Read an Excerpt
I challenge you. I dare you.
I challenge you to be a winner. No, not in golf, but in your own life, in whatever you choose to do, whatever you care about. I challenge you to make a difference in the world, to reach higher and farther than you ever imagined. I challenge you to start something.
Are you up for it? Are you ready for the challenge of a lifetime? Because this challenge, if you succeed, offers rewards that will change the way you think, act, and live -- forever. If you believe, like I do, that we all have the ability to make a difference in the world -- in school, at home, with our families and friends, and within ourselves -- then this book will get you started toward becoming a bigger, better person -- a role model.
Let me introduce you to my role model, my hero: my dad. When I was a kid, he taught me to believe that anything is possible, and he's living proof that it's true. He has overcome so many obstacles in his own life, and he learned the hard way that big dreams can have beautiful results. By the time he was thirteen, his parents had died and he was left to be raised by his sister. Even though there was little money for him to go to college, he was determined to get his education, and because he was such a great athlete he earned a baseball scholarship to Kansas State University, becoming the first black baseball player in the Big Eight Conference. After his freshman year, he had the opportunity to become a professional baseball player, but decided instead to stick with school so he could get his degree. After graduation, he entered the Army and eventually joined the Green Berets (one of the most dangerous and demanding jobs anywhere), worked his way up to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and fought in the Vietnam War -- twice. Later, while stationed in Thailand, he met my mom, and when they moved back to the United States, they encountered racial prejudice, as he had his entire life. And then, of course, he ended up having a son who loves to play golf, a sport that had never really been open to minorities (and certainly not to three-year-olds!). I am overwhelmed by what he had to overcome to make it possible for me to achieve my goals. I say this with great pride: I wouldn't be where I am today without him.
Believe me: Whatever he's written in these pages, he's learned from experience.
In this book, you'll find many of the ideas and lessons he taught me when I was growing up. Now he and I want to pass them on to you, so that you can find ways to make them part of your life. I use these ideas every day, whenever I have to make a decision or solve a problem, whenever I'm feeling down or frustrated, whenever I'm not sure which way to turn. I have always discovered the right answer in the lessons you'll find in this book.
He also taught me the importance of reaching out to others, helping people who are less fortunate, and sharing my success with them. The most important thing I've ever learned is to "share and care" for others, and you'll read about that a lot in this book. This concept inspired the Tiger Woods Foundation, the not-for-profit charitable organization that my dad and I created, with him as its president. Our goal is to reach out to kids just like you by supporting programs and organizations that can show you how to set goals for yourself and offer you the opportunity to turn your dreams into reality. We want to make a difference. Don't you?
As you'll see, my dad is a firm believer that dreams can come true, and I'm living proof that he's right. But he also showed me that nothing is possible if you don't work for it. That's what this book is all about: your commitment to create possibilities for yourself and for others. Nothing you read here will make you a great golfer. But if you're open to it, there is so much that will make you a great friend, a great teammate, a great son or daughter, a great brother or sister, a great student, and, most important, a great person. I hope that the suggestions and concepts you'll discover here will be as helpful and inspiring to you as they have been to me in my life.
I am committed to giving the best of myself. With your help, I believe we can make a difference in the lives of others across the world. I challenge you to join me. The time is now!
Copyright © 2000 by The Tiger Woods Foundation