You can be who you want to be!
Updated: Mar 22
If you believed everything that people told you your world would be nothing more than a space of contradiction. We are bombarded with facts, opinions and ideas how to "Hack" life.
Yet, it takes personal time to truly figure out who we are and what we really want in life.
It was my understanding as a teen that the more facts I acquired the better prepared I was for the journey ahead.
But when you have your parents saying one thing , your teachers saying another and friend's tearing down both. It becomes a spinning room of emotion and conflict.
As time passes and you gain more experiences, you develop a direction , be it uncertain.
For me I chose to dedicate myself to music , martial arts and a passion for peoples potential.
During this time I met individuals of many different standards and ideologies.
It was an opportunity for me to learn to navigate through information and peoples behavior.
Including mine which wasn't always perfect.
I had a short temper and I now realize I expected too much of others even as a teen.
I was so passionate about music and I was very serious about getting as good as I could at it.
The cost to me was I know at times I took it too serious. While that paid off long term and I achieved a great career from it. I wanted that from others. This was something I had to work on in my early twenties in order to fulfill my path and attract those who wanted the same.
Martial arts gave me confidence and a way to harness my energy. Also to help others.
My temper while natural I feel was the source of a time I grew up in, my attempt to be the prefect son for my parents and a deep dissatisfaction with my surroundings.
I had a wonderful upbringing. My frustrations came from school and the lack of enthusiasm I was would witness in others. The eighties in Ireland was a fun time but also somewhat impoverished.
Living in the states now I understand we didn't have the opportunities or access to what children our own age had. I give credit to Irish parents and the kids for making good times of it nonetheless.
Im not talking about possessions, although that could also be the case.
What I mean is communities , schools, clubs ,academies,.
Having traveled across America I see that during the same time I was growing up.
America had centers for kids to take part in many activities . Sports clubs had support and schools had gymnasiums often with incredible facilities.
Of course I am aware there were and still exist many many underprivileged areas of America.
I am speaking generally .
America was the dream for many including me. I was inspired by the music , the movies and the opportunity to realize a dream.
However I did enjoy my childhood and my teens . They were exiting times and for much of it I wouldn't change a thing.
What made it difficult was people telling you what you couldn't do!
Mainly for me and my friends . Teachers!
We had some great teachers, some. But mostly they chose to belittle us and apply fear for our future.
I can hesitate to guess their school life was very dark as that generation had a lot to endure.
The eighties was a great time. The space race, technology ,music , innovation and almost had a party feel! My generation would the first to get personal computers, which we all had.
This was huge and gave us a sense of progress and belonging.
The contrast to that was.,there was a Cold War and even while there was so much changing we had a constant concern that there was going to be a third world war.
When President Ronald Reagan would address his nation and make negative statements about Russia it was worrying for us.
So while the eighties had a summer feel we were in state of uncertainty.
America seemed as far away as the moon. Yet so close because we listened to the music and loved the movies that came from there.
The Goonies gave us a sense of adventure. The Breakfast Club related to us teens and our challenges at home and school. Red Dawn gave us insight what a Russian invasion would be like.
every other movie seemed to be about World war 3.
Unlike today we didn't have any access to information so the news would deliver the tension between Russia and the United States. Continually giving us a sense that anyday a war could break out between these nations. Ireland being small and not a waring nation and a tiny military force by comparison. Could be obliterated ?
We loved the war movies but the news brought home a reality.
Myself and friends would discuss this sometimes . Not often , as we were focused on just being teens.
Some had their sights set on college. I didn't. One thing I was sure of I didn't want that.
There are times I wonder had I attended university full time what type of student would I be?
I chose music, martial arts and being an entrepreneur.
I have studied many subjects and attended many courses over the years and continue to develop my education and abilities .
We are in an ever-changing cycle of health mindset and happiness.
The challenge is balance .
If you feel well ,think well and act well you can achieve anything.
This is when there was maturing turning point for me. I was decent in school but constantly distracted by the outside. I was eager to simply get out in the world and be "Me".
I was already playing music for money at the weekends and teaching drums on Saturdays in my teens. So I had moderate to strong income as a teen. Yet teachers would suggest to me and my classmates that most of would not turn out to be any good in life!
This was not everyday and not by every teacher but it did happen. I would be really pissed off by this and I would push back by misbehaving, being unruly and on occasion not handing in homework.
Also by not attending school at all which is a whole other story.
This would only get me deeper into trouble both at school and home .
One thing is for sure, I was always prepared and accepted the consequences. My dad was never impressed and he was right. That said, there were quite a few times my parents visited the school to call out teachers and heads of year for what was going on. It was chaos sometimes. The school almost seemed like it didn't know what it was doing. This wasn't the case it just felt like it . There were times in my class teachers had no control and we would take advantage of it.
Poor leadership poor results!
I came from a class of really good guys and we had maintained survival through our sense of humor and not taking it seriously . Most of those guys are doing great these days.They own their own businesses, live all over the world and have their own kids and are super happy. I keep in touch with most of them . Yet, the school and our immediate teachers would talk down to us.
I recall a classmate who was ridiculed and humiliated by the teacher in front of the whole class.
His spelling and English was weak. So I would help him.
When he left school he got a trade and became very successful.
So , as much negativity and criticism we received. It did not deter us from being who we wanted to be.
Not everyone gets to have a dream job or life. I'm very proud of my class mates and what they have become in their lives.
It was during my time teaching drums I had an enterprising focus.
My journey to entrepreneurship started.
I had always helped my Dad with his business which was a huge advantage when I entered the real world. By the time I left school I had great experience dealing with people, sales and products.
Building self belief comes through positive experiences and exchanges with others.
Within one week of advertising my drum lessons my schedule was full. This gave me confidence I was doing something good and people were responding to it.
When you work on yourself, your skills and your passions they can come together and create a better version of you. I have been fortunate to be around extraordinary people from all walks of life and I have observed how they do what they do. Always there is a component of dedication and high standards.
Remove doubt ,apply work ethic and You can be who you want to be!