Have you ever thought about the moments that define who you are? Perhaps you formed a belief about life or yourself in that moment that set the tone for your actions from that point forward. Sometimes defining moments are negative, and other times they have positive consequences.
The following are three moments that have defined me in a positive way. Ironically, one of them was what most would perceive as a negative event.
- As a child, I loved to draw. I would make several drawings and then put them up around the house like an art gallery. My dad would give me a quarter for the one he liked best. I learned early that not everyone is going to like everything you create, and that’s ok. Create anyway!
- My dad taught me how to read and do math tricks at age three. Then he’d have me read out of the newspaper or do math tricks for his friends. I developed the habit early of “learning and sharing.” It set a pattern for my life — that sharing always follows learning. That practice has served me well in business and as an author.
- When I was seventeen-years-old, I was in a car wreck where my VW Beatle went off a 15-20 foot embankment into a ravine. I broke my arm, knocked out my front tooth, tore up my lip and was unconscious for a while. When I woke up, I tried to get out of the car, but fell down and passed out again on the grass outside the car. It was several hours before anyone found me. As I lay there wondering if I would live or die – not knowing the extent of my injuries or if I was bleeding internally — I came to grips with death. I made my peace with it. I think facing death defines you. If you know you can face it and be okay, everything else seems endurable.
How about you? What are the moments that define who you are?