“This country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.”
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
“All we have built, all we have worked for would be destroyed in the first 24 hours.”
“There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future, let them come to Berlin.”
– John F. Kennedy
He was an American Politician who served as the 35th President of the United States of America.
He was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd, 1963.
He continues to rank highly in polls of the general public and historians as one of the greatest Presidents of all time.
He’s John F Kennedy. And here’s my take on his top 10 rules of success.
Rule Number Two is my personal favorite and I’m curious to figure out which one you guys like the best and as always, as he’s talking and he says something really meaningful then that resonates with you, please leave it in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired as well, enjoy.
Rule #1. Move forward
Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships as well as higher reward. So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer, to rest, to wait.
But this city of Houston, this state of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who move forward and so will space.
Rule #2. Set high standards
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted to role of defending freedom in it’s hour of maximum danger.
I do not shrink from this responsibility, I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation.
The energy, the faith, the devotion, which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so my fellow Americans, ask now what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
“Ask now what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. ” – John F. Kennedy
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.
With a good conscience, our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking his blessing and his help, but knowing that here on earth, God’s work much truly be our own.
Rule #3. Look inwards
Some say that it is useless to speak of peace or world law or world disarmament and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude, I hope they do.
I believe we can help them do it.
But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitudes, as individuals and as a nation.
For our attitude is as essential as theirs.
And every Graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace should begin by looking inward, by examining his own attitude towards the possibilities of peace, towards the Soviet Union, towards the course of the Cold War and towards freedom and peace here at home.
“Our problems are man made, therefore they can be solved by man and man can be as big as he wants.” – John F. Kennedy
First examine our attitude towards peace itself.
Too many of us think it is impossible.
Too many think it is unreal but that is a dangerous, defeatist belief.
It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable.
That mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control, we need not accept that view. Our problems are man made, therefore they can be solved by man and man can be as big as he wants.
No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.
Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable and we believe they can do it again.
Rule #4. Aim high
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills because that challenge is one that we’re willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we tend to win and the others too.” – John F. Kennedy
By why some say the moon, why choose this as our goal?
And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain?
Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?
Why does Rice play Texas, we choose to go to the moon.
We choose to go to the moon.
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills because that challenge is one that we’re willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we tend to win and the others too.
Rule #5. Stand for something
We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom, symbolizing an end as well as a beginning, signifying renewal as well as change.
For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath, our forbearers prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago. The world is very different now.
For man holds in his mortal hands, the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life and yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebearers fought are still an issue around the globe, the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.
“Let every nation know whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” – John F. Kennedy
We dare not forget the day that we are the heirs of that first revolution.
Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed to which we are committed to day at home and around the world.
Let every nation know whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Rule #6. Fight for freedom
We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and as clear as the American Constitution, the heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.
“This nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.” – John F. Kennedy
If an American, because his skin is dark cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place?
Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay, 100 years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves.
Yet their heirs, their grandsons are not fully free. They are not yet free from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet free from social and economic oppression. And this nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.
Rule #7. Resolve differences
It is discouraging to read a recent authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find on page after page, holy baseless and incredible claims such as the allegation that American Imperialist Circles are preparing to unleash different types of war, that there is a very real threat of a preventative war being unleashed by American Imperialists against the Soviet Union and that the political aims and I quote, of the American Imperialist are to enslave economically and politically the European and other Capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of aggressive war, unquote.
Truly as it was written long ago, the wicked flee when no man pursuith. Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements, to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning, a warning to the American people, not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.
No government or social system is so evil that it’s people must be considered as lacking in virtue.
As Americans we find Communism profoundly repugnant, as a negation of personal freedom and dignity.
But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements in Science and Space and economic and industrial growth, in culture, in acts of courage.
Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war, almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other.
And no nation in the history of the battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives.
“Those differences can be resolved and if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” – John F. Kennedy
Countless millions of homes and families were burned or sacked, a third of the nation’s territory, including 2/3rds of it’s industrial base was turned into a wasteland, a loss equivalent to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.
Today, should total war every break out again, no matter how, our two countries will be the primary target.
It is an ironic, but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation.
All we have built, all we have worked for would be destroyed in the first 24 hours and even in the Cold War, which brings burdens and dangers to so many countries, including this nation’s closest allays, our two countries bear the heaviest burdens.
For we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be better devoted to combat ignorance, poverty and disease. We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous cycle with suspicion one side breeding suspicion on the other.
And new weapons begetting counter weapons. In short, both the United States and its allays and the Soviet Union and its allays have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in holding the arms race.
Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union, as well as ours. And even the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations and only those treaty obligations which are in their own interest so let us not be blind to our differences but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved and if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
Rule #8. Express your beliefs
For the separation of church and state is absolute. For no Catholic fellow would tell the President, should he be Catholic how to act. And now Protestant Minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote.
Where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish, where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Counsel of Churches or any other Ecclesiastical source.
For no religious body seeks to impose its will, directly or indirectly upon the general populous or the public acts of its officials and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
For while this year, it may be a Catholic against who the finger of suspicion is pointed. In other years it has been and may someday be again, a Jew or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist.
It was Virginia’s Harassment of Baptist Preachers, for example that led to Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you.
Rule #9. Create a better future
To those nations, who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request that both sides begin anew the quest for peace.
Before the dark towers of destruction unleashed by science, engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self destruction. We dare not tempt them with weakness.
For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can be we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed but neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course, both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing toward that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind final war.
So let us begin anew, remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness and sincerity is always subject to proof.
Let us never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate.
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.
Let both sides for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations. Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of it’s terrors, together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depth and encourage the arts and commerce.
” Let us begin anew, remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness and sincerity is always subject to proof.” – John F. Kennedy
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah to undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free and if a beach head of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power but a new world of law where the strong are just and the weak, secure and the peace preserved.
All this will not be finished in the first 100 days, nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet but let us begin. In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine will rest the final success or failure of our course.
Rule #10. Give great speeches
There are many people in the world who really don’t understand or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin.
There are some who say, there are some who say that Communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the Communists, let them come to Berlin.
“Freedom has many difficulties and Democracy is not perfect. But we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us.” – John F. Kennedy
And there are even a few who say, that it’s true that Communism is an evil system but it permits us to economic progress. Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
Freedom has many difficulties and Democracy is not perfect. But we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, Ich bin ein Berliner.
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Natalie Moses asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it down in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do.
I’d also love to know what did you learn in this video from JFK, what was the best rule for you? What are you going to apply to your business or your life? Please leave it in the comments and I’m going to join in the discussion.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Antonio from Real Men Real Style. Antonio, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book and sending that tweet out. It really, really, really means a lot to me that you support me, so thank you guys so much for watching, I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever Your One Word is, much love, I’ll see you soon.