Don’t Settle for Second Best


Dean Cardinale fighting avalanches in the Rocky Mountains

What are you willing to do to create a magnificent life? Are you willing to make tough choices? I have news for you. You’ll either pay the price of discipline by following your heart or you’ll pay the price of regret.

You only live once. What do you want to do? Are you moving towards it?

When I was young I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living. My parents wanted me to be a doctor and I liked science, so I studied pre-med in college. My heart was not in it. Neither were my grades. But I went on to get degrees in chemistry and biology. Actually worked in a chemical lab the last two years while in school. As soon as I graduated, I quit my job in the lab and started waiting tables.

My parents wanted to kill me. But after working in that lab, waiting tables was like a breath of fresh air. My station at the restaurant was a little like my own business. The better I took care of my guests, the more I earned.

After a few years I got into sales and in 2002 I became a professional speaker. I would not trade what I do for anything in the world. The speaking business fits me like a glove.

And I’m saving lives every day by NOT being a doctor. Believe me, you don’t want me operating on you.

So what’s the point? The point is that you’ll never be at your best unless you are doing something that fits you.

My friend Dean Cardinale has a similar story. He got his engineering degree and worked as an engineer for 4 months. After 4 months he realized engineering wasn’t for him. So he quit his job and waited tables at the Sunbird Ski Resort in Utah. Dean’s parents wanted to kill him too. They actually disowned him for a long time. But read on to learn how Dean’s decision helped him get to the top of the world.

(By the way, Dean was my guide when we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro a few years ago)

Don’t settle for second best. (article about Dean’s quest for his dream)


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez

Two Outstanding Young Men


Dartanyon Crockett at the London Paralympics

This is the powerful story of Dartanyon Crockett and Leroy Sutton. Dartanyon is a blind judo player that trains at the Olympic Training Center. He competed in the 2012 London Paralympics. Dartanyon is a great role model because he has overcome great odds to get where he is at. And he’s an example of what a true friend is willing to do for another friend.

What would you be willing to do for a friend? Check this video out.

If you like the first video, wait till you see the second one. It’s moving and filled with important life lessons. Click here to view.

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My children get to train with him every week. We feel very fortunate that they get to learn from people with Dartanyon’s character.


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez 

A Dream Team will Help You Achieve Your Goals

This is a guest post by my good friend Ces Guerra. Ces and his lovely bride Laura climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with me a couple of years ago. They just got back from a two week trek to the Mt. Everest Base Camp.


Ruben often talks about creating a “Dream Team.”  A team of supporters, confidants, coaches, and mentors that will help you achieve your goals. In May of 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to summit Mt Everest, and a key member of his Dream Team was Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. Without Norgay, Hillary would never have accomplished his goal.   Flash forward 60 years to May of 2013 and I’m proud to announce that my wife, Laura, and I reached Mt Everest Base Camp on May 23rd. For novice trekkers, this was a significant accomplishment to be sure. Hiking at elevation for two weeks for flat-landers is a pretty tough challenge that required us to develop a Dream Team.
The key individual of our Dream Team was Dean Cardinal our lead guide, owner and founder of World Wide Trekking/Human Outreach Project. His expertise in the Nepal and Khumbu Valley Region is second to none. What we did was to rely on his knowledge and experience to help us reach each successive destination along the trail to the Base Camp. In addition to Dean, we had a team of local sherpas to assist us with equipment, meals and daily preparations. One can not accomplish such a goal with out the selfless assistance and commitment from people like that. The challenge is to open your mind to receiving help and support. Set aside your ego and your pride, and to realize that someone just might be a little more experienced or a little smarter about certain things. We certainly did open our minds and set our egos aside to absorb everything Dean and the sherpas were advising us to do.
Back home in Houston, we surrounded ourselves with our team of personal trainers, nutritionists, and supportive friends. It is amazing how important and helpful each individual member of the Dream Team can be, when you have organized and surrounded yourself with those that are enthusiastically behind you achieving your goal.   The old saying that “No man is an island.” has never been more true!  Focus on your goals and your dreams, surround yourself with the people that are interested and committed to your success and you will certainly be “Unstoppable!”
Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez

Dirt Biking with Don Akers


Don Akers and I at the track

I think I have found my next summer sport. My friend Don Akers has been racing dirt bikes for over 20 years. When I took him bobsledding earlier this year, he started telling me I ought to give motocross a try.

My entire experience riding motorcycles was 5 minutes riding my neighbor’s Honda at 20 MPG (I don’t even think I ever got it off of 1st gear), but when Don talks, I listen.

We went to a track in North Houston and I got 90 minutes of instruction from a Motocross racer who teaches and coaches.

I’m hooked! Getting basic coaching was the key because now I feel comfortable on the bike and am having a blast. This is so much fun.

As soon as I get to Colorado I will get a dirt bike and start hitting the off-road trails.

Try different things. Open yourself to new experiences. Make your life an adventure.


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez


Surround Yourself With Winners


Cracked Left Kufen on my Racing Sled

(Feb 3, 2010)

One thing that makes the sport of luge exciting is that no matter how well you are doing, all it takes is a short loss of concentration to make you crash.

We’re all training at the Park City track right outside of Salt Lake City.

Next week we head to Vancouver for the Olympics. The Olympic track in Whistler (70 miles North of Vancouver) is the fastest in the world – 95 MPH and up. The track in Park City is the 2nd fastest in the world, so it’s a great place to train just before the Olympics.

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