At the age of 11, I was unofficially adopted into a family that loved me, fed me and gave me that extra bit of support that certain, exceptional kids need when they come from less-than-exceptional circumstances. Throughout my teenage years and now, long into my adulthood, my "godparents" taught me a number of big and important things about life. The first big and important thing was to question everything and always think for myself. The next was to set goals and stick to them, and always do my best. The final big and important thing was to never feel sorry for myself...no matter what...and never make excuses for shabby behavior.
Unlike my own parents, my godparents had a large home office and a library-sized collection of books. They built separate, home-grown businesses, which they still continue to nurture to this day. Ever since I was a kid, there has been a quote posted on one of the peg-boards in the home office. I have always loved this quote and used it to get myself motivated in the morning. The quote sums up all of the lessons in healthy life training. Not surprisingly, it is the quote that now sits in my own office, just above my desk. It goes as follows:
The Lion and the Gazelle
Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the fastest Lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa, a Lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will go hungry.
It doesn't matter if you are a Lion or a Gazelle. When the sun comes up, your Ass better be running.