What empowers you? What imbues you with the feeling that you can do anything or the desire to reach for greater heights? Is it a member of your upline, a friend, or a particularly good podcast or TED talk you heard? Maybe you read a very good book on the subject recently that gave you the right mix of tools to help you accomplish a dream you never thought you’d be able to see, let alone accomplish. These are all wonderful resources, but the ultimate source of your empowerment is you, according to Gary.



When we come upon the crumbling buildings of life, do we hope for a change? Whether they’re struggling marriages, health challenges, job demands, or the needs of so many others around us, can we see past the difficulties to form even a kernel of hope that we can improve things somehow?


What empowers us to build a business? What enables us to be successful? Changing our paradigm, changing our belief system, changing how we see ourselves. Do I see myself being successful, or do I see myself going down to the welfare office and getting food stamps? I can change my outcome by changing how I see myself.

Some would say that fear keeps us from doing this, and I say, no, it’s not fear. I’ve heard people say their greatest fear is public speaking. If that were true for me, I wouldn’t be up here on this stage. Public speaking is not my greatest fear. You know what it is? It’s you not taking the risk to change your paradigm.


It may be hard to visualize specifically what you want or what you feel empowered to do specifically, but making a picture in your head of what it will actually look like will power you through the challenges and hard times, because you will have those. See the way Gary saw.


It may seem obvious that it’s one thing to see and another thing to act, but how many of us see a need, problem, or challenge and think that someone else will figure it out? You are only partially empowered if you are not acting on your hope and vision. Step in, like Gary and Mary did, and build your own “school,” like they did. Your vision may be more modest or more ambitious; what’s important is that you act.


If empowerment were a plant, maybe hope, passion, and action would be the water, sunshine, and dirt needed to make the plant grow. Commitment would be the stalk and stem, the conduit for all the energy that feeds and strengthens the beautiful flower at the top.

No matter your goal or vision, there will be challenges. Gary was always 100 percent committed to his goals, no matter the challenges. In On the Road With Gary, Jared Turner said: “Whenever we faced challenges as a company, Gary always invited the executives into his conference room and instructed us, ‘Walk backwards from where you are, analyse the situation, and pay attention to the direction that will come to you, and you will recognize what course you should follow.’”


Both the benefit of empowerment and its perpetuator is connection. That’s what drove Gary to travel to Nepal in 2015 after two huge earthquakes struck the country. There, he saw a whole village destroyed in Yarsa, Bagmat, district of Nepal. He committed to rebuild 100 homes and one school in two years. Despite challenges caused by difficult weather, fragile topography, machine problems, and material unavailability, he and hundreds of villagers, volunteers, and Rebuild Nepal staff accomplished that goal.

As important as hope, education, passion, action, and commitment are to empowerment, without connection, they matter little. It is connection with others that is the true marker of success and the thing that makes more empowerment possible.

What began with Gary’s hope continues with many connections.

What has empowered you the most in your life?

Original article and recorded workshop: Heart of the Foundation_Greg Larsen