After reading this article’s title, all of my Christian peeps would probably say, “No Chris, it’s faith the size of a MUSTARD seed, not pumpkin seed silly!” and they would be right.
However, seeing that Halloween is quickly approaching, I was reminded of something that happened years ago when I was working at a small TV station in Connecticut. In-between the 6pm newscast and eleven, we would all head out to break… maybe grab a bite to eat or something. Of course, it was around Halloween, so the station had a few pumpkins and a big brick of hay set up near the front entrance. Cute, right?
Well, somebody took it upon themselves to crush all of the pumpkins. Why? I don’t know. I remember thinking someone has some real anger issues, or simply too much time on their hands.
Fast forward a year later. Surprise! There were five times as many pumpkins! But, nobody put them out there! They were actually out there growing because of the seeds left over from the crushed pumpkins the year before! Whoa! What someone tried to destroy, turned into something incredible!
Think about it. What has someone or something tried to destroy in your own life? What circumstance has stomped out your happiness and well-being? Here are three individuals whose “pumpkins” were crushed, and how the seeds that remained turned into a mighty blessing. They know/knew how to turn adversity into success.
1. John Paul DeJoria
He is the shampoo guy, yeah, the billionaire Paul Mitchell haircare entrepreneur. He wasn’t always a billionaire. In fact, he grew up poor, selling Christmas cards door-to-door at just nine years old. He later graduated high school, joined the Navy and after six years, entered the workforce. His first job out, he was working as a salesman. He was so good, he ended up running two company divisions. He was so good, he also got fired! He soon got another sales job, and another. It turns out he was so good, he was making more money than the owner. You guessed it, fired again!
He then meets up with his friend Paul Mitchell. They decide to start a company. They line up a $500,000 investor, and everything looked great. They were all ready to go! Suddenly, the investor backed out at the very last minute. It gets worse, Dejoria’s wife left him after taking all of his savings. She also left him with their three-year-old kid. It also turns out she wasn’t paying the bills while he was away on business. Now he was homeless and living in a car with a hungry three-year-old in the back seat. His pumpkins got smashed!
Despite the adversity, he and his partner never gave up. They put together $700, and went for it anyway. Today he owns multiple businesses, but is still best known for Paul Mitchell haircare products. Through hard work, perseverance and a little luck, his “crushed pumpkins” turned into a multitude of blessings! Did I mention he’s a billionaire?
2. Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking was a world-renowned scientist, professor and author. He is best known for his groundbreaking work in cosmology and physics. Just looking at his photo, immediately you say, “Oh, I know that guy!” He is that familiar. He wrote some 15 books and many academic and professional papers. He was known worldwide for his teaching ability. In 2014, Hawking’s life was the featured in the biographical film, “The Theory of Everything.” For those who haven’t seen him, you may ask, “Well, what was his smashed pumpkin?”
Mr. Hawkins, at age 21, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in other words ALS. It is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The doctors gave him about two years to live. Here we are, fifty years later, and he is known worldwide as one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. All from an electric wheelchair, paralyzed from head to toe. He was able to continue his work thanks to a software programmer who created a system where eye movements could be converted into text. He died March 14, 2018, but continued to live on in global history, after a cruel disease “smashed his pumpkins.”
3. Mike Lindell “My Pillow Guy”
All political controversies aside, you have probably seen the crazy commercials featuring Mike Lindell, selling his famous pillows! It is hard to imagine he was once a major crack cocaine addict. In fact, according to him, he was so messed up, the drug dealers wouldn’t sell to him anymore. His marriage crumbled, he lost his house and his business fell apart. He said he got so high at one point, he slept for two weeks straight. He hit rock bottom. In other words, crack cocaine had smashed his pumpkins.
He then spent a year getting clean. He put all his energy into his pillow business. Today, he is one of the most successful business people in the world. His business boasts more than 30 million in sales and some $300 million in annual revenue; employing 500 people. Obviously, there were some serious seeds left, after drugs crushed his pumpkins!
Adversity can really make or break anyone. The key is to never give up. I don’t know anyone who welcomes problems coming into their life. The fact is, they do come. But just like those pumpkins that got smashed in front of my old job, seeds of abundance are soon to be released. You may have lost two or three jack-o’-lanterns this year, but hold on! Next year’s harvest will be more than a cruel trick, it will be an unbelievable treat!
You should always remember, keep the faith, even the size of a pumpkin seed! Then do all you know to do and in the right season, you will see your breakthrough!