No Limits – by Helen Bassham (article)

It was the spring of 1987 and our sons Brian and Troy wanted to try out for a soccer team that would play in several countries in Europe that summer. Lanny took the boys to the try outs in San Antonio, and once they arrived the first thing they were told was that the cost per team member was $2500.00. After that announcement many parents packed up their kids and left without even trying out. The boys looked at Lanny and asked “Can we stay and tryout or is it too expensive?” We have never lived life allowing cost or sacrifice to get in the way of our dreams. The boys stayed with the blessing of their Father and due to their hard work, mental consistency and soccer skills they performed well under pressure and made the team. They were so excited and anxiously looked forward to a trip to Europe for five weeks to see the sights and play the game they love.

When they arrived home that day, I was informed they made the team and the cost of this amazing opportunity. At this particular time we had not budgeted to spend $5,000 to send the boys on a trip across the ocean but we believe “Where there is a will, there is a way”. We told the boys that they had to raise the money themselves. We gave them a challenge to ask for donations to make this trip possible. Together as a team the four of us came up with a list of people to send letters to and ask for help in making this dream a reality. It was up to them to get the money in and if this was so important to them then they would find a way. They hand wrote letters, mailed them out and even set up a table at a craft fair asking for donations from strangers in our small town. Sure enough the money started coming in for both of them. Together they collected enough money through donations to pay for their entire trip.

It was a trip of a lifetime for them. They had just turned 17 before they boarded the plane for Europe. That was a very long five weeks for me with little to no communication from them. Today there are cell phones, email and Skype, but in 1987 none of that was possible. We did not hear from them very often, and when they were in Russia (USSR) and East Germany we did not hear from them at all. They returned safely with memories and lessons to last a lifetime.

If the dream is big enough nothing can stop you from achieving it.

Lessons from the story:

  • Parents, be careful when you set limits on your children because it may affect their ability and willingness to dream big. All of the kids who left that tryout due to financial cost missed a chance to represent the USA in Europe and gain skills, knowledge, adventure and maturity due to money. The fact that we didn’t anticipate and plan to spend the $5,000 for our boys to go didn’t change our decision to let them tryout. We chose to allow them to have their dream and seek another way to raise the money. If Lanny had brought the boys home that day without trying out, they may have believed that money is an obstacle too great to overcome. They may have seen the retreat as a limit on their dreams or a lack of faith.
  • Lanny always says “We appreciate things in direct proportion to the price we pay for them”. Because the boys had to raise their own money, they became personally invested in the journey. They embraced the trip with more zest and excitement than anything they had ever done before. They were a team and worked together to make a reality out of something that seemed nearly impossible to attain. When you pay a heavy price for a dream you will embrace the journey and learn more through the struggle than if it was handed to you.
  • Look at obstacles as opportunities.
  • Seek solutions to the problems instead of dwelling on them.
  • Find ways to help your children invest in their future and be part of the solution.
By Helen Bassham, President of Mental Management Systems



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