January 18, 2018


Dave Kelly - They

Dave’s Penguins, Distinguished District Award Medallions and Distinguished Administrator Awards

“They” are always trying to tell us something “they” think we need to hear. “They” have our best interests at heart, and “they” don’t want to see us fail, get hurt, or be disappointed. “They” will make sure to tell you that you really can’t do what you want to, are probably not good enough to succeed, and are not possibly smart enough to figure out something that no one else ever has. “They” know everything.

“They” are your enemies.

Oh, “they” might look like family, friends, or co-workers, but make no mistake, “they” will discourage you and try to let you down easy. “They” love you and want you to wait to pursue your dreams until all of the circumstances are perfect. But, secretly, “they” know there are no perfect moments, so if “they” can get you to put things off, “they” know eventually you will give up.

In truth, “they” don’t know a thing.

You control your destiny. You must listen to the yearnings of your heart. You were put on this earth with distinctive abilities and gifts and you must put them to use to be completely fulfilled. You choose what, when, where, why, and how. Only listen to those individuals who truly know and support you no matter what you do. Push past the limitations and obstacles “they” try to place upon you.

You are the best in the world at being you. You are special, outstanding, and unique. Be all that you were meant to be. Be you!


I wrote the above piece in order to help people see the falseness of the the “They’s” in their lives. They laughed when I said, at the age of 7, I wanted to be the first person in my family to receive a college degree. I graduated with honors. They scoffed when I tried to be a high school athlete, skinny, with limited natural talent. Through hard work and determination, I earned the most athletic letters in my class. They were incredulous when I said I wanted to serve as Circle K International President, running from what had typically been one of the smallest districts in the organization. I won, presided over the largest membership in the organization’s history, and visited 7 different countries. And they all said it was impossible for me to start and succeed in my own business. They were right—I did it twice! I owned a multi-state mortgage company for 10 years and have had a successful speaking and training business since 2005.

Who are the “They’s” in your life? It doesn’t matter. Whether they be family, friends, pundits, or experts. Don’t listen to them, rather, listen to the desires of your heart!

Share in the space below how you have overcome the words, taunts, and advice of “Theys”.

“We can change the world…
By serving…
One life at a time.”

Dave Kelly
America’s Student Leadership Trainer℠
Creator and Facilitator of Building Leaders Through Service®

About the Author: Dave "Gonzo" Kelly (64 Posts)

Dave Kelly is the leading authority on student leadership and community service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from student government associations, campus activities boards and campus clubs of every kind on organizational leadership and community service projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 150 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.

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  1. Thank you, MIllicent! If I had listened to all of the “They’s” in my life, I would not be here with this blog today. You have to avoid listening to your enemies-you may call them family and friends-who think they have your best interest at heart.

    Love you, too!

  2. Millicent says:

    Oh Dave! You nailed it with this post!

    “They” are Simply Ridiculous and you’re right, and like you, I say, we’re unique, one-of-a-kind miracles of the Universe and all great innovations have come from those who’ve broken away from “group think” and who have learned to listen to and follow the desires of their hearts. Me too!

    Thanks for sharing your many achievements – you’re such a model and I Love you Man!

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