I am determined to not let what I don’t have stop me…

I read that statement in a book I was reading this weekend. It hit me like a ton a bricks that this is the basis of possibly all of the success I have had in my entire adult life or before. The biggest example of not being held back by something I don’t have is my lack of college education. This has been one of the biggest chips I have ever had on my shoulder.

I distinctly remember telling myself hundreds, if not thousands of times, “I will not let the lack of a degree be my defining moment.”

I was not stupid! – I was not incapable! – I was not lazy! – I was not useless!

School just was not for me and I set out on a mission to prove myself, and the world that I could be successful without a degree.

In theory, I let what I don’t have motivate me! I was not going to end up broke! I was not going to end up a loser! I was not going to end up not being able to support my future family! I was not going to end up failing due to the lack of a piece of paper.

That “why” as many call it helped me through many challenges, because I knew if I worked hard, made sacrifices, learned from others and also by trying and failing on my own I could not be a failure.

I think a lot of that hustle and grind it out mentality came from sports as a kid. I wasn’t the most gifted athletically, but I was going to out work, and out hustle your ass. You may be better, but I will out work the difference in skill set until I won. I was always the first to show up and the last to leave. I wanted to squeeze every ounce of effort out of everything I did. It was an addiction honestly. I felt awkward and uncomfortable and uneasy when I looked back and realized I left something in the tank. I always emptied it so I truly knew it was all I could give.

Now I operate from a fear of that regret. “I will not be the reason I fail!”

Say that over and over and over to yourself and you will see a lot of your excuses melt away. We are our own worst enemies and typically our failure is due to a piss poor mindset, not the world around us….

I now have an amazing wife! I now have two amazing boys! I now have an amazing relationship with God! (there has been a lot of trial and error here!) I now own my own business! I now read every day! (I read more books in a month now than I did in my entire high school career)

But ultimately, I pictured a life after the hardship of the degree I didn’t have. I knew I could overcome the challenges to get me to the other side of failure. Sitting here typing this I am not sure what made me so convinced I could pull it off but I knew I would do everything in my power, work all the extra hours, make all the extra calls, run all the extra meetings, to make sure I wouldn’t have the excuse “yea but I don’t have a degree”.

Now I have the confidence to be thrown into pretty much any situation. Not because of what I have accomplished but because of what I have overcome. I beg the world to challenge me because I am uncomfortable in comfort….

What could you accomplish if you stopped looking at what you don’t have and focus on what you could be on the other side of that hardship?