“The one thing all famous authors, world class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things.
Yet still, they began their journeys.”
How true is this statement? Think of all the great inventors in the world, before they created cars, airplanes, cell phones and computers, they simply had an idea. They trusted that their idea was worth committing to. Our favorite athletes were not born famous or athletic. Our favorite bands didn’t always know how to play musical instruments. These people started their lives the same way we all did – with plenty of opportunity and a plethora of decisions to make. The reason successful people succeed is because they believe in themselves and they aspire to make their dreams come true. They don’t give up when it gets hard and they persevere in all circumstances. As soon as a hero gives up, they cease to be a hero.
Oprah Winfrey is a perfect example of this situation. She was born into poverty to a teenage single mother in urban Milwaukee. Nothing about the beginning of her life says “she is destined to be great!” In fact, this description gives quite the opposite judgment. Yet, we all know the impact she has made on the world.
My own life started similarly in the sense that I was raised by a single mother. I have three brothers. It wasn’t always easy to feed and clothe four children on a single parent’s income. Maybe it’s this hardship at such a young age that motivates people to succeed. I know for myself, I always had to work for the things I wanted. I used to sell Christmas Cards, wrapping paper and cookies door-to-door for a profit of $1 per sale. I was lucky to make $14 a year doing this. I was probably 10 years old when I started this “job”.
In my family, we weren’t given allowances, but instead we were paid for doing chores. Each job paid twenty-five cents and if we completed 5 chores per week we earned a bonus dollar. If we didn’t do chores, we didn’t get paid. If we did every single chore possible, we made bank! While kids in my neighborhood had collections of Barbie dolls and Cabbage Patch Kids, I was climbing trees, riding my bike and imagining fortresses in the sky.
I’m not telling these stories to gain any sympathy. There is a great lesson here. I learned at a young age to be accountable for myself. I couldn’t wait for some magical wand to fall in my lap and make my life easy. I had to make my life happen. I learned that when I was lazy, my life was boring. When I was motivated and passionate, amazing things happened.
That same lesson applies today. When I contribute towards my dreams, I get closer to them and they come true. When I cave in to resistance, fear or laziness, nothing exciting happens. I’ve learned that my dreams depend on me. My life needs me to commit fully for anything to happen. Nobody is going to be more passionate about my life than me. No one is going to come in and make things happen for me. I have to make things happen for myself.