I was clearing out my study, “decluttering” as they call it to create space. Out of nowhere, I stumbled across an old note which I had written when I was 15 years old and everything fell into place again. I remembered the day I had written it as if it was yesterday and I remembered that I have carried this slip of paper with me always. From South Africa to Melbourne, to Sydney.
The day this note became my motivation was a rainy day in South Africa during my teenage years. I was watching a movie with my brother Anthony when we were suddenly riveted by a speech one of the characters was giving to his team. We listened, then stopped, pushed rewind and listened again. Then we kept rewinding it until we had transcribed each word. This became my bible when I got stuck and when I needed motivation or reassurance. Here goes:
“People always ask me what it took to get where I am today.
What it takes to reach this level of success.
We make heroes of ourselves in the name of sacrifice and what we are willing to give up in the pursuit of a dream. Go after what you want. There is no sacrifice in success. There are no obstacles in between you and the goal you see on your own terms. You don’t owe anybody any explanations but if you fail on their terms you have a lot of explaining to do. A man doesn’t strive for greatness and embrace mediocrity.
There is no compromise in a dream.
Compromise is an excuse for falling short while you lay on your couches in front of your TV’s with your remote controls and your glasses of beer watching somebody else run with your dream.
Your dream – so do me a favour, don’t wake up one morning when your hair is grey and the elastic has gone out of your waistline with shaving cream all over your faces and look in the mirror and ask yourselves – “What have I been doing for the last 30 years?”.
This isn’t my life -this isn’t where my passion lies.
Do something before that happens. Don’t be afraid of your ambitions.
If other people hold you back you don’t want it badly and don’t tell me you do, because other people don’t stop you from dreaming – you stop yourself. You get in your own way because you are afraid of what you might become, even if that something is a wonderful, wonderful thing”.
Don’t limit yourself, don’t be scared of change. Take charge and find your purpose so you can reach your true potential and live a meaningful life. Make that choice, take that step and believe in yourself. Like Dr Seuss says: “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting so get on your way, Oh the things you can find if you don’t stay behind! Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed!