Doing Anything (my Mother’s Day blog)

by Brandon

“You can do anything if you put your mind to it.”

We’ve all heard that before. It’s a pretty standard inspirational sentence. And let’s be honest… on some levels, we all know it’s crap.

I can’t pull the moon from the sky, paint it to look like the Death Star, then throw it back into orbit. No matter how much I want to do that (and I really do), it’s just beyond my ability. So yeah… if we want to be word tyrants, “anything” is a bit of an overstatement.

And when some people say that sentence, it’s obvious they’re just mindlessly repeating something they’ve heard over and over.


When my mother says it, you believe it. No matter how cynical you are, when she looks in your eyes and says, “You can do anything if you put your mind to it,” you believe it.

You believe it because you know she believes it. More importantly, you believe it because you know she believes in you.

And here’s the real kicker… when she says this to you, there is no pressure to succeed. She honestly won’t look at you any differently either way. She doesn’t “challenge” you to succeed. She simply informs you that success is your choice. Simple as that.

If someone is happy being a lawyer or a doctor, she’s happy for them. If someone’s happy working fast food, she’s happy for them. But if someone says, “I know I can do more,” her answer will invariably be, “You’re right.”

When my wife and I decided I should quit my day job to pursue writing full time, I was worried what my mother would think. It’s a big move. It’s a risky move.

When I told her, she said, “I think it’s a great idea.”

I said, “You don’t think we’re nuts?”

Her answer: “Maybe. But I know you can do this.”

And to this day, she has never faltered from this position. She doesn’t just believe it. She knows it.

It’s important to note that she’s not just like that to me. She is an inspiration to every person that knows her. She’s the person people call for advice. She’s the person people lean on when they aren’t strong enough to stand on their own. She is – without question – one of the two most remarkable women I’ve ever known (the other being my wife). She is a pillar of strength and an inspiration to all who know her.

This was originally going to be my “Unexpected Teachers, Part II” blog, but I realized it’s not very unexpected to learn from your own mother.

So what is the most important lesson she has taught me?

The answer is simple:

You inspire people by believing in them.

I know that sounds trite and over-simplistic, but she has proven it to be true more times than I can count. And it’s not as easy as it sounds, because it requires trust… but it works.

I know my blogs are usually silly, but this Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to go in a different direction.

Instead of telling another story of how stupid I am (don’t worry, those are coming back), I decided this weekend I just want to send out a simple message to my mother. I’m going to go out on a limb here and speak for every person she’s ever inspired, but I’m pretty sure they’ll all be okay with this statement:

Thanks, Mom, for believing in us.

It matters more than I could ever describe in a single blog.

I’m pretty sure this blog will embarrass her, but I’m cool with that. I just want the world to know that she’s not just an amazing mom… she’s an amazing human being.


Happy Mother’s Day, folks.

Also, get yourself a copy of Day Soldiers. My mom really wants you to do it.


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