The Most Influential Person In My Life

Human Builds Human

Human interaction is inevitable. Whether it be a handshake, a hug, a subtle glance or the simplest hello, these face-to-face, human interactions are crucial to the development of our character. It is not the interaction itself, however, that is so crucial. Instead, it is how these interactions influence us, that is so fundamental to our own personal growth. These influences can occur anywhere from a conversation with a random stranger to an in-depth talk with a long time friend or family member. What it comes down to is that by surrounding oneself with the right people, the potential for growth is everlasting. I was blessed enough to be able to grow up with an older brother. From a very young age, I allowed myself to look at him more as a role model than as a brother, and by doing so it allowed him to teach me and build me into the person I am today. Among the many things he has taught me, it always seems like there are three things he constantly repeats: to be self-driven, to always follow and do the things I love, and to never, in any circumstance, give up. Because of the way he has positively affected my growth as an individual, my brother has been and continues to be the biggest influence on my life.

My brother has accomplished things at the age of 22, that most people can’t accomplish in an entire lifetime. It is not luck or chance that has allowed him to be so successful, instead, it is a never ending fire within that burns self-confidence and radiates self-drive that pushes him to be the best he can be. Growing up however, that was not the case. Throughout his middle school and high school years, more often than not he would find himself completely alone. For any teenager, and anyone in general, not having friends to turn to for support and guidance is normally a recipe for disaster. However, due to the lack of support he was forced to turn to other sources, one of those being himself. Because he spent so much time alone, he was able to find a deeper motivation, one which cannot be gained from applause and recognition, and that is what set him apart. Once he began to do the things he loved because he loved them, rather than doing them for recognition, he became a different person. By the time he was a junior in high school he had a fully operating charity which worked with kids in Haiti who had been displaced by the earthquake that devastated the country. Along with that, he also began to create a name for himself in the social media and marketing community. He soon was Instagram famous with over 24,000 followers and was beginning to get job offers from major companies. 4 years later and my brother is now living in New York City doing what he loves in the city he loves. Now, as a 12 year-old kid, being able to experience first-hand my brother’s struggle to find support and then in a matter of years watch him completely reinvent himself was invigorating and changed me drastically. By watching him fight through the obstacles life had placed in front of him, it motivated me to be just as self-driven and hungry for things I am passionate about.

Watching my brother struggle to find a passion was something that I knew I never wanted to have to endure. I made sure to find my passion from a very young age, and that passion is soccer. Everything I am is a result from the devotion I have learned to put into my craft. When a person finds what it is he or she loves to do, life is no longer a simple clock that ticks 24 hours a day. It becomes a roller coaster ride, one in which you cannot predict when or where you will go up or fall down, and that is the best part. I learned from my brother that the feeling of uncertainty, and not knowing what exactly is going to happen next is one of the most exhilarating parts of life. By watching him grow, I learned that if you wait for certainty, you’ll be waiting your entire life. When I found my passion and truly knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I knew I could not wait for someone else to make it happen for me. My brother instilled into me a belief that everything you do is a result of your work, and it is because of this belief that I work every single day not only to make myself proud but to make him just as proud. Soccer has never been something that I do just for myself, there is so much more behind the scenes. I do what I love because it makes the ones I love happy and I get to inspire so many people as a result and that, to me, is the greatest form of success.

Finding my passion served as an outlet to be able to reach out and help people who, in many cases, would have been too afraid to ask for help. One of the most inspiring things I ever saw my brother do was travel to Haiti to help build homes, start a youth baseball league and ultimately, open his mind to a completely different world. However, to me, it was not the homes he built or the baseball equipment he managed to give the kids that really touched me. To me, seeing the kids’ faces literally glow in his presence, made me realize how badly I wanted to touch someone’s life in that way. Through soccer and everything I have experienced with my brother, together and separate, I found the message that I wanted to give to people and that message is to not give up. When times were hard in my life, my brother was there to remind me that no matter how badly something hurts, giving up and quitting would always hurt more, and that message echos in my head day in and day out. Him telling me not to give up proved to me that I had underlying strength that I did not even know I had and that is exactly what I want to show people. Giving people hope and letting them know that at least one person is standing with them, can completely change their life and if I can stop someone from giving up the way my brother has done for me in the past, then my life will have a whole new meaning.

I was lucky to grow up with an older brother and I would not trade it for the world. No website, Twitter page, book, magazine or newspaper could have taught .me the lessons my brother has taught me and the experiences, or interactions, we have shared. For some, the most influential person in their life could be a teacher, a friend or a parent, but I could not be more proud to say that my brother played all those parts in being the most influential person in mine.

(My brother also has a blog, feel free to check it out! David Gamboa)