My "Life By Design" Contribution
My "Life By Design" Contribution
Reflecting on the important figures in my life was a journey of memories. Perhaps not so much a learning experience as confirmation that those few important people in my life had a profound influence on me. Reflection on my youth and the lessons then learned were revisited because of reading "Life By Design". I would still be the same person if I didn't read it, but having to reflect on my formative years and those responsible is priceless, it solidifies me as a person and the choices I've made.
So please read further as I answer these questions:
Who were your most positive influences growing up?
What made them so important to you?
Although there is a bit of genetics involved with the kind of people we ultimately become, what is so much more a formative force in our lives are the role models of our youth. As most young boys, my role models were sports figures, war heroes and fighter pilots, police and firemen. They were larger than life, honest, brave, stand up kind of guys. In them I saw the kind of person I wanted to be. I don't remember hearing about any of those guys (in my youth) being sent to jail for narcotics, weapons violations animal abuse or murder. They definitely were a positive influence in my life.
However, it was in my own family that I truly learned to be who I am today. There are several family members I can thank for guiding me through life, but only three that truly shaped me; my grandparents and their son...my father.
My "Papou", (grandfather in Greek) or KiKi as he was affectionately called came to this country as a young man in his early twenties penniless. With not much more than desire and willingness for hard work he started a family. He swept streets, sold newspapers, owned restaurants, candy shops, and speakeasies. The hardest work he did was something called a Gandy Dancer that involved construction and maintenance of railways. He married my "Yia Yia", (grandmother in Greek) as an arranged wedding and later I found out that my grandmother didn't really like my grandfather, but they grew to love each other and fiercely protect and provide for their family. As a side note here; their 50th wedding anniversary was attended by a couple of hundred family and close friends.
From my grandfather I learned the value of hard work and devotion to family. My grandmother was the backbone of the family. How hard my grandfather worked out of the house, my grandmother worked equally hard in the house. They were both up early together, 3:00AM and Yia Yia was the last to sleep. My grandmother was the most compassionate, loving person I've ever known. I remember her being tired a lot, but I always saw in her a zest for life and her family. And, if anyone valued their body parts they didn't mess with her kids, grandkids or close friends.
So, from my grandmother I also learned the value of hard work and devotion to family and friends, but from her I also learned "if it needs to be done then do it and don't complain about it" kind of attitude.
My father was a mirror image of my grandparents...blended. So, everything that I learned and saw in my grandparents was reinforced by my father. I had commented on a post here at AR that this might sound arrogant, that I get my work ethic from my grandparents and my father, that I am the kind of person they are/were...that's not arrogance, it's a huge source of pride for me.
The way I see it; I had no choice in the way I turned out and wouldn't have it any other way. I became who I am because of them and I thank them.
In a sense, I suppose, I've lead a life by default, but it was a conscience choice...a good choice.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Debra Walsh for leading the way.
This post is to help promote Tom Ferry's upcoming book, LIFE! By DESIGN. The contents of my post are the result of some self reflection the preview chapter of the book asks us to do about ourselves.
You can Pre-Order the book now by visiting TomFerryBook.com. You can also participate in the promotion being done by ActiveRain for a chance to win some great prizes and 2500 points by visiting the promotional post here.
Everyone that orders a copy of the book between now and April 23rd, 2010 will also receive one ticket to attend Tom's Success Summit, August 24-26th and the MP3 audio role play program: Objection Handling for Buyers, Sellers and Short Sales.
In exchange for writing this post, I could win an iPad or other cool prizes, and this is to let you know so the FTC doesn't fine me.