Father to son — a short letter
All of us are self made but only the successful will admit it.
That’s it! The big secret to living is that both success and failure is in our hands.
Before we go any further, of course not everyone is born with the same advantages, and yes, it is not a fair starting position. Some are born into poor and some into rich families. Some have supportive parents, others may not. Some have health challenges, others may not.
If one is born with health challenges, in poverty and lack a supportive family structure, then yes, they are up against gigantic odds while a healthy person born and nurtured in a financially strong environment with access to education and extra curricular activities will have a significant head-start against most in life.
If life doesn’t stack everyone equally at the starting line then it also does not measure winners equally at the finish line.
In other words, not all success is the same. Not everyone has to be rich and famous to qualify as a success. What about success in your relationships, your impact on your family and your community, your peace of mind? But even if you stick with the rich and famous definition of success, there are countless stories of wealthy people losing it all and others who built empires from nothing.
Unlike a typical race, the finish line of life’s success is crossed differently by different people at different points in time. Each race (lifespan) is designed for the person only and he or she will be measured (success during lifespan) against their own starting position, not against someone else.
We are in a race against us. So only focus on being better today than yourself yesterday.
Life will test you regardless of your background. The only question for you is do you make the choice and then take the actions behind the choice to keep problem-solving and never give up? That is how your progress.
Here are some globally recognized individuals who never gave up in their pursuits:
Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Colonel Sanders, Nelson Mandela, Henry Ford, Stephen Hawking, Abraham Lincoln, and many others.
Since the choice to take a chance in life is yours, then the choice to learn from a failed effort is yours and then the choice to go back at it with better information is also yours and the choice to persevere and not quit is also yours.
The choice between falling down and getting up and falling down and staying down is yours!
You are the captain of your ship. Navigate life courageously.