The Higher the Price the Shorter the Line

The Higher the Price the Shorter the Line…

Chris Neck is so young to have climbed so high.

Author of Five Books. Motivational Speaker. Management Expert. University Master Teacher. Business Week Professor of the Year.

Chris mesmerizing the crowd

Chris mesmerizing the crowd

Who showed him the way? Often it’s moms who inspire. They make the difference. They light up our days. It’s an inspiring story of struggle and fear.

In the words of my friend Chris:

“Dreams. Win the lottery. Captain of industry. Rock star. My dream? To have thousands of people crowd an auditorium to hear me speak and inspire them to a more rewarding life.

Since childhood, I’ve tried to do the difficult things others couldn’t, or wouldn’t. At 15, I ran my first marathon.

The training was brutal. My body begged me to stop, every mile of training, every day. I remember telling my mom how tough it all was. I thought I might quit. But she showed me the way. Mom said, ‘Chris, there aren’t any long lines.’

She went on, “Very few are willing to do what it takes. They look for easy; they go for a fake. Most don’t have the courage to try. Many who do, fall to the side. If dreams were easy, they wouldn’t be dreams; and throngs would stand there waiting to try.”

At the age of 26, I began the grueling task of obtaining my Ph.D. After a year, I was frustrated and tired. I had no life. I had been working 18 hours a day and couldn’t catch up. I wanted to quit.

I called Mom to tell her I’d had enough. My eyes flooded with tears when she picked up phone. I said, ‘Mom it’s too much. I’m going to quit.’ My mother gently replied that she would support any decision; but went on, ‘Chris, remember, there aren’t any long lines.’

That was the moment that defined the rest of my life. I didn’t drop out of the program. No matter the price, I would prove to my mom and myself that I had the stuff to stand in the light, away from the lines.

Two years later, I completed my Ph.D. Then the moment arrived. June 12, 1994 was my 30th birthday. A lifetime dream was minutes away. 14,000 people in a massive Louisiana arena anxiously waited for me to speak. My subject? ‘The Boulders; the struggles we face in living big lives.’

I was so nervous, I could barely swallow: so scared I could hardly breathe. Then, ten minutes before I walked on stage came a knock on the door. One of the stagehands handed me an envelope with a handwritten note and these simple words, ‘Chris, there aren’t any long lines. Love, Mom.’

I wish you could have heard the strength of my words. I received a ten-minute standing ovation. All I could think, standing alone so proud on that stage, was Mom you’re so right, it’s great up here; there aren’t any long lines.”

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