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)