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Monday, March 20, 2023

Ed’s Many Old Hats – Perseverance


Above / Find the “Believe House” located along Williamsburg Drive where many homes are illuminated for the holidays. In the spirit of good will and giving, Santa Claus is everywhere!

Recently a good friend, you might say my best friend, reminisced about his childhood and the year he tried to track Santa.

“When I was a little kid, I never doubted that Santa Claus was real,” he said. “My mom and dad always told me to be in bed early on Christmas Eve because if Santa came and I weren’t asleep, he’d just fly on by our house. To my knowledge, my parents only told me the truth!

“When I was somewhere near double digits in years, I overheard some of my school buddies in the grade ahead of me talking about Santa and that maybe he didn’t really exist. I was too shy to get involved in the upperclassmen’s conversation, so I hatched a scheme of my own to find out for sure.

“All week long during the night before Christmas, I practiced pretending to be asleep, hoping it would work on the ‘big night’ so I could prove the hotshot fourth graders wrong. Hard as I tried after going to bed and closing my eyes each evening, the next thing I knew it was daylight outside my window. Still, I hoped that Christmas Eve I would be soooo excited that I wouldn’t be able to sleep even if I wanted. I even took my Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera to bed with me,” he said.

Even at a young age without realizing it, we learn the importance of perseverance in any meaningful task we choose as beneficial to our wellbeing.


My best friend continued, “In my pursuit of Santa, I failed. All I ever caught were my mom and dad having great time finishing the cookies and milk Santa had missed while they cleaned up his mess.”

Upon reflection, I consider my best friend a true model of perseverance. He dropped out of high school at age 16 to help his family stay together. He joined the military at age 17, was married at age 21, attended night school for three years, and started his own business at age 28 with a few hundred dollars he borrowed from his uncle.

Hundreds of times, while working day and night, the thought of giving up crossed his mind. Yet, giving up and taking the easy way out was not an option, thanks to what he’d learned by taking Dale Carnegie training.

To this day, and throughout the ho-ho-holidays, my best friend remembers a Dale Carnegie promise: “What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

Ed Channell
Ed Channell
Ed Channell has served on many boards, foundations and fundraising campaigns during more than 50 years in Naperville—and he loves feedback. Give it to him at echannell1@gmail.com.