From Success to Significance – Making a Choice

    Significance. Deep down all of us ponder this and dream about achieving it. As host of “Anything is Possible” on WJR-AM 760 I have met numerous people who exemplify this. One shining example is Hugh O’Brian.

    Born Hugh Charles Krampe in Rochester, N.Y., on April 19, 1925, O’Brian served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a drill instructor during World War II. At age 17, he was the youngest drill instructor in the Marine Corps.

    He became an actor and is best known for his starring role as Wyatt Earp in the television series that ran from 1955 to 1961. For his contribution to the television industry, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Hugh O’Brian with students who participate in the HOBY leadership program. Photo courtesy of HOBY

    In 1958 he founded the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), a nonprofit youth leadership development program that annually empowers 12,000 high school sophomores from across the United States as well as eight other countries. Since its inception, more than 355,000 youngpeople have benefited from their involvement with HOBY.

    The concept of HOBY was inspired by a nine-day visit to Africa by O’Brian, where he met famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who believed the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves.

    O’Brian’s message to young people: “I do NOT believe we are all born equal. Created equal in the eyes of God, yes, but physical and emotional differences, parental guidelines, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual’s development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their potential, regardless of background, has the freedom to choose in our world. Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream? I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose, to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.”

    Our natural tendency is to put this way of life (significance) off until we’re married and settled, the kids are grown, we’re financially secure or we’re retired. It seems to me that the people that achieve significance do so by combining these two ways of life rather than choosing one versus the other.

    If you wish to listen to any of the past shows, go to, click on the archived shows and each guest is listed by date of show.

    I truly believe that with God, Anything is Possible.
    Jack Krasula is president of Trustinus in Southfield and host of “Anything is Possible,” airing on Sundays at 6 p.m. on WJR-760 AM, “The Great Voice of the Great Lakes.” He can be contacted at [email protected].