The Promise of a Pencil Summary – May 2022

Author: Adam Braun

Short Summary
The Promise of a Pencil (2015) is a memoir slash motivational text. It is a story of a typical white guy who has attended an Ivy League, Brown University and has a stable position at a firm. Adam Braun’s story is not just defined by the titles that are attached to his name. Today he is known as the owner of a nonprofit organization: ‘Pencils of Promise’ which is helping thousands of deserving children from Africa, Asia, and Latin America secure their future by providing them with free education.
the promise of a pencil

Detailed Summary

The Promise of a Pencil is filled with motivational advice that has been distributed in precise thirty chapters by Adam Braun. In each of these chapters, he describes one of the lessons he has learned over the course of his journey in detail. In this book, he describes what motivated him to change. It was something simple: A pencil. When he asked a boy during his visit to India what he wanted the child responded that he wanted to have a pencil. Not a car, toys, ice cream, or money but just a pencil. This is when Adam Braun realized that so many children around the world were being deprived of the basic right of receiving an education. As a young white guy who had sustainable means of living, he knew that his position could bring actual change. Soon after this vision came into being Adam realized that he had to locate all of his time and energy towards his journey. He quit his job and gave all of his time to his dream of making education accessible to poor children around the globe.

In this book The Promise of a Pencil, he shares the valuable lessons he had learned since he started manifesting his dream of providing free education and study material to the poor children into reality.

The Promise of a Pencil Key Points

Following Dreams Comes with Risks and This is where Your Courage is Put to Test

It is great and century-old advice. Follow your dreams. See where they take you. You have heard of this advice over and over again and you probably want to follow it. But what happens when you actually actively start following your dreams? Well, you get scared of the risks and failures that come with following your journey. The same chances are presented to the author at each step of his journey. When he is traveling around Cambodia, he meets the Cambodian Children’s Fund Founder, Scott Neeson. At this point, he could turn a blind eye to the matter or just donate some money and move on to the next destination on his trip but he chooses to volunteer to accept the fact that he would face whatever challenges come with that responsibility. This is the same advice that he gives to the readers. Follow your dreams and do not be scared of setbacks, risks, and failures.

Manifest the Person You Want to Become and Speak His Language

 Adam Braun started his dream with only twenty-five dollars. He knew he needed people’s support and charity for the cause to come into reality. But how he, a white guy who had attended an Ivy League university attract the heart of the people of Laos. He spoke to them as his aspirational self. He communicated as if he was already there at the endpoint, having achieved his aim of building several schools. And this conviction and confidence attracted people. They got together and supported him. Often when you align yourself with your future self you are more likely to achieve your goals.

Thanking People Pays Off

Many times, someone does something nice for us and we forget to thank them. Not because we are rude but because either we are in a hurry or we do not deem it important to thank him. But Adam Braun advises his readers to thank everyone for their kindness. How does thanking people pay off? Well, take it from the journey of the author himself. After he had established several schools, he realized that he never thanked the donor who made the first sizeable donation. So, he thanked him personally. Case closed? No. The donor was so moved that the founder write him that he ended up donating more money. Not only did thanking the donor made Adam feel better but it also earned him more money for helping the children. This is why you should thank people for their support. When you stay grateful it comes back to you in many good ways.

The Promise of a Pencil Quotes

“It’s the presence of others who are smarter, kinder, wiser, and different from you that enables you to evolve. Those are the people to surround yourself with at all times.” ― Adam Braun

“The biggest difference between the person who lives his or her dreams and the person who aspires is the decision to convert that first spark of motivation into immediate action.” ― Adam Braun

The Promise of a Pencil Review

The Promise of a Pencil is a motivational journey of a person whom most of us reading this journey can relate with. A well-off job and university have secured the future of the author when he decides to travel around with his backpack and look at the children who he could help. At that that he had nothing but motivation and a dream and when you will read this book you will find the exact inspiration you need to turn your dreams into reality. It is a heartwarming journey of a person who has done his share in making this world a better place. If you want to get inspired, face challenges, and feel warm and fuzzy this book will do all that!

To Whom I Would Recommend the Promise of a Pencil

  • To the thirty-year-old guy who feels social work is his calling but is afraid to take the first step alone.
  • The twenty-two-year-old university student who is not exploring all the opportunities due to the fear of failure.
  • And to everyone who is looking for motivation and courage packed in a couple of pages.