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In this heartfelt memoir, motivational speaker and life coach Keith Harrell writes passionately about the lessons he’s learned from his parents, grandmother, teachers, coaches, mentors, and friends as he overcame stuttering to become one of the nation’s top-ranked professional speakers.

Tall, skinny and shy, Harrell painfully learned on his first day of school that he couldn’t talk like the other students. Embarrassed by the kids’ teasing and feeling dejected, he ran home during recess, where he was met by an understanding mom who wouldn’t allow him to remain discouraged. The lesson Harrell gained from this experience and imparts to his readers is: God specializes in originals. He doesn’t make junk!

Each chapter in this heartfelt book begins with a quote from the Bible and concludes with a touching and insightful life lesson. Harrell’s story encompasses his years of speech therapy, the awkwardness of being a foot or two taller than his elementary-school teachers, his father’s tough love, the anguish of his parents’ divorce, gaining confidence through playing basketball—and eventually being scouted by the NBA and then watching his dream evaporate.

He goes on to recount the trials he underwent in the corporate world as he sought out his true passion, and how he built a fledgling business into a million-dollar enterprise, eventually receiving enormous acclaim as a professional speaker.

Harrell’s faith in God and unflagging attitude propelled him to success as he enthusiastically tackled each obstacle that beset him along his path. In An Attitude of Gratitude, he presents this story as an inspiring source of encouragement for anyone who has ever experienced setbacks and wants to learn how to become better equipped to handle each challenge as it arises.

From Publishers Weekly
In this upbeat, breezy memoir, motivational speaker Harrell (Attitude Is Everything) recounts how he overcame early insecurities to become an outstanding IBM training instructor. He details the lessons he learned along the way and shares the positive attitude he always maintains. Harrell credits his achievements to his strong Christian faith and the mentors who helped him develop. As a child, the author stuttered, to his great embarrassment. He explains how he overcame his speech impairment with the help of a good speech therapist, his little league coach and a teacher who built his confidence. Harrell gave up his first dream of playing professional basketball to shift his considerable energies to a career in business. Although IBM was not hiring at the time, rigorous coaching from a cousin got him an appointment with the company and a job offer. He describes here how he overcame setbacks such as being stereotyped by some managers as a seller of illegal drugs because he is African-American. The lessons he learned that helped him move up at IBM include promoting a personal resume, turning challenges into opportunities and doing whatever hard work it took to achieve his goals. After 14 years, he left IBM to form his own professional speaking company. Continued success has deepened his religious convictions, and Harrell stresses the importance of God in his daily life throughout this recollection.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Booklist
Harrell, an inspirational speaker, recounts his own life story of struggle and eventual triumph, drawing on his experiences and faith to provide encouragement to readers. He recalls his early childhood in Seattle as a tall, skinny, awkward kid who overcame his stuttering and learned to use basketball as an outlet for achievement and personal development. He met other challenges in his youth, from racial discrimination to his parents' separation and divorce to dealing with a chronic illness. He recalls the scores of individuals who encouraged him and shared their own life lessons, including his parents, grandparents, coaches, teachers, mentors, and friends. Harrell begins each of the 21 chapters with a biblical verse and closes with a particular life lesson--changing challenges to opportunities, using turning points as learning points--drawn from his own experiences. He encourages readers to look to lessons in their own lives, understand their individual purpose in life, and develop a personal vision. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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