Stop telling yourself what you cannot do!

This is a true story between my friend Jodel, my cousin

Jean, and me, Woodring Saint Preux.

It's not really about us; it's about fear, the excuses we
use to hide it, and the rewards you receive when you decide
to help somebody.

Back in 1998, Jean got me a job working in a warehouse in
Orangeburg, New York. I thought it was a good idea to stay
there until I got my green card.

My friend Jodel, he had other plans for me, he thought I had
a better future then to waste my time in a warehouse.

Jodel was a technician and he knew how technical I was. My
cousin Jean had no technical skills whatsoever.

Everytime jodel came to my house he would ask me the same

"Woody, why don't you go and apply at my job, it's very
easy, I know you can do it. You can make more money, and
you can wear a shirt and a tie instead of those dirty
clothes, picking up boxes in a warehouse."

Every time he confronted me, I gave him the same answer:

"Joe, I can't look for another job, I don't have a green
card. I don't have a college degree, when I get a green
card, the sky is the limit, but for now, this is my life.
This is it!"

When Joe got tired of hearing the same lame excuse over and
over, he confronted me:

"Woody, would you stop telling yourself what you cannot do?
I know and you know you don't have a green card… They
don't… Just GO… Apply… If they ask you for a green card…
don't come back…

Stop telling yourself what you cannot do!"

These seven words, "Stop telling yourself what you cannot
do", they kept on resonating inside my brain over and over

So I decided to take action.

I asked my cousin Jean for a favor

"Jean, can you go over to joe's job and apply for me? Go
through the interview and come back and tell me if they ask
you for a green card."

"But woody, I am not a technical person…"

Just go through the interview and tell me if they ask you
for a green card.
So he did… he went to the interview, for me!

He brought with him an old certificate that he received from
a school in New Jersey that was collecting dust at his
house. It must have been four or five years since he got
that certificate and he never used it.

When Jean came back from the interview, I ran to the
shipping department. I wanted to know if they did not ask
him for a green card so that I could apply.

When I got there, Jean had a smile in his face wider then
the town of Orangeburg itself.

"So, did they ask you for a green card?"

"Man, I have better news than that!"

"What news?"

"I just submitted my two weeks notice!"

"They hired me man! $24,000 and they will train me!"

"But you're not technical!"

"For $24,000 I can be technical!"

"Did they ask you for a green card?"

"Man… I don't know what Joe has been telling these guys
about you but they are wondering when you will show up!"

So I did, I went for it, I stopped telling myself what I
could not do, I left it up to others to tell me.

The funny thing is… no one ever stopped me and no one ever
told me I could not do it!

So I kept on going.

I went back to school, I wanted to learn again.

I told the school I didn't have a green card and I could not
get Financial Aid. So my counselor told me about all the
grants that I qualified for.

Today, I will tell you what Jodel told me back in 1998

Stop telling yourself what you cannot do.

When you do that, it is you who put a stop sign right in
front of your dreams and no one can remove it expect the
person who put it there.

You may not be fortunate enough to have a friend like Jodel
around you, someone who have more confidence in your
abilities, someone who see you further than you see
yourself, someone who is not afraid to confront you when you
are too afraid to confront yourself.

But you are fortunate enough to read this.

So I will say it again:

"Stop telling yourself what you cannot do"

My cousin Jean is now one of the top salesmen in that
company and he makes a lot more than $24,000 a year!

My friend Jodel Aristilde just launched a new website called with the purpose of uniting family and
friends from old Haitian neighborhoods.

As for myself, I got my green card now, so the sky is the

Thanks Joe!

Written by Woodring Saint Preux

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All Comments (5)

Joe says...

you r a very sexy

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Topic says...

Hi How are you?

I had a similar experience.

I came to the US in July 1985. Seems like a long time, but to me it was like yesterday.

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Topic says...

Unlike a lot of people I don't delete your newsletters, I read them and relate to them. But that one did it BIG TIME!!!...Not too long ago I started to live my life with those words "I CAN & I WILL"...becuase, until you vizualize it you can live have to believe you can do it for it to happen.

My sis is in the same situation like woody back in 1998...she has no green card, no looks like all doors are closing on & family are praying that better days are

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Topic says...

A great story indeed.

You have the making of a wonderful motivational speaker.

So many people could be inspired by your insights and positive outlook on life. I don't always have the time to write a response or a comment on the different articles and info you have shared with us but, when I do read them, I really enjoy them. I particularly liked the article about the Creole language.

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