I believe that your success in life is not created or hindered by your upbringing; I believe that you create your own destiny. While many believe that the environment one is raised in determines their future, history has proven this to be false. Some of the most influential figures in history have risen to fame and success from poverty, abuse, and generally detrimental backgrounds.
I was fortunate enough to be raised in a very positive environment. My upbringing was filled with love and support, and I was provided with all of the tools that I needed to create my own success. While I might have an advantage over others in this respect, my future success still lies in my hands. My family members have always been my role models, but I do not attribute my triumphs and failures to my upbringing. Though it may sound egocentric, I credit all of these accomplishments and disappointments to myself.
I did not develop this belief on my own; instead it was instilled in me through the most inspirational person in my life, my mother. My mother embodies the meaning of the word hard working; her drive and determination in life are astounding. My mother grew up in a family of nine children with a father who lost his job due to a debilitating illness, and a mother who chose to stay at home instead of contributing to the household income. They didn’t have the luxuries that have become commonplace in my life, and with so many children, individual support and attention was often lacking.
Due to this lack of personal attention many of my mother’s siblings chose to drop out of high school, some became involved with the wrong crowds, and some became complacent being a high school graduate living on a minimum wage salary. My mother was not complacent; she chose to break the cycle of underachievement that others in her family had selected. As a young woman of 18 years old she chose success. After thirty years of working for the same company she had risen through the ranks and not only broke through the glass ceiling, but shattered it completely. From her I have learned never to accept mediocrity.
She is the reason why I believe that we are not the products of our circumstances; we are the products of our decisions. I believe that I can choose my own destiny, and it can be as grand or as simple as I want it to be. Success is subjective; it can be defined by any measure of things from the success of raising a family, the success of helping others, or the success of making money. I believe that I choose my own fate, and I have chosen success.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.