I have recently been given the opportunity to work with a remarkable individual – Let’s call him Sam. Sam grew up as the 10th child in a large family. His father was a small dry land farmer. They were so poor that they did not have enough food to feed all the children. Sam left his home at age 10 because he wanted to attend school. He was always hungry. His day went like this. Sam woke at 5AM, studied, prayed, attended school, prayed, ate, studied until 10PM then did it again the next day. Eventually he married, immigrated to the United Stated and earned his PhD from the University of California Berkley. Wow.
Sam now lives in a nice house on the west coast, has two children, and is a well respected teacher and scientist. Sam contacted me because he wants to become an entrepreneur. When I asked him “Why change direction”, he said, “I cannot achieve my goals on my current path. I must create a different future.” I then asked him what his goals were that demanded a different path. He said “there are thousands of poor children in my home village just like I was as a child. Only a business will give me the chance to create sufficient wealth and income to support the needs of all those children. They all deserve the same chance I had and I am determined to give them that chance to grow up and follow their dreams.”
Many of us tend to take things for granted. We have food in the fridge, we have a roof over our head and we have schools to attend. Sam’s story put many things in perspective. Life’s challenges are what strengthen us. Confidence is not gained by winning, it is gained by overcoming. I think Sam will be successful. What do you think?