Use your Adversity to Inspire you

Today I want to discuss with you about Adversity. Adversity is defined as difficulties or misfortune. Some people come from perfect homes with a white picket fence, 2 dogs, dinner on the table every day at 6:00, some come from divorced homes who only have one parent, some people’s moms or dads walked out on them when they were little because maybe they weren’t ready for kids and felt there was no other way, then just felt too ashamed to ever try to make it up and reconcile.

If you’re like me you might have come from a single-family household. My mom raised me and my older brother after my dad passed away when I was 7 years old in Cape town south Africa. I’m not going to lie, it was tough growing up and not having a father. I would see my friends with their father’s and they would take them to sports games and play baseball together and do all the dad things that I never had. I would get invited from time to time to baseball games with my friend’s dads and thought wow this guy’s dad is so cool. I still remember when my dad would take me to Steelers, Pirates and Penguins games when I was really little. I remember feeling really lost and empty a lot as a kid after he passed, I would go on to smoke a lot of weed as a teenager and never listen to what my mom would say, hang out with the wrong crowd and make stupid mistakes. I was quite rebellious. But one thing I did realize young, was that I always had a conscious and I always knew when I was doing something wrong. I did some things I’m not proud of when I was younger, I have to be honest. The mistakes and lapses of good judgement I made, really taught me the most.

I remember when I was 15 years old and went to the mall in Coral Springs, FL with my friend Jeremy. I had lived in Coral springs briefly before and then my family moved to Boca Raton FL later. I had come down to visit Jeremy for the weekend. So, we were shopping for some clothes at Bloomingdales and this was the era when Mecca, Ecko, Karl Kani, & Enyce brands, were really popular. I didn’t come from a super-rich household, my mom had enough money for us to live in a nice place growing up but we didn’t have extra money to spend on $80 t-shirts. I had an older brother and he influenced me in a lot of things. I would basically copy everything he did because I idolized him growing up. Although we fought a lot, I still looked up to his every move. So, he used to change the tags on the clothes and get it for a cheaper price. He would take a clearance tag for say $17.99 and put it on a pair of jeans that were $50. As silly as it sounds, this actually worked and nobody would really check in most cases. So that was kind of our little hustle, I was this young teenager, I knew no better and my mentality was, hey, these huge corporations like Ross and marshalls are making enough money for me to get a little bit of a break and my brother does it, so why not?

So back to the story, so Jeremy and I were in Bloomingdales, shopping and I saw this Mecca shirt I wanted. It was so ugly when I look back. It was just a short sleeve, button up flannel shirt with some colors, and Mecca embroidered on the pocket, really nothing that special. It was like $80 or something. I had around $35 on me that day. So, I took the tag off the shirt and swapped it for a shirt that was $29.99. So, what I decided to do was take the shirt and go pay in a different department that would have no idea how much the shirt really cost. I took the shirt and went downstairs to the watch department or perfume department I don’t remember exactly, it was just a random area I thought, they won’t know how much the shirt is.Keep in mind, I had done this before and it worked no problem so I thought nothing of it.

I went to the lady at the counter and I said, I want to buy this shirt, she said ok I can help you out. She goes to ring the shirt up and then she says the price isn’t right you will need to go back to the department where you got it from and pay there. I thought, oh no how could this be? So, I said, “ok, I will go back.”

After that I really don’t know what I was thinking inside my head when I look back. I saw the exit door about 150 Feet away from me and it lead outside. I proceeded to look around at some other things making my way toward the exit, pretending I was shopping for something else. I remember I had bought something else earlier from another store and was holding a plastic bag. I then decided to just put the shirt in the bag and Jeremy and I walked out of the store. The alarm didn’t ring or anything. I thought hey i m going to get away with this!

Literally 2-5 seconds after we walked out a big man grabbed my shoulder and said, come with me. I had been caught. I remember as soon as I walked out the guy grabbed me and I didn’t have time to do anything or run. My heart dropped. Keep in mind I was 15 years old. I was a boy.

So, he takes me upstairs to this secret room with all these TV monitors, with another guy watching as well. He tells me, I was watching you the whole time. I knew what you were going to do, before you did it. He basically breaks the game down, and says, all these stores have this same setup and are watching, so be a bit smarter if you want to steal something.

Long story short he couldn’t just release me since I didn’t live in Coral Springs. He had to send me to a Juvenile detention center for holding where my mom had to come pick me up.

So, I got sent to this holding center with a bunch of other kids and they called my mom and told her what happened. Keep in mind Coral springs is about 1 and a half hours away from Boca Raton so my mom had to drive and pick me up at 9PM on a Sunday night. She was pissed to say the least.

