A student asked me this variation on the old nature v. nurture question recently. The short answer is that drive rarely just “develops” on its own; it must be carefully nurtured, watered, and fed to come to full fruition.
I was very fortunate to undergo some adversity/poverty and have a negative role model as a youth and then later to have an excellent positive role model. What I chose to take from the experience was that I most definitely did not want to emulate the drifting, purposeless life of my initial role model and I very much wanted to live a solution-oriented, focused life.
Furthermore, I did not enjoy poverty to say the least: electricity turned off for extended periods, living off powdered eggs/milk (predecessor to food stamps, tasted lousy) and a brief period of homelessness. I witnessed firsthand the series of bad decisions and the short term, undisciplined perspective that mightily contributed to our sad state and so I deeply resolved to live an intelligent life.
These experiences were largely beyond my control i.e. I was a minor (though I did take the initiative at around age 12 to get my custodial parent changed) but it most certainly was my choice how to react to them, how to process them, interpret them, what meaning to draw from them, what story to choose to tell myself.
I chose a strong story, one of rebirth, one of resurgence, of renewal. Indeed, for a time in the beginning my company was called Phoenix Realty after the mythical bird which always rose from the ashes of defeat reborn. I have striven all my life to hone my skills, develop my game, and refine and focus my efforts and have enjoyed most every moment.
“Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.” – Robert Collier, 1885-1950
“There are those who are waiting for their ship to come in and then there are those busy building their ship.”– NSC, b. 1952
“If you see yourself as prosperous, you will be. If you see yourself as continually hard up, that is exactly what you will be.” – Robert Collier, 1885-1950
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier