One day when I was in 5th grade, I was called to the front of my classroom during a test at PS 215 in Brooklyn by my teacher, Mr. Kerper. He handed me an envelope filled with money. He took a collection up from the other teachers because he noticed I had been wearing the same pants for 3 weeks straight. I was embarrassed.
When I went home, my mother told me to give back the money. My situation motivated me to find my first job, at the age of 10. After spending eight hours one day on King's Highway looking for a job, I found Freddy the Fruit Man, who offered me a job stocking fresh fruits and vegetables for the neighborhood.
After my first day on the job, I told my mom not to worry about me. Going forward, I would work enough to get all of the things I needed... as a 10 year old. It's kind of odd, but hey, you can't let a bump in the road put you on the side of the road.
I felt like that story gave me a distinct advantage because I took accountability for my situation and made a difference in my own life. I took my matters into my own hands, and I got shit done. I didn't let myself feel poor, despite my poor circumstances.
Have you been as accountable for your life as you could be? I urge all of you reading this not to let circumstances get in the way of the person you want to be. I knew I'd be able to change my poor circumstances in time.
Are you using your situation as a roadblock to not do better and do more?
Once you're accountable for your actions, the people around you, and the good and bad decisions you've made, you can move forward.
Alex Rodriguez is another great example. People see A-Rod and everything he's done over the years. Who can forget when he kissed himself in the mirror or tanned in Central Park? Of course, he was suspended all season in 2014 for violating the league's Performance Enhancing Drugs policy.
He's been through a lot, and a lot of it was self-induced as he now admits. But it wasn't until he sat down in front of our fans, faced them, and admitted his wrongdoings head-on.
As he said, we "don’t have to be defined by all our mistakes. How you come back matters, too." Nobody should be defined by their mistakes because they enable you to move forward in the future.
And as you all can see, A-Rod's doing pretty well for himself these days. He's on TV constantly talking baseball, and has been dating Jennifer Lopez. I think his admissions and apologies really went a long way towards all of his current success.
Quite the turn-around, if you ask me.
I know a lot of you still question Alex, but hey, he did the crime and did the time. He apologized for his mistakes. You have to respect him for doing something like that.
Watch this awesome, inspiring clip from my interview with the former Yankees slugger:
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Quote of the day: "Faith is unseen but felt, faith is strength when we feel we have none, faith is hope when all seems lost." - Anonymous
Song of the Day: “I Feel Fine" - The Beatles