So as far as my punishment went with the State of FL, they gave me 150 hours of community service. I had to take a bus to Deerfield beach every weekend because my mom refused to drive me. I had to wash and wax cop cars on Saturday and Sundays for about 3 months straight at the police station. The cops were tough on me, they would nitpick me on the washes and say it’s not clean enough. Needless to say, I hung up my crime career after that happened.

We all make mistakes and nobody is perfect. One of my favorite quotes that I live by, “to err is human to forgive is divine.” When I look back at that shoplifting scenario, it was all a bad judgement and bad decision from the get go. I knew it was wrong, but I did it because I wanted that shirt and I thought I didn’t have another way when the lady at the counter figured out the scam I was running. Instead of asking Jeremy for a loan, or calling my mom, or just choosing another shirt similar, that wasn’t a Mecca shirt but still a nice new shirt within my budget, I made the wrong choice and a choice that I knew was wrong when my conscious was speaking to me. It was because I didn’t have someone to teach me that, to teach me that having a Mecca shirt or name brand shirt didn’t mean shit. You don’t need a name brand shirt to be cool. You are cool on the inside and you are smart. My habits, my values were all out of sync, but I was only 15. I didn’t have a lot of love at home and the love my mom tried to give me I would shun away because inside I didn’t feel good about my life, my upbringing and the fact I didn’t have a father. I felt like a black sheep in the world and I had to learn things from making my own mistakes and from people around me.

They say the best stories come from people with the hardest lives. I believe this as well because it’s the pain that you endure that makes you a stronger person and makes you more optimistic to take risks. I wasn’t always this positive and happy, to be honest. We all fall down and we all are going to fail, but it’s how fast we get up once we fall down that makes or breaks us. Take your adversity and use it as inspiration to be great. Write down one thing you hate about yourself or your life and realize that it can be used to inspire you. Take the hate you get from people and smile, turn it around and know that that is confirmation you are shining your light. Don’t be scared to stand out, to be great, to be grand, you were told your whole life, stay simple, stay off the radar, don’t stand out, but if you don’t stand out how can you make an impact? How can you influence anyone if you look and think the same as everyone else? People pay more attention to you when you make a statement. People listen to you more when you have some money, that’s the truth. People want to be more like you and want to learn from you. You are now in the top 1% and people want to know how can I get there too?

Know that you are someone special and that you are a gift to this world. It starts by knowing your worth and value. Knowing that you are unique and contribute something to society by just being you. Because there is only one YOU! There’s only one Marc illy, there’s only one of you. No matter what you think, if you’re an actor, a nurse, a doctor, engineer, a mother, or father, your DNA and genes are different than anyone else out there. Even if you have a similar career or dream than others. You are you! Everyone is an individual with a different upbringing and story to tell. Whether you tell your story to the world or just at dinner parties, it still makes you who you are.

You have the power to overcome obstacles and objections. I try to help other people and to share my life experiences with the world so you can possibly better your life. Because if your mind isn’t right, you aren’t ready to be successful. Success is a mindset first, and then it takes hard work, passion and devotion. You have to develop good habits, have disciple and practice appreciation. It is a collective process to be successful. To be vulnerable, I just told you a dark secret of mine, that I shoplifted when I was 15. I’m opening up to the world. I’m showing you I’m just a human like you who made mistakes and turned my life around into something better now. You need to open up so you can receive love and receive blessings.

The moral of the story is that through adversity and misfortunate we can turn the pain into inspiration and things that can push us to go further. A lot of my discipline and work ethic came from the fear of failure and the fear that I am not doing good enough. My drive comes from the desire to have abundance, to not have to worry about money and not have to think about stealing an $80 shirt. Now I have expensive shirts because I work hard and can afford it. Knowing that I didn’t have the white picket fence life growing up and that I didn’t have a father to be there for me, pushed me to become a good honest man that can provide for his family and be a good Dad one day. It’s not to prove to anybody else, it’s to prove to myself. To make my family proud, to be able to stand on my own two feet and use my capabilities and talents to propel me further every day. We need to grow first on the inside. After that, we can then focus to grow our business, grow our income and our finances. I can teach you how to be your own boss and how to work online as well. But you have to be strong you have to be ready for it! You must become mentally prepared. Otherwise you will continue going in a circle and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Success doesn’t come to lazy people. It comes to diligent and persistent people who know that they can do it! Believe in yourself no matter where you come from and how much money you have right now! Every day is a new day and everything is possible!

I will leave you with this quote:

“The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


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