As I’ve written before, I absolutely love the style of motivational speaker Eric Thomas. Known online more so as ET, he dishes out powerful words of wisdom and has no cut cards! His intense energy coupled with his real gems of inspiration is perfect motivation. (I encourage you to subscribe to his YouTube channel!) When I discovered he had written a book about his own journey and the lessons he learned along the way, I had to read it for myself!
The Secret To Success gives readers insight into how Eric grew up and how he was able to overcome how own mistakes and failures. Those very same mistakes and failures allowed him to grow into a speaker who has inspired millions around the world with his teachings.
As a teen, Eric moved out of his parents’ home. From the book, he no longer wanted to deal with his stepfather, deciding to go his own way. His way ultimately left him homeless and a high school dropout. As he moved from house to house for shelter, ET quickly saw that navigating this life wasn’t as easy as it appeared to be. However, his journey ultimately shaped him into the man he is today.
A major lesson that ET learned was to be around people who challenged him to be better. A close childhood friend, Bill, made him see that he could be more than a high school dropout. ET had way more to offer than that. His girlfriend (and eventual wife) DeDe also pushed him to get his GED and come with her to college. While ET was afraid to start over in a new city, DeDe told him flat out that she was not going to be in a long-distance relationship with someone who didn’t have a plan for his life. Eric quickly got himself together, got that GED, and headed to college to be with the love of his life. It was all because he had the right people in his corner that wouldn’t let him settle for mediocrity.
During his time at college, the motivational speaker helped to start a Christian ministry, Bell Tower Ministries, designed to help students academically and spiritually. It was with that ministry that he began to hone his public speaking skills and creating programs and messages that would truly impact people. He learned quickly that it took a strong work ethic to get ahead, and that you needed to take advantage of opportunities when they first pop up.
Though Eric didn’t finish college with DeDe, they did get married, and he knew that he would have to provide for her. So, while working on his ministry duties, as well as teaching a free GED program, he also got a job at Olive Garden to help pay some bills. I saw that he did what he had to do to grow and get to where he wanted to be, which was to ultimately to help inspire more people through his personal testimony. He also went back to school years later, getting his bachelor’s degree and eventually working his way up to a Ph.D.!
I’m always slow to read books with everything that I have going on. That’s why I always give myself a whole month to get through one. However, this one, I couldn’t put down; I finished it in about a week and a half! This is someone that I listen to and watch regularly, so to be able to learn how he made it this far was great.
It also reminded me that nothing worthwhile in this life comes easy or overnight. You have to be honest with yourself about the effort you’re putting in towards your goals and dreams. You can’t just kind of want it. As ET says, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” Reading this book showed me why that phrase was so important to him and made me turn up the heat on my own goals.