What story are you committed to telling yourself?
You know, the one about why you are exactly where you are today. Maybe a better ask is understanding the question,”How did I end up here?”
- Whose fault is that?
- Who do you have to thank?
- What stands, or stood in your way?
I’d like to tell you a story about a guy I know
He grew up in a pretty small town, fewer than 5,000 people. A place many would consider the “middle of no where.” As if that wasn’t enough, he grew up across the street from a prison with 1,500+ criminal offenders. Not exactly the place you think about for the “perfect childhood”or the playground across the street.
His parents worked very hard. His Mom commuted about 40 minutes each way to work for the government. Its a job she started early in her 20’s and one she would retire doing 35+ years later. Imagine 30+ years of that commute. Every day. No easy outs.
His Dad was a school teacher. Not exactly raking in the Benjamins and splashing 100’s on the table during vacations. That said, for the first 10-12 years of this child’s life his dad worked 5-6 days a week to supplement his family’s income in addition to his career as a teacher. Doing the math, his Dad worked 70 hours a week or more.
As he grew up he was a good student, but never a genius. Maybe a bit of a daydreamer, and more than anything he loved doodling during class.
He went off to college and eventually into the real world of working, but not before interning for nine months. Nine months of working (for free) and didn’t earn one penny of income while in school. What a bad break to not make a single dollar.
He started working the day after college graduation making $24,000/yr. Doesn’t sound like much…
I wonder what ever happened to him…with a story like this?
Maybe you’d like another version?
I grew up in small town (Anamosa, IA) in the middle of no where, across the street from a prison (Anamosa State Penitentiary). It’s a really beautiful structure if you ever get the chance to see it. It resembles a castle, or you could swear it was used as the backdrop in Shawshank Redemption. My parents live there to this day and we have 24/7 surveillance and security. Even a couple snipers. Pretty tough to beat, unless you’re the president.
My parents worked so hard to give my sister and I the childhood we had. We were so rich with opportunity. Anything we wanted to try, they made available as a result of their hard work and dedication. I’m sure we heard no from time to time, but I don’t remember it.
My Dad worked those two jobs for all those years because he was unreasonable in the pursuit of giving my Mom, my sister and I a life we could make the most of. He sold the drywall business when we got to be a little older and when he hit 55, he retired as well. What a dream come true!
My Mom worked for 35+ years and is also retired. She earned every bit of it. If she wasn’t working, she was shuffling one of us two kids around somewhere, and I can’t ever remember her complaining about it for a second. Even when we were brats (maybe too often).
I was never the smartest guy in school, and I’m still not, but I continue to learn. Most importantly I’m learning to ask better questions. I also continue to sketch and doodle because that’s partially what I do for a career. I think it’s safe to say that part will never leave me.
I’m extremely thankful for my internship experience having worked those nine months for free because that experience got me my first real job and that first adult paycheck. That’s when things got real and I really started learning what business and selling was really about. Looking back, I made every penny back, and then some.
Long story long. My story isn’t worthy of a 10 minute local news piece, but that’s not the point. The point is all about mindset. I will always be a guy from a small town, and I’m also not afraid to walk the streets of Manhattan to compete for opportunity.
Are you without? Is life happening to you?
Or, are you Grateful?
ACTION ITEM: Everyone is living out the story they’re committed to this very moment. Your story —->Your Life
What’s happening in your life today, is a direct result of mindset, and the story you’re committed to.
Change your story, change the outcomes!