Yes You Can

Well it was a combination of things that caused my train of thought to move in this direction.

Harry Barrett

First, it was my father’s birthday a few weeks ago, but there was no birthday cake or candles because he has been gone for 38 years but I did remember him and I was proud.

My father’s name was Harry, and he gave me a gift I know I can never repay, he gave me the gift of belief.

Belief in myself and the idea that I could accomplish anything I chose to, that there were no limits to what you could achieve if you simply decided to make it so.

Like captain Piccard in Star Trek “The Next Generation” used to say……….


“Make it so number 1”


It was not like he handed it to me one day and said  “Marc here’s a box of belief, hang on to it”,  no, he did it by simply being who he was, by the example of his life.


Harry was an exceptional man, born in the coal mining region of Illinois, he was the younger of 10 other siblings and one day there was a mine cave in and fearing one of his brothers was dead went to his dad and told him he was leaving, that the mine was not going to be his future. His understanding father gave him $20 and told his older brother Mitch to go with him and off my dad went to California and his future.

He had about an 8th grade education, but put himself through night school to graduate high school and then moved into the automotive industry.

He ended up working his way into a manufacturing company as a salesman, took the company over and then went on to develop 22 patents on automotive and brake systems for cars.

He ended up with a pretty large company called the “Barrett Equipment Company” that he later sold to a huge publically traded company and then retired.Barrett equipment company


All this with an 8th grade education, some night school, and no formal engineering degree.


I am totally awed… What a guy!


The example of his life has always awed and stuck with me. It provided me with a template for my own.



What it showed me by example, was that we can accomplish anything we wish to, that anything is possible for us if we want it and are willing to pay the price.


Now even though he was enormously successful, he never wore his success to impress people, he was just regular guy. I guess because of this I never felt his shadow on my life as I was growing up. I never had to prove myself or try to be better than him.


There was only the shining example of his life and the very clear lesson he left me with.


Yes you can….


He never told me what to do, he just showed me what was possible.


I thank God for my father and for the possibilities in life….


Now here is the point I was getting to. This morning I watched a YouTube video of Will Smith, the actor talking about life and success. He spoke about talent and about craft. He said that many times people look at people like him and assume his success is due to some gift of talent.

He can be successful where they cannot because he has this talent he was born with. Then he described his craft which is acting and said that it is never enough to have talent if you don’t develop and work on your craft, if you don’t study and develop and master the skills you need to make the talent work.

In short he worked his butt off to develop his acting skills.


I know it was the same with my father, none of it comes easy to any of us, it may seem that way at times but the solid core of truth is that it’s work.


I guess it’s about not only finding our path, but having the belief to hold on to the glimmer of hope and vision that we see somewhere ahead of us, and then never letting go while we grind and polish it to the finely honed diamond of success.

I guess my message here is that you probably wonder if success is really worth the journey…..


Well I smile as I write this….


I think you can see what’s in my heart




Great Words From Actor Will Smith

About Marc Barrett

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