So we are right in the middle of the fifth annual Solution Focused Universe conference. And first of all, I can’t believe that we have done five of these conferences, the last two being online, but we’re right in the middle of this one. And something remarkable happened that was so inspiring and so amazing. I want to share it with you.

So one of my favorite movies is a movie called Antwone Fisher, which features one of my favorite actors, which is Denzel Washington. And in the past several months, I’ve been spending a lot of time out in LA working on a big old project and I’ve gotten to meet and get to know and become friends with the real Antwone Fisher, like the man behind the story.

And Today, the theme of the conference is talking about how to be inspired in Solution Focused work and what it is that should be inspiring your work. And we’d decided we’re going to hone in on people that had really amazing messages like Anne Frank and her ability to find the good in the midst of very traumatic chaos and the Dalai Lama and how he focuses on joy and Antwone, because Antwone has this amazing story of resilience. And if you’ve seen the movie, you’re familiar with part of his story of resilience, but I got to hear more of it because I got to know him personally.

So halfway through the day, the part we’re going to focus on Antwone came up and I was like, you know what? I’m just gonna call him and see if he’d be willing to step into the conference and like answer questions. So I, I called him and said, hey man, you got like 10 minutes. And he was like, sure. And he jumped on zoom and was able to join the conference. And it was crazy amazing. But I want to tell you what made it so, so cool to have a guy like him, take some time out of his day and attend the conference for a few minutes and take some questions and respond to like what it was about his story that’s so remarkable.

But the thing that I think is so remarkable about Antwone that I think anyone who wants to have a positive impact on others, needs to understand, when Antwone Fisher was a kid, he went through really, really rough abuse. Won’t specifically get into it here. I actually don’t think he would appreciate that, but really, really bad abuse. If you want to know more about it, go read his book or watch the movie. But the most amazing thing about Antwone is when he got out of the Navy, he got a job working at Sony pictures and his bosses found out about his story. And the Sony executives found out about his story from his bosses when he was working security and they called them into a meeting and they told him, we want to, we want to buy your story.

We want to buy your, your life story. And Antwone asks like, so what happens now? And I said, well, we’re going to hire writers to write your story. And here’s this guy who struggles with dyslexia and anxiety has written a screenplay before. And he immediately said, if someone’s going to tell my story, I want to be the one to write it. He walks out of that meeting. And the very first thing he does is he walks into the bathroom and he starts writing his story on the paper towel in the bathroom. He went through 41 iterations of writing that screenplay until he eventually had a draft that would be turned into a movie, which we now know is Antwone Fisher and all those things.

And I think in order to be a positive influence on others, sometimes you have to recognize that people are so much more capable of what they thought. Even though they’ve been through really, really hard things like as a psychotherapist, I meet the Antwone Fisher’s of the world, not when they’re a successful screenplay writer in Hollywood, but I meet like the 14 year old version of that person, who’s right in the middle of the chaos and the trauma and the abuse.

But I have to believe that the success is in there. And Antwone talks about like how he knew. If I can just get through this, I can make something of myself. And he’s not, when he talks about like being proud of what he’s accomplished. He’s not talking about like having a successful movie in Hollywood.

And he’s now a screenplay writer and a director. And that movie was his first project, but certainly not his last. What he’s most proud of is the success he achieved in the Navy. What he’s most proud of is going into the Navy and becoming something other than what his childhood environment would have allowed him to become. And it was such an amazing thing to watch this room full of people would be so inspired by Antwone Fisher’s story.

And that’s really stood out to me. So I’m trying really hard like this conference, it’s about Solution Focused Brief Therapy and that because that’s the work that we do, but it’s more importantly about like being resolute in your belief about people and being resolute in your belief about people’s ability to accomplish change. And I don’t know anybody who demonstrates that more than Antwone Fisher.

So if you truly want to have a positive impact on the world, around you and the people that you love, the clients that you work with, your colleagues, that you work with, your students, if you teach whatever, you have to find a way to believe that there is a champion in them capable of tremendous triumph, even if they come from tremendous trauma. And I think that’s what the life of Antwone Fisher represents more than anything else. So we’re right in the middle of the event, tomorrow’s the second day of the event. And I’m super excited about it.

But I wanted to take a minute to share this message was all of you, because I want everybody in the world to be more interested in treating people like they’re capable of profound, positive changes rather than treating people like they’re the victim of a trauma that has removed their ability to have amazing success in their life. Antwone Fisher is an example of that, but it’s certainly not the only one. I’ve seen clients that are just so remarkable that blow me away. What I love so much is Antwone Fisher is an example of that client story that has now been put out into the world for us all to learn from. And I hope you learn from me sharing it today.