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Grateful, not deserving.

So I recently (like today on the plane), finished reading, "All In" by Jerry Yang.  I have included the links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  If you haven't read this book, please take my word and have a read for yourself.  I became hooked after 5 minutes.  It is a fantastic book about losing everything and gaining it all.  It won't leave you uninspired.

[caption id="attachment_1754" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Jerry's Book"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1755" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="Jerry Yang at Pocket 8's"][/caption]

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-in-jerry-yang/1100036593?ean=9781605421889&itm=2&usri=jerry+yang

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/All-Refugee-Camp-Poker-Champ/dp/160542188X/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1328844253&sr=8-7

Synopsis: Jerry Yang grew up in Laos and at a young age was forced to leave the only life he had ever known.  It is a heartwarming and tragic story of what life was like in Vietnam.  Jerry's family was Hmong and forced from the hills of their home to try and find refuge in Thailand across the Mekong.  It talked about the families journey from Vietnam, to Thailand, then on to Nashville, Kansas City and eventually Fresno.  The book also talks about Jerry becoming the World Series of Poker Champ in 2007 and how that whole idea came into being.

Here is the video of jerry winning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw3ZUqZvTHY&feature=related

I had the honor of meeting Jerry in Merced at his restaurant called "Pocket 8's".  He shook my hand and welcomed me to his restaurant and also signed my copy of his book.

Often times in life, you meet people that are game changers.  I had no expectations when I went into the restaurant and had no clue that I would actually meet such a nice guy, and buy a book that has made me reexamine how I look at life.   As I said in the intro, I connected with this book within 5 pages and the read, which was a combination of Jerry's integration into our culture, as well as the struggles he faced trying to escape Laos.  As I read the final chapters in this book, I found myself breaking out in tears and really connecting with what was being said.  I often feel that we think our life is so hard, and that we can and will never get ahead.  After reading Jerry's book, you will throw out conventional wisdom and realize that for some people every breath to stay alive is a fight.

When I got to the end of the book after I wiped the tears from my eyes, Its like Jerry spoke to me, in the last paragraph of the book:

"...to show the same kindness to others that I had recieved.  This is now my life's mission.  It's why I fulfilled my vow to use  my winnings for good and why I live the way I do today.  The highest calling is not to someday be the best or the brightest in your chosen field.  No, it is to use ones life for good.  Whatever you have, whether a lot or a little, use it for good.  That is the mark of a true champion"


I can say with cosmic certainty that there is no one more deserving of the winnings and after reading this book.  The reading has helped me to understand why people (myself included) don't win such large fortunes.  Often times they have no appreciation of the value of money and what it can do for you.  I believe Jerry and his family were in a sense destined to win and honestly, I think if you give the book a read, you will see that no matter how big or small your contribution to the world, you are still contributing (Thanks Jen for stating that before I read this book)

A thought to leave you with:  You are not deserving of anything in this life.  Life was never promised to be fair.  Rather than expecting or thinking that you are owed something, be grateful for what you currently have.  Try doing this daily.

Until next time...

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