I have been kicking this thought around in my mind for a few weeks and last Friday, as I was traveling from Asheville, North Carolina, to our temple in Columbia, South Carolina, the answer came to me.
It was a sunny morning and the traffic was light as I drove when the thought came to me, you are the result of the choices you have made in life. You are the result of the obstacles you have faced, whether you have overcome them or not thus far in your life.
We all have challenges in life. That is why we are here. We are here to prove whether or not we can deal with the course of life and come out the winner. Life was never supposed to be a piece of cake. What would you have learned if there wasn’t any challenges to face?
I am reminded of one of my high school mates as he seldom purchased any books all through high school. I remember he did purchase one geometry book in his later grades, but that was it. Now, can you imagine what class was like for him as he sat there day after day, listening to the class being instructed on material he understood two or three years earlier?
Look at the people we hold up as heroes today. If you were to read their life histories you would find stories of obstacles they had to overcome and most of them were serious obstacles.
One of my mentors, David Blanchard, falls in this category. During the early 2000’s, when real estate was booming, he did really well, and he had the houses, cars, jewelry and other trappings to go with it. Then, the market hit a snag and down it went. That was an especially trying time for anyone in the real estate industry. Before it was all over, Dave found himself over $10,000,000.00 in debt.
Everything he owned that once held any value was worthless. Dave said he had a decision to make. He could have filed bankruptcy and try and get out from under all of his debt like many others did, but Dave was made of different stock. He, along with his wife, decided to repay it, all of it. As a result, he had to hone the talents he had developed but had been latent. He went on to write plays, books and eventually became the CEO of the Og Mandino Group. Don’t you think he is serving man-kind better as a coach and an inspirational speaker than he would be if he were building houses?
I am sure that if you were to ask David Blanchard today “who he is”, the answer would be; “I am the result of working those 10 years repaying those people I promised I would repay, thus preventing them from losing money by believing in me”.
If he had not met and overcome those challenges, he would be someone else, but not the man he is today.
Years ago, someone who had accomplished some great feat, was being introduced as a self-made man and someone else responded, we all are self-made men, but only the successful ones will admit it.
So, who are you, my fellow Baby Boomers? If someone said that you are a self-made person, would you admit it?
I have made it my goal in life to help every Baby Boomer finally become who they were meant to be.