I wrote about the valuable lesson my grandfather taught me about hard work paying off much greater than low hanging fruit ever can.
Sadly, my grandfather passed away on Saturday at the age of 89.
The lesson my grandfather taught me about the value of freedom and choice radiate throughout all I teach here at Leaders Club.
Born in Romania, he had survived the Second World War fighting the Germans. He was conscribed to the Russian army at the age of 17. Deeply religious, he didnít want to fight or have the blood of another human on his conscience. To the best of his knowledge he accomplished this - even though he had a ton of terrific adventure stories and helped turn me into a WWII buff!
During the occupation of Eastern Germany in 1945 he fell in love with a beautiful local girl and decided to marry her. On the last day of his commission he defected from the Russians and fled with his bride to one of her cousins in the west. To get there they scaled barbed wire avoided Russian patrols and risked instant execution if caught.
Once in the West (British Sector) the British command was prepared to send him back to Russia. His saving grace was that my mother was born in time to prevent this. Tens of thousands of his country men who surrendered or defected were sent back only to be executed by Stalin. He lived under a threat of abduction until the 1970ís.
Even with only a third grade education, he taught me that hard work was nothing to fear. His family never went hungry, even as they struggled to rebuild their lives in the ruins of post war Germany. And he taught me that change was a choice. He often told me about his alcoholic father and how as a young boy he made the decision never to be like him. And he kept his promise.
He was independent to the last day. Working in his garden, preparing his favorite meal.
While I will miss him, his courage to survive, to give and to forgive will live on.
As you read this I am attending the funeral and to be a support to my family.
Life is full of lessons.
And with thanksgiving coming up I am reminded again of the value of freedom.
What are you willing to risk to get it?
I have never had to risk my life to enjoy the freedom millions have died for. Most of us will never be put in that position. But do you really understand and appreciate it? What will you do to honor that sacrifice?
What will you do to deliver greater personal freedom for your family?
Working hard to make your business work seems so simple compared to those who have risked everything.
Remember what you are grateful for this week.
Take all things in stride. Even what others tend for evil you can turn into good. While millions died in World War 2 and nations were ripped into rubble, I would not be here if it didnít happen. In fact many of the things we enjoy every day come from the ashes of our collective mistakes.
Choose to be free.
Andre Vatke, Founder
Richard "The Eagle" Motivator
Live and Act Like a Champion Today!!
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