Where you are does not depend on your parents

July 1, 2012 at 1:01 am Leave a comment

Recently, I was talking to a family member who was complaining that his mother who was an educator had created many leaders (engineers, doctors and pastors) in the Haitian community but she had neglected him. He was complaining about the fact that his mother encouraged and praised others who were intellectually less capable than him but did not see the need to shower praise on him. By the way, this family member is a computer professional. So, it’s not like he’s a bum.

Here is my take. While I agree that his mom could have praised him more and possibly seek more educational opportunities for him, I don’t think that his mom has anything to do with where he is in life. Here is the irony, there are many people who are worst off than this family member including people who have overcome abject povery, physical and mental abuse including rape and incest to achieve great things.

An important attribute of those who are in leadership position is their emotional intelligence which I define as the ability to manage one’s own emotions and manage the emotions of others. Based on that definition of emotional intelligence, a key characteristic is to be one’s own cheerleader and not be affected by outside conditions. It is high emotional intelligence that makes someone ask questions such as:

  • Has anybody in similar conditions achieved what I want to accomplish? Has there been anyone with less favorable backgrounds who succeded in what I want to achieve?
  • What did they do to overcome their disadvantage background?
  • Even if everybody else has failed, could I learn from their mistakes to succeed? Would a different approach lead me to success?

Personally, I believe as Zig Ziegler would say that after 18 years parents should no longer be held responsible for where you are or where you will be in life. This is even more so for someone who wants to become a leader.

So, how does one free themselves from the shackles of: “my parents didn’t praise me enough”; “they loved my siblings more than me”; “I felt neglected”; “they could have invested more in me but didn’t” or “I didn’t have the parents to push me”? The answer is to change the tape or the operating system.

Again, the fact is that there are plenty of examples of people (Oprah and Bill Clinton come to mind) in similar situations who managed to reach what anyone would consider the highest level of success. These successful people have clearly shown that one’s past is not linked to one’s future (see earlier post on that topic). What matters are the actions in the present that will bring about that better desired future.

Entry filed under: Sucess. Tags: , .

Great Video on Success Some Pictures from Egypt

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