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6 Inspirations from David Ash to survive & strive in real life roller coaster

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Thank you to Michael Ellsberg (the author of The Education of Millionaires)
for introducing me to David J. Ash
& telling his story
on how mastering the art of selling
has allowed him to help people.

David has bought a boarding house that he has turned into The Vivian: a transitional housing for at-risk, chronically homeless women living with concurrent mental illness, addiction and other challenges (severe sexual / physical abuse).

The Vivian is located in the middle of Downtown Eastside of Vancouver,
1 of the poorest & most crime-ridden neighbourhoods in North America.

Many times,
people have positive perceptions on Vancouver,
one of the most liveable cities worldwide
in terms of safety, education,
hygiene, health care,
culture, public transportation,
but not cost of living!

However, based on my limited experience of living in Vancouver,
and having done a bit of voluntary work at Downtown Eastside,
I am aware of the dire circumstances of people living there.

To quote David,
“These people could be our sisters or mother.
We should not be too quick to judge these people.”

The main inspiration of David for setting up the Vivian is his own mother.
His mother Vivian Grace Ash
died alone on the streets
in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

I still remember my friend HW
who grew up in the tropical region
remarked that
it is extremely challenging to be poor & living on the streets in Canada,
because of the cold weather.

At that time (in 1999),
David wanted to help his mother but he could not.
Fast forward ~ a decade later,
David have the capacity (his new-found wealth) to help women like his mother,
and he is deeply committed to it.

Although at a particular point of our lives,
we cannot help someone whom we love,
instead of blaming ourselves,
or burying ourselves in regret,
we can focus on giving / helping other people.
(Inspiration #1)

The story also reminds me on
how the rail-road tycoon Leland Stanford
founded the Stanford University in 1891
in memory of his son who died at 15 years old.
The founder’s vision of
“The children of California shall be our children”
has contributed to the birth
of a world-class university.

David’s and Leland’s stories indeed illustrate
老吾老以及人之老 幼吾幼以及人之幼
which literally means to honor old people as we do our own aged parents, and care for other’s children as one’s own.
(Inspiration #2)

When David was 12 years old,
his mother suffered from nervous breakdowns,
frequented the psychiatric wards,
attempted to commit suicide,
left home,
& finally ended up on the streets.

David ended up dropping out in grade 11 of high school.
He moved to Ottawa to take on a job as a pot scrubber,
which Michael refers as a dead-end job.
Most people will think that this is the end.
On average, drop-outs do worse in life
than people who complete their formal education.
However, remember that everything popular is not always right.
(Inspiration #3)

David’s life changed when he met a real estate salesman in Ottawa
who encouraged him to be a real estate salesman.
David committed to passing the course to be a real estate salesperson,
his first educational endeavour in his life.
Every day,
David studied & revised,
made his own notes.
“I studied 4x harder than most of my classmates who were mature adults.
Many were educated professionals with university degrees”

David passed the course &
got a sales job at Century 21.
He had a revival and has since believed in positive mental attitude.

You can do something with your life,
no matter who you are,
no matter where you are from,
no matter what your background,
if you work hard,
as mentioned by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich,
& many similar books.
(Inspiration #4)

David became committed to self-teach himself
motivation & success,
through books, seminars, workshops.

David learned & mastered the craft of sales,
in real estate,
in life insurance sales.
In his 20s,
he was earning $100,000 annually!

However,
he became bankrupt at the age of 29,
because he did not manage his spending & saving.

He learned his lesson,
started to save 10% of his income.
invested it for the future,
by purchasing a little rental property,
& now he owns office buildings, retail centres & a huge hockey arena.
(Inspiration #5)

David’s life sounds like a roller coaster,
yet many people love roller coaster
(that’s why theme parks are always popular)
but to survive the real-world roller coaster
it takes hard work, discipline, resilience, & perseverance.
(Inspiration #6)

I pray for David (& many people like him)
to have a happy ending for his life story,
unlike his mother.

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Written by blueroselady

August 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

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