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Inspiration through experience
by Garrett Valenzuela
Nov 09, 2012 | 3593 views | 2 2 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- Stedman Graham, author and inspirational leader, speaks to student at Sparks High School on Friday morning on the importance of finding love in themselves and transforming from followers to leaders.
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- Stedman Graham, author and inspirational leader, speaks to student at Sparks High School on Friday morning on the importance of finding love in themselves and transforming from followers to leaders.
SPARKS -- The theater at Sparks High School had every seat filled Friday morning as students’ eyes and ears perked toward the stage where Stedman Graham stood holding a microphone.

Graham unveiled his the first two steps “Nine-Step Success Process” by actively involving a few volunteer Sparks High students with a simple challenge: “tell me everything you love in 30 seconds.”

The student who was able to name the most was handed a, “Identity Passport,” which is also the focus of Graham’s 11th and most recent book, “Identity: Your Passport to Success.” Graham told the students they were able to transfer energy by narrowing their focus to the simple question and, based on the law of attraction, “what you put that love into is what you are going to get back out.”

“It is important for people to learn that they have an identity as soon as possible and to take information and education and make it relevant in their life early on,” Graham said following his presentation. “They have more focus, more discipline and they are very clear on who they want to become.”

Graham is the CEO of S. Graham and Associates, a management and marketing consulting company that specializes in the corporate and educational markets, and he has had two of his 11 books make the New York Times bestsellers list. He stressed that success has a consistent process that “is the same for everybody.”

“It is not about race or where you came from, it’s all about you and how well you understand the process of success,” Graham said leading into an inspiring story about midway through his presentation.

Graham pulled a small book out of a black folder in front of the theater of students and began a short story about a boy running a foot race. The boy continually slipped during the race, falling further and further behind, and each time he felt like quitting he pictured the disappointment in his father’s face. When the race was finished the boy, though he had finished last, received the loudest applause for his perseverance.

“Failure is not when you fall down, it is when you don’t get back up on your feet,” Graham said to the students. “All of life is like that race.”

Graham said it is important for teenagers to learn leadership skills early in life so they have the power to change their future into anything they please.

“We are trying to teach these kids those leaderships skills so they have the information to empower them and they have the information relevant to their talents, their passions and their strengths so they can focus on being the best they can be,” he said. “If you focus on love, the transformation is moving from a positive attitude to a negative attitude. It is really changing the way you think and believe about yourself.”

Cassie Grimm, a senior and Student Body President at Sparks High, said students at the school benefited from Graham’s presentation in a way that allow them the chance to believe in themselves.

“They need to know that we can succeed no matter what kind of background they have,” Grimm said. “The fact that he talked about how he was put down in his life and he used it as inspiration to succeed can go a long way for students at Sparks High School. I think it is important that students have the inspiration and the drive to push themselves to succeed.”

Grimm said the likelihood of being held back in life can be high, but hearing Graham’s words made it evident to the students that obstacles will be a fact of life. She said her fellow students will learned that success comes from being able to work through those obstacles.

“Even if there is that one teacher or student or parent that puts them down, the fact that he can succeed really helps them see that they can be just like him,” she said. “His speech on love and how he believes that you need to find love in yourself and other people and what you do in life to become powerful was most influential. He uses love as an inspiration and I think that sent a message to a lot of people. They need to find love and they found out that they can find love in themselves.”
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Hudson Mohawk Press
November 15, 2012
The movie “The Secret” was a good introduction to the basics of the Law of Attraction but it downplayed the hard work that is needed to make things happen. Thinking or affirming things into being is not really how it works, but change is possible if the Law of Attraction is combined with action, focus and persistence. The messages of the “New Thought” teachers of the last 100 years are still relevant today. Go back to William Walker Atkinson’s book “Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World” for an explanation of how the Law of Attraction really works. Check out the new updated gender neutral edition at
Claudia Adelhardt
November 15, 2012
What a great story. I believe that teaching children early that working hard is the most important thing. Natural talent doesn't always take you places. Without hard work & passion you won't go anywhere. I work for a company that helps other follow their passion in life and they are the ones who work hard to follow their dreams. I save bravo to the message he is giving.

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