Booker T. Washington once wrote, “Charater, not circumstances, makes the man.”
During my bike ride into work, I listened to Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within. He shared a personal story of him in a helicopter flying past a building where he worked as a janitor 2 years prior to that time. He mentioned during that time he he could barely afford gas to get to work.
As he continued flying to his own seminar he noticed there was a lot of traffic. He started to worry and thought it will make people late to his seminar. What he didn’t know, but soon found out, was the traffic was for HIS seminar. He was expecting 5,000 and ended up getting 7,000.
How does a person working as a janitor and feeling lost, find himself connecting and helping thousands of people within a 2 year period?
I’m sure we’ve all heard stories about people overcoming huge obstacles in life and becoming successful. Then there are those who look at their circumstances and believe they’ll never get anywhere in life, that the universe is against them.
I’ve been there. I’ve thought that way. But it has been part of my self-discovery and personal growth that I’ve chose to change. Albert Einstein said, “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”
I held a negative attitude, and kept anger and frustration tucked away inside.
My attitude was affecting who I was and I didn’t like. On the outside I was fine. I was conditioned to show little emotion, but on the inside I felt broken. My inner world slowly began to take root in my outer world. And that’s when I knew I had to change.
I tell many of my athletes, “The gym is not only a facilitator of movement, but also a tool for building character.”
You see, character is who you really are. When a challenge approaches you, what are you going to do? Those who build a strong foundation of character will grow and learn from such challenges. But those with a bad attitude, anger, frustration, will find themselves fall and continue to feel like a victim.
One of my mentors, John Maxwell, said, “It’s not the crisis that makes us or breaks us. It’s just that crisis reveals what sort of foundation we’re built on.”
Circumstances are events and situations that happen outside of us. We are in no control of where we are born, how we are raised, skin color, ethnicity, etc. What matters most is what happens in us, and what happens in us – is character.
So the next time a crisis, challenge, or a C.R.A.Z.Y goal comes along – ask yourself: Who am I and what’s most important to me? Those with strong character will decide what is right.
Mahalo. Aloha. A hui hou.