When he moved to the U.S. from Switzerland nearly 25 years ago, Randy Beiner started an annual tradition of writing down his dreams, both short- and long-term bucket-list stuff, mostly involving travel. A successful businessman, he has visited 44 countries.
A few years ago, while putting pen to pad, he made a fundamental shift, deciding to help others more than focusing on his own goals. His wife, Amy, agreed, and they set out to make an impact on the lives of low-income teenagers near their hometown of Foster City, California, and surrounding cities.
At local high schools and a Boys & Girls Club, Beiner gives hourlong classroom-like seminars based on Chapter 8 of SUCCESS for Teens: Real Teens Talk about Using the Slight Edge, the cornerstone book of SUCCESS for Teens, a personal-development curriculum by the SUCCESS Foundation. The chapter “Make Your Dreams Come True” offers four steps to reach the specific and tangible goals that make up success:
1. Picture it vividly.
2. Look at it every day.
4. Don’t quit on yourself.
Beiner encourages his classes to write down their goals as he did for so many years. “The last two years working with these teenage kids have been so rewarding and satisfying for my wife and me,” Beiner says. “It’s the perfect time to reach them as they are entering adulthood but aren’t too jaded. They still are willing to listen to advice.”
Beiner also shares his own stories, from growing up in Switzerland to the places he has traveled. The kids are usually most impressed with the Egyptian pyramids. After that, everyone writes down five goals, four of their own and a fifth for paying it forward by helping someone else—a parent, a sibling, a friend—achieve a goal. (SUCCESSFoundation.org offers free downloads of the e-book, facilitator’s guide and audio to qualifying public schools, churches and nonprofit youth-development programs.)
“No one has ever encouraged them to think that big, to dream beyond the world they have lived to that point,” Beiner says. “For a lot of them, graduating high school resonates pretty high on the list. After everyone writes their goals, we have them close their eyes and visualize them. It’s amazing the impact something so simple can have.”
Some of the goals have already become reality, which is the ultimate prize for the Beiners.
“My goal is to inspire one kid each class,” he says. “My wife and I go out together trying to inspire these kids, and we are the ones who end up inspired.”
To download the e-book, learn about the program, share your story about it or make a contribution, visit SUCCESSFoundation.org. Leaders, participants and donors can request a profile in SUCCESS by emailing info@SUCCESSFoundation.org.
This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.