I never seem to be motivated by other people’s stories of how they accomplished their dreams in the face of adversity. I don’t really care about people’s stories of perseverance, faith, courage, or whatever strength of character allowed them to reach their goals. Maybe that’s because I never had anyone to motivate me other than myself and a twisted sense of spite.
I decided early on that I would accomplish everything I could because people around me told me I wasn’t capable. Spite is a great motivator, for a while, but it becomes an empty feeling when there is no one left to prove wrong. In the end, I decided to accomplish things for myself, and later for my family’s well-being.
When I was a kid, no one really motivated me or gave me guidance on how to accomplish the things that were important to me. No one took an active role in helping me become the person I wanted to be. I can’t remember anyone sitting me down and telling me “You’re smart enough, you can do this, but you have to work hard and push yourself to succeed.” As I grew into adulthood, I just forged ahead with good and bad decisions, and made some really dumb mistakes along with my humble successes.
I didn’t really have any guidance as a kid, but that’s not to say I did everything alone. My friend Lisa and I encouraged each other and pushed each other to succeed in school; I had other friends in college who did the same thing. My high school band teacher taught me how to act with integrity and hold myself to a higher standard. The pastor at our church showed me dignity and humility, even if the religious teachings didn’t last very long.