Richard Bach said, “Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created this mess you got yourself into in the first place.”
I think once we all grow up and start to take ourselves too seriously, we forget where we came from and the journey that got us to the place we’re at. In some aspects, our backgrounds truly shape our motivation and drive.
When I was younger, my parents pushed me and wanted me to reach my full potential. They knew that I could be great someday. Without that initial push, I’m almost certain that I wouldn’t push myself today. I can still hear my mother in the back of my mind asking, “Was that your best? Don’t you think you can do better?” I ask myself the same things whenever I’m working on a project or task.
I’m thankful for the friends I grew up with. Even in elementary and middle school we all would challenge each other. If my friends got a good grade on an assignment, I knew that I could get that good grade too. Our friendly competition helped us all grow into professional young adults that sought out that same competition in college. There, I met some of my best friends and fostered lifetime relationships.
During my time in college, I also met some of my most valuable mentors, especially the professors who would sit down with me, tell the truth and genuinely wanted me to be successful. I remember one professor in particular who I just knew was out to get me. She didn’t like any of my papers. I didn’t want to hear it. I just wanted to take the course for the semester, get my credit and graduate. It wasn’t until much later in the semester that I realized why she pushed me so hard. She believed in me. She knew my potential and wanted to make sure I worked toward it. If we have someone who tells us how great we are and simply agrees with us all the time, there’s no room for improvement and as they say, “the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” The humbling experience helped me become a well-rounded person as I learned to accept and learn from criticism.
I have nothing but appreciation for the people who have led me to where I am today. For my parents who pushed me, friends who challenged me and professors who believed in me, I thank you; life wouldn’t have been the same without you.