On September 23, 2008, I attended an event called “The Cuban Guy,” a lecture given by Andres Lara. Lara is a well-known motivational speaker who travels nationwide to speak about overcoming obstacles and achieving your dreams. Lara’s main point for the students was that if we want to reach our dreams, we must not hold back or be afraid of being knocked down.
At age 16, Lara had escaped from Cuba, did not speak English, and was homeless. Now, at 24, he is a nationally known speaker, an author of various books, and the CEO of his company “A. Success Training Inc.” Lara told us about his goals in life and how even though he could not speak English, he wanted to be a speaker before he even attended college. All his hard work paid off, and he was able to become and have all that he wanted.
After introducing himself, Lara introduced up to his motto, “GOYA- Get off Your Anatomy and Take Action!” His purpose for his speech was to allow us, as college students, to walk away with the idea that we can accomplish our goals, as long as we take action. The speaker gave us sayings like this, as well as live scenarios using students from the audience. He used metaphors to prove his point. For example, Lara set up a bowling lane, and explained that you and those who are closest to you are the pins, while the ball is the problem, obstacle, etc. The ball will knock the pins down, but they always come back up again. Through this we interpret that although things may stand in our way and knock us off our feet, we must work hard to strive for what we want; we must get back up again. We should not allow others to hold us back (family and friends), and we need to stop worrying about being knocked down.
“The Cuban Guy” relates to the Jesuit society and idea because it is through service and faith that we achieve our goals and dreams. Respect is also of great importance in Jesuit idea. Lara explained that we should not only disallow others to bring us down, but we should have the respect to help others and push them forward, rather than tear them down. In order to move forward, we all must come together to help one another. Although we may not be talking about acts of service to those who are needy, we should help those achieve their dreams. A commitment to justice includes- “dignity of human life, the promotion of justice for all, the quality of personal and family life, the protection of nature, the search for peace and political stability…” (Kolvenbach 41). All of these elements can relate to each human being and to their journey to succeeding in life. A life without faith and justice makes it hard to reach your goals, and to receive all that you wish for.
I was happy that Loyola College brought Andres Lara to our school to speak with the students. It’s important that students learn early about how to succeed and reach their dreams. I loved hearing Lara’s story about his own life, and applying it to all of our lives. Since he lived it, we can learn a lot from him. As students who attend a Jesuit Institution, we should take advantage of our school and its Jesuit morals to overcome obstacles and accomplish our dreams.