Since our family was poor growing up, the holiday season was challenging. While my friends were boasting about their gift wish lists for Santa, I was left to longingly stare at the Sear’s Wish Book knowing full well that Santa was make-believe, and most of the toys I circled were a fantasy.
One December weekend I spent the afternoon with my Grandpa and he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him that what I really wanted was a 10-speed bike. Back then, 10-speed bikes were hugely popular. My friends had received 10-speed bikes the previous year, and I felt totally behind the times. I begged for a 10-speed bike for my birthday, and again for Christmas, but I knew it was a long shot.
Gramps sensed my disappointment and asked, “Why do you want a 10-speed?”
Right on cue, I said, “Because my friends have one, and I want to ride with them.”
He smiled and said, “What’s more important, getting what you want, or getting where you want to go?”
At first, I thought he was talking about me wanting to ride with my friends, and I looked at him puzzled.
He continued, “Terri, because your parents don’t have the same resources as your friends, you have to focus on where you want to GROW, rather than what you want to get.”
He then went on to explain the reason he gave me books as gifts (rather than cool toys) was to help me grow into the type of person who would never have to worry about money in the future. At a mere 10 years old, I couldn’t fully comprehend this wisdom at the time, but I instinctively trusted the resolve in his voice.
“If you want your future life to be different than your present, you have to focus on growth. By focusing on growth, you get where you want to go and reach your potential IF you make a commitment to growth, rather than gifts.”
In retrospect, wow, he was right. Over time, I became an avid reader and leveraged books to both escape my childhood challenges, but also to accelerate the achievement of my goals. I developed perseverance, which led to a state of fearlessness related to obstacles.
I’ve learned to measure what matters most. Each year I measure the growth I’ve had in my professional and personal life, while still looking forward to continued growth and experiences to enrich the rest of my life.
Yes, I’ve had challenges in my life, but by focusing on the growth I had during those times, I’m able to persevere and keep on my path towards a continuously more abundant life.
Share On Purpose is focused on the growth and development of an individual as a whole. If you want to join a company that encourages you to step outside your comfort zone and grow, check out our available positions here.
And happy holidays from the Share On Purpose family!