I grew up around cowboys and horses in Wyoming; words like “country hick” and “hee-haw” were thrown out to remind me that I wasn’t as sophisticated or bright as my urban counterparts. I didn’t need their insults to point out that I was different because of my upbringing and circumstances.
I suspect that I’m not the only one who has felt the sting of prejudice and stereotype and been left wondering 1) if they were true and 2) how to move beyond them. But, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I, too, wondered how to wade through those troubled waters and come out stronger on the other side.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I began to appreciate how life on a remote cattle ranch had prepared me for success. I learned about nature, worked with my hands, spent long periods in harsh winter storms, and went to university against the odds. I understood the true meaning of “self-made.” I was unspoiled and un-entitled, which also meant that I saw myself as less precious than many of my peers.
This turned into a tremendous advantage as I navigated my way through a career as an FBI agent and, later, as a writer and artist. But here is the thing: we all have experiences that make us unique and different. Sure, some stories sound better than others, but the most practical and easiest way for you to find success in troubled times is to take ownership of the experiences that created who you are today. Excavate the significance of your own stories because no one knows them better than you.
When troubled times hit us, we can do one of two things: whimper like a victim or summon the mental toughness to become the person we were meant to be and meet the future head-on.
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Here are 4 practical and easy ways to find success in these troubled times.
1. Design A Future That Works For You
Tough times require us to think about who we are, right now, and who we want to be in the future. Too many of us deny our potential because we are afraid to let go of the present, whether our current path is taking us where we want to go or not.