Growing up for me was average. Economically I came from a very traditional middle-class family. No one in my family has accomplished anything exceptionally amazing. In fact, many of my siblings and cousins barely passed high school. Actually, a cousin and I are one of only a few who has a college degree in my family. The development of my journey took place a lot on my own.
It is important to note that I do recognize the influences others have had on me, however. My mother was a very inspirational woman. She had a vision for life, lived in the present moment, and achieved great happiness in her life from her ability to see a bright future under any circumstance. Without question, I learned great lessons from her about gaining a strong conviction toward the future. Early on, this developed a fire in my belly for life that would propel a lot of forward momentum toward success.
In the Fall of 2008, I would get a letter in the mail from Dixie State College indicating that my application had been accepted there and I was to start classes in January that following year. This was a little unexpected, as I didn’t really plan to go to college that far aware from home. I eventually made the decision to uproot myself from my comfortable home environment and go on a small adventure away. Little did I know, that small decision would change my life in a lot of different ways.
As if it were still yesterday, I can recall very vividly the first morning classes started. I remember walking across campus in the brisk morning air, the excitement of the unknown on my mind. It was then that it really hit me hard. No one told me to apply for college, especially this one. No one told me what I should study. No one told me which friends to choose, what extracurricular activities to participate in, or what professional decisions to make. In this moment I realized I was an artist with a paintbrush in my hand and a blank canvas in front of me. That blank canvas was my life, and it was up to me to paint a beautiful picture.
The moment I realize I was in the driver seat of my own life was the moment I developed a fire in my belly. The reality that not a single soul cares more about my success than myself was intoxicating to me. Having the knowledge of the power to become anything or anyone I wanted was empowering and fueled that fire even more. All of a sudden, in my early twenties, it wasn’t about what I couldn’t do. It was all about what I would choose to do. This was pure fire to me.
During my twenties, I have been blessed to hit a lot of successes right out of the park. People have asked what drives me or they feel that I am in a position which empowered me more than others who don’t attain similar successes. The reality is more so about mindset and developing the fire in your belly that propels you forward through difficult times. The fire in your belly is about believing you are in control and you will achieve for yourself and your future. It is the strength that guides you in dark and difficult times. Perhaps the most difficult part is developing this fire for yourself. A step in that direction is self-awareness and knowing who you are. Also, this development and growth is about understanding no one else is going to find the fire for you. You have to develop this on your own.
We live in the most information-rich era of human history. This is a time where you can develop any skill you want for free online. Historically, the barriers of success have never been lower. Someone who doesn’t believe they can achieve in today’s world simply doesn’t have their eyes open wide enough. You have to have a fire in your belly, a conviction that you will create the best possible narrative in your life, and the desire to do what it takes under any condition. So, what is the fire in your belly?