What drives you? What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning? What’s your, not necessarily purpose, but passion/motivating factor? For me it has been two specific and consistent things: one, I have this insatiable gut wrenching feeling that I am destined to be and do something great with my life; and two, I want to prove everyone who does not think so wrong.
You ever wake up in the morning, take an objective look at your life and think to yourself this cannot be it. Not that what you have is bad, or that you necessarily need more, but just the idea alone that there is more to be had. Like, there is no way my story starts and stops right here, even if “right here” would be a good ending. That’s been my waking experience every moment of everyday. I continue to believe that there is more for me than what meets the eye. Heck, I’m foolish enough to believe that one day I’ll be rich and famous, not for my own sake, but for the sake of others.
To whom much is given, much is required.
That’s a mantra that permeates my being. I remember working in the city, and every time I would see a homeless person I would think to myself, “I’m not too far off from being in this position”. I would make sure that whenever I went into the city I had some cash even if it was my last, so that I could give something to a person on the street.
I would frequent the subway going from NY Penn to Grand Central Station, and every time I took that metro, there would always be this man begging for 50 cents; just 50 cents. He would say that he is selling newspapers (who knows whether or not they were current), and that if everyone would just purchase one news paper from him for 50 cents he would be able to get shelter for the night and a meal. I do not know whether or not his math was right, all I knew was there was this man that looked like me, doing the exact same thing I was doing literally and metaphorically, and the only thing that separated me from him was that someone had given me “50 cents” when I needed it.
Growing up with my dad, his mother, two sisters, and brother, all under one roof was a constant driving force for me as well. at an early age I made up in my mind that I would be better than him. Not because of any animus towards my family, but because of the fact that these were grown people who never left home, and I did not want that for myself.
I remember one of my family members laughing at me when I said I was pursing a career in insurance. A few weeks later three people who I thought were close friends said that they did not trust or like me as a person. One of my family members once called me a white supremacists just because of who I chose to spend my time with. I remember going to my pastor and confiding in him, and he not supporting me in my endeavors. I’ve had people either covertly or overtly say that I demonstrate zero leadership qualities. When I lost my graduate assistant position (see: My Bout with Unemployment), during my year end review, one of the people reviewing me, did not even give me the time of day, slouching in her chair, and seemingly unbothered/unconcerned by the fact that she was literally about ruin my life as I knew it. These are just examples of instances in my life that negatively impacted me that these people probably do not even remember. And while I can choose to focus on the hurt and pain inflicted on me by others, who does that benefit?
I do not know the reason behind why people are the way they are other than, hurt people hurt people. All I’m saying is these are the things that motivate me: everyday coming to terms with the fact that I’m more than just a waste of space, even when I do not feel that way, and showing people why it was wrong to ever think it was okay to count me out. The reason why this has come up as a topic of discussion for me is because of my new job (see Food for Thought #2). Even though it’s only been a week, since starting there I have a new found sense of passion. This job has helped me find the motivation and drive that I allowed life take from me over the last year. It feels good to want and to strive for something. It feels even better to remember why I want it in the first place.
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