Maybe you believe, because you didn’t get a formal education, you aren’t smart enough to excel. Or because your family didn’t have money when you were growing up, you’ll never be prosperous. Or because you got fired from your most recent job, you’ll never again sustain steady, lucrative employment. Or because you went through a divorce (or two), all of your romantic relationships are doomed.
Truth is, everything’s an opportunity. It’s never too late to build the life you dream of. One filled with deep peace, lasting joy, meaningful relationships, fulfillment and prosperity. Consider media magnate Oprah Winfrey, billionaire Andrew Carnegie and blockbuster author JK Rowling. All of them came from humble beginnings. Instead of seeing their past as a limiting factor, they kept their focus on the road—and possibilities—ahead.
Not only does your past not limit your future, personal attributes considered by the world to be disadvantages can become your most valuable assets and the keys to unimaginable success. Peter Mark Roget is a case in point. While at the age of 61, he was already a respected British physician, lecturer and inventor, like many of his family members, he also suffered from what the world calls “mental illness.”
While, in comparison to his other family members, Roget was considered by many to be “the sane one,” they also labeled him as odd and difficult. Even he described himself as judgmental, humorless, obsessive and paranoid. He counted his steps and was fixated on cleanliness. His favorite hobby—one he first discovered as anxiety soothing in childhood—was making lists.
And so, when he retired from medicine, Roget did what so many retirees do. He dedicated his days to doing what brought him peace and joy by pursuing his favorite hobby with abandon. He spent all day, every day, working on one huge, all-encompassing list of EVERY WORD EVER USED FOR ANYTHING.
Yes, it sounds a little wacky when described like that. But, twelve years later, at age 73, Peter Mark Roget published his giant list of words as a book, the legendary Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. It was an instant and lasting success, becoming the serious writer’s go to reference for synonyms and antonyms. By allowing himself to embrace and celebrate personality traits the world labeled as “defects,” Roget birthed one of the most renowned and powerful resources ever created.
Your past and your personal attributes don’t limit your future; they give you the wisdom and strength to shape it. You can’t get where you want to go by looking in your rearview mirror. To move forward you must look forward, discern your desired destination, invest yourself fully, focus and follow through.
There is a long road of limitless possibilities awaiting you. When you fuel yourself with unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude, you build a fulfilling life filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy. You get there, one baby step at a time.
Declare you independence from limitation and lack. The formula is simple: baby step, gratitude, celebrate, repeat.