Think back to that first stumbling block that you ever faced. You know that one episode in the sand box, school yard, park or anything alike. Do you remember how you faced it? What you did? Did you cry out for help, then wipe away those tears, dust yourself off and look the word NO, or the IDEA OF FAILURE in the face and say THAT'S NOT HOW THIS IS GOING TO GO DOWN. Or did you cry, walk away and just think if I have to work for it, it's not worth it. What did you do? Do you remember?
Just take a moment to think about it.
This week, I had the chance to hear some awesome successful entrepreneurs talk about their experiences as part of Chicago's Ideas Week. And one of the speakers talked about how he could look back to the way he hustled and sold baseball cards as a kid and realized in his older age that the way he acted then was completely representative of how he reacted to challenges in his life now. And then he asked us all to think about it in terms of ourselves. Did we all think that how we reacted 20 odd years ago was representative of how we reacted now to the challenges that we face in our lives?
In all honesty, I thought about it for a long time. And likely because I wasn't sure what my definition of a challenge was as a kid. I mean was I challenged when my parents forced me to eat all the yucky Indian food off my plate before I could leave the kitchen at dinner time. Or was I challenged at school when I struggled to be, look or act like the cool kids. What was it?
Truthfully after thinking about it for some time, I realized that every single one of those elementary moments (e.g. learning how I could make my "plate" appear empty so I could be allowed to leave the dinner table), was a challenge and if I thought about it carefully, the way I acted then was and is the way I act now. I think the only difference is that now I feel fearless and pretty much unstoppable. I have the confidence I wished I had as a kid and while my palms still get a bit sweaty, I do react the same exact way.
So what is my reaction? Well when I think back to the Indian food I was forced to finish off my plate, I started off crying, you know the good old girl kinds of tears that get you pretty much out of everything and anything. And then after that worked a few times, I realized just how exhausting crying like that was. I mean I know I am dramatic by nature, but an actress I am not, and I just can't cry on command like that every single day. So then I realized I had a choice. I either give in and let my parents win or I come up with a solution. And a solution I came up with (annnd not one I can openly share online with fear of my parents finding out, lol), NO ONE was going to stand in the way of me getting to my late night TV, especially not GROSS INDIAN FOOD. And after that if I look at all the struggles and all the challenges I have faced since those very days, I have never given up. I have stayed so completely committed to the things I want and have just learned to look challenges in the face with creativity, determination and belief. If I want it to happen it's going to happen one way or another. No one, no how, no anything is and was ever going to stand in my way.
So what was it for you? That first challenge, that first stumbling block? And did you act the same way then that you do now? And if not, do you wish you did?
Leaving you with some things to ponder. Til next time..