The Promise of a Pencil | Adam Braun

Summary of: The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change
By: Adam Braun


In ‘The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change’, Adam Braun shares his incredible journey of founding the charity Pencils of Promise. You’ll learn how to overcome societal expectations, take risks, and turn your dreams into reality. Adam’s experiences from backpacking across the globe, facing challenges and using his intuition will inspire you to trust your inner voice and pursue what you’re truly passionate about. Discover the importance of getting out of your comfort zone, learning from mistakes, and building strong relationships to succeed in realizing your dreams.

Pursue Your Dreams

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you took risks instead of playing it safe? Chasing your dreams may seem daunting, especially when societal expectations contradict them, but you shouldn’t let that stop you. Adam Braun founded Pencils of Promise despite family criticism and raised $10,000 to build a school in a Laotian village. Pencils of Promise grew so much that they opened their 100th school in Ghana. Realizing your dreams may seem unattainable, but it’s important to try. Dreams will always remain just that if you never pursue them. It’s crucial to start taking action towards achieving your goals and living your dream today!

Expand Your Horizons

Stepping out of our comfort zones can lead to life-changing experiences, as it exposes us to new insights and cultures. Though it’s not easy, thinking positively and taking risks is necessary to break free from personal bubbles where we surround ourselves with like-minded people. For instance, Adam backpacked across the globe during a semester off, a decision that changed his life entirely. Although he faced many obstacles, he followed through and gained fresh insights, eventually founding Pencils of Promise. During his travels in Guatemala, Adam agreed to teach a family English, and in exchange, the family offered him a place to stay. He made friends and learned about Guatemalan culture, experiences he wouldn’t have had if he’d stayed within his comfort zone. Stepping out of our comfort zones helps us to learn more about ourselves and gain new perspectives.

The Power of Intuition

Your intuition is your most powerful adviser; it knows what’s best for you long before you realize it and guides you towards your dreams. This book teaches you to listen to your inner voice and make confident choices. Through Adam’s experience of founding a charity, we learn how to interpret signs to make important decisions. Pay attention to your intuition, it can lead you to your dreams.

The Power of Small Steps

It’s ironic how the biggest things often begin with the smallest steps. Adam, the founder of Pencils of Promise, started with a simple act of kindness that changed a young boy’s life. This experience inspired him to push past his limitations and begin his organization. Small steps, such as opening a bank account and fundraising among loved ones, helped him gradually grow his charity into a successful venture. Adam’s story teaches us that pursuing our dreams does not have to be insurmountable. Taking small steps can lead us to reach our goals without necessarily requiring vast resources. These small actions can change our lives and those of others. One small step could be the start of a significant journey towards achieving our dreams.

The Power of Confidence

Confidence is a crucial element when pursuing your dreams. It helps in remaining steadfast during challenges and propels one towards success. The book highlights Adam’s experiences in Africa and Nepal, and how his self-belief helped him overcome unexpected obstacles. In the face of danger, acting confidently shows that one is in charge. Staying confident and calm in adverse situations can lead to positive outcomes. Confidence is the key to fulfilling your purpose and pursuing your goals relentlessly.

Mastering Language for Success

Language plays a vital role in determining success, and people must learn to use it to their advantage. Choosing the right words when presenting oneself to potential supporters can make all the difference. For instance, Adam, the founder of Pencils of Promise, realized that even well-established words could negatively impact people. By changing the phrase ‘non-profit’ to ‘for-purpose,’ he created a positive association and fostered more significant interest. Using language to make ideas more concrete is another advantage. As seen in Adam’s trip to Ghana, voicing those ideas aloud increases their chances of being realized. During a gala event, Adam spurred guests to donate by promising to open a school in Ghana if they raised one million dollars that evening. The result was remarkable, and a few months later, Pencils of Promise inaugurated its first school in Ghana.

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