My name is Ron, and I created this page for one reason and one reason only, and that is to
show people how they can get whatever it is they want. The best and only way I know
to do that, to show you how to get what you want, is to tell you how I got what I wanted –
against all odds!
The words that follow have been written for you, and somewhere within them there is a secret revealed that will empower you to change your life for the better, and in those words it is my highest hope that you will discover a usable, universal tool to get what you want.
In June of '73, I left my home in Tampa, Florida, to go to DC and join the US Peace Corps in Ethiopia, East Africa. This story actually begins a few weeks earlier, when I had met one of the most beautiful women I'd ever seen – I'll call her "Bess" (not her real name).
It's not like I was inexperienced. I'd been married and divorced and had been privileged to have known several wonderful and beautiful women – before, during and after my 1971 tour in Vietnam. After an intense, whirlwind relationship, Bess and I drove to Maryland and stayed with one of her relatives. There really is no way to describe to you how deeply involved we had become. Yet I had been planning to go to Africa for months and had set my mind to it.
I flew to Ethiopia and became a "trainee", which is just one step down from a "volunteer". Three weeks into my training I decided that I was in love with Bess and had to be with her. When asked by the Peace Corps why I was leaving, I simply said, "I'm going home for personal reasons."
By Autumn of '73, Bess and I had gone our separate ways, and after a brief dark period when I had been brought back to my senses by none other than my mother, who had also been coping with the recent death of my father, I tried to rejoin the Peace Corps and to return to Africa. The Desk Officer for Ethiopia in DC, Ed Marcus, told me that there had never been a volunteer, let alone a trainee, allowed back into the same country after terminating early. Never. Ed was, however, able to give me three other choices, Iran, Jamaica and the Philippines.
Marcus had given me three country options, but no matter how determined I was to go back to Ethiopia, he was adamant that I could not return there, nor work in any other country in Africa. I had decided to go to the Philippines when I received a surprise phone call from Ed. He told me that the Peace Corps Director in Ethiopia, Dr. Jack Mills, had come to Washington for a meeting the next day. He would be returning to Ethiopia in the evening following the meeting. Ed told me that if I really wanted to go back to Ethiopia, I had to get to Washington as quickly as possible. He said he might be able to get me in to see Dr. Mills for a few minutes, but there were no guarantees.
I hopped on the earliest plane and landed in Washington at about 6:00 p.m., too late to get in to see Dr. Mills that evening. So I walked around the city and wound up on a park bench between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. I was just sitting there, scratching my head. I knew exactly what I wanted – to go back to Ethiopia. But I had no idea what I was going to say to Dr. Mills. How would I convince this man to let me go back and work in Africa?
Then, as I sat there relaxed yet completely confused, one word entered my head with the force of an H bomb. There among the monuments to our forefathers, this one word began to pound and pound in my brain! It was a common word, very common. It had entered my head before, but never with this much strength and power. It was as if the forefathers were ghosts in my head and yelling out the word, like they were trying to provide me with the one thing that I could say to Dr. Mills that had any chance of convincing him. That one word banging away in my mind was "truth".
Tell him the truth – that's all I had to do. In my mind, I could picture Dr. Mills and myself alone in his office the next day. I could actually hear him ask me why I had left the previous year. What on Earth were the "personal reasons" that had kept me from staying in Ethiopia? There was no mistaking the absolute certainty I felt. I knew beyond any shadow of doubt that I would convince Jack Mills and return to Ethiopia! In a fraction of a second I had gone from confused and worried to certain and confident.
The next morning found me in the Peace Corps office, sitting next to Ed Marcus' desk. Dr. Mills was still in his meeting, so I waited. All of a sudden, Mills came crashing through the door. Obviously disappointed and very angry, he disappeared into his temporary private office and slammed the door. It was evident that things had not gone well at his meeting. Ed gave me a glance that pretty much meant, 'Sorry I wasted your time.' I urged him to knock on Mills' door. He went into Mills' office to ask if I could see him for a few minutes. When he walked back out, he told me, "Dr. Mills will give you five minutes and not a moment more."
I walked into Mills' office and sat down. His first question was just as I had heard it in my head the evening before. "I have your file here, and all it says is that you left your training last year for 'personal reasons'. I just need to know exactly what your 'personal reasons' were that made you terminate early last year. Why did you leave?" At the bottom of my answer, at the bottom, the heart and soul, was honesty.
"Do you know why Jack Mills is here?" I shook my head, no. "He's here for the express purpose of getting the Peace Corps pulled out of Ethiopia! The emperor Haile Selassie has been arrested and jailed, and there is so much violence! Jack's worried that his volunteers and staff might get hurt. But in this morning's meeting with the bosses, they turned him down, they would not let him pull out. It's just unbelievable that after all that, he would let you go back to Africa. Unbelievable! What did you say to him?"
I just smiled. I had convinced a man who had a reputation for seldom if ever changing his mind. All I had done was to answer his question and tell him the truth. I had responded with the ideas that had come to my mind the night before after the word "truth" had exploded inside my head.
Yet, where I had left off and could do no more, some power beyond my knowledge seemed to take over and turn around what had been impossible and make it plausible and doable. Yes, I didn't just lie around and wait for things to happen – that's just not how it works. It's not the least bit difficult. You just have do all that you yourself can do and then you must fully expect to somehow get what you want!
Always a pleasure,
PO Box 152073
Tampa, FL 33684-2073
ronlehlbach at aol dot com