A comment I received from a reader earlier in the week, as well as the events of the last few days, drove me to contemplate the concept of one’s true potential. The recent events of the past day for instance, have seen me spending time with friends and family to enjoy company and talk about the “good old days”. An inevitable turn in the conversation always leads into questions like “What happened to such-and-such?” or “I heard so-and-so was in jail now, is that true?” With the way things are going on in my life, I thought it interesting to reflect on the steps that have led me up to today as well as the steps that have led people I know to where they now are.
In all honesty it wasn’t so much interesting as it was sad. And when I say sad, I don’t want anyone to misconstrue it for my inferring that I pity these people in some condescending or otherwise nasty manner. By sad, I simply mean that I’ve grown up either around or along with these people as they’ve gotten older. I’ve spoken to or shared meals with them, sung with some of them and even learnt one or two things from them. These are people who have, to some extent, shaped who I am today and were a determinant of who I wanted to be in the future.
The thing that shook me up the most, was that part of how they were raised, or what they experienced, was the same as me. Some of their best events and some of their most terrible. I think about who I am, who my parents are and ponder on how life can go so terribly wrong for a person. How can life get so bad? But in asking this question, I’m also not naive enough to fail to recognise how, by taking one step at a time, a person can lead himself as well as others into the abyss of despair faster than you think. What rocks me is that I can somewhat accurately track the events in my own life and be able to match them up near-perfectly with people who’ve made different choices to me, resulting in dangerous results. I know which choices were the same as these people and which ones were different. I know the friends and family who have guided me in my life and am truly grateful because, although scary to think about, I also know that if things had been different, that could have been me.
Is not when you get old enough to start making your own mistakes that you realise how fortunate you are. If we all went left instead of right when we approached that metaphorical fork in the road, our lives could potentially be very different. No longer would we be enjoying the small comforts of a loving family and a warm home. Gone are those simple mornings of waking up to a child, prodding you to make their breakfast. Never again would you have the joy of coming home to a loving spouse and kind friend. Away with the times when you could confess your greatest fear and know there was someone to hear you out. This is the other side of my mirror and what is my greatest fear.
I love my children and I adore my wife and I am so very grateful for the family and friends that I have in my life. I never wish to lose any of them and this journey reminds me of how blessed I really am and of what the real purpose behind this challenge is. Not to just attain the success of a millionaire but to also become the husband, father, sibling and friend deserving of that success. A man whose values see him worth $1 million, not just his bank account.
A tall order I’m sure but I’m tired of being the recluse, the ineffective, the victim. Life can be better because I’ve seen others become better.
Who am I to talk about making $1 million in 80 days? That’s the wrong question my friends because I’m absolutely no different from you which inevitably draws us to the right question we should all ask ourselves, which is “Who are we not to talk about making $1 million in 80 days? Or 60 days? Or even 40 days?”
I challenge everyone who reads this post to ask that same question and give yourself to the process, after all, it can’t hurt to ask, can it?