“The number one problem that keeps people from winning is lack of belief in themselves.” Arthur Williams
Liz Murray is a bestselling writer and motivational speaker who started life with nothing. Through sheer determination, faith and hard work, she went from living on the streets to a very successful career. She often talks about the importance of faith, of believing that one can accomplish their goals and dreams in life.
“It amazing what people can do when they believe in themselves.” Sam Walton, founder of Walmart
“If you have faith, nothing is impossible for you.” Jesus Christ
Her book, Breaking Night: From Homeless to Harvard is the amazing account of her tenacity and faith. Breaking night means to stay up all night into the morning. Murray was born to a mother who had been a cokehead from the age of 13 and a father who was sometimes in jail for selling drugs. Both parents were sometimes so stoned they did anything for money, even inviting sexual molesters into the house. Her mother was frequently institutionalized for drug-induced mental illness
Her mother died when she was 16. “(Death) jolts you and makes you reconsider what you are doing with your own life. I decided to live each day with a purpose.” Her father was in such bad shape that it was less miserable to move out and become homeless than stay at home. She was taunted for her dirty clothes and lice in her hair at school. She often slept in subways and did homework in the hallways to keep warm.
“Envision the future you desire. Create the life of your dreams. See it, feel it, believe it.”~ Jack Canfield
Liz had the help of a high school teacher who gave her confidence that she could succeed. While on the streets of New York she saw ladies carrying Gucci and Chanel bags in the same street corners as teenagers begging for change and it almost made her become bitter and angry, but she realized that was self destructive.
The death of her mother made her realize she had to make something of her life. She enrolled in an alternative high school and graduated in two years instead of the usual four. It was not easy studying in hallways, in the park or in the subways, so she used headphones to block out the distracting noises.
She won a scholarship for disadvantaged students to Harvard University and studied clinical psychology. She wrote a book and now travels around the country sharing her story at speaking engagements and hopes these appearances allow others to see the possibility of change in their own lives. “When suffering, I had to see that things could be different. I started to grasp the value of the lessons I learned living on the streets.”
Murray realized that holding a grudge against her parents was not healthy, so she forgave both of them. She now has a good relationship with her father who has been off drugs for six years.
Not only did she publish a bestselling book, but her story has also been made into a movie. She says she doesn’t want any story to minimize the faith and hard work it took to succeed.
“You are creating your future with every single thought.” Jack Canfield
“Everything is possible for one who believes.” Jesus Christ
“Release your faith. God is shifting things in your favor. He’s moving the wrong people out and the right people in.” Joel Osteen