motivationOne of the best things in life is to prove the doubters wrong. I take a lot of pleasure in showing those who think I can’t do something that I can.

I’ve said this often. When I was a kid in high school, a “brilliant” teacher told me that I wouldn’t amount to anything. What a great thing to tell a kid. Don’t you think? Decades later, I could still hear those words–if I wanted to, but I don’t. At the time, I was a tall and awkward guy. But frankly, who isn’t at that age? I was in the midst of confusion. I was on my way to being lost somewhere.

Thankfully, another wonderful teacher, Mrs. Busch, made all the difference in the world. She didn’t say anything that was magical. All she did was help me understand that there was someone in this world who had faith in me. She made it a point to demonstrate to me that she wanted me to succeed. She helped me understand that I could succeed at anything I put my mind to. And, she did it by not cutting me any slack. If I was late to class or didn’t do what I was supposed to, she wasn’t going to cut me a break.

That was important, Mrs. Busch was showing me that I had potential. And, she knew that I had to learn to respect myself and the possibilities in my life. The only way to do it was by making me work had for what I wanted.

These events were monumental in my life. They literally changed the trajectory of my life. I could have just slipped under the radar and do only the minimum necessary to get by. That’s not what ended up happening, I lived the rest of my life enjoying proving others wrong.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t go around telling people, “I told you I could do it.” Although sometimes I would like to do that. I don’t do that. There’s really no need to do it.

You see, it’s really very simple: living well is the best revenge.

It doesn’t matter what “living well” means to you. It could mean a nice home with a great car. It could mean traveling the world. It could mean answering to no one but yourself at the office. It could mean having loads of money in the bank. Or, it could mean living peacefully in a small place in your favorite place on Earth. Whatever your life success means to you is what you could have by living well.

And, how do you get to live well?

It’s really very simple. It means you ignore the people who tell you that you can’t do something. It means every time someone pushes back on your ideas or plans because you’re too young, too old, too rich, too poor, too straight, too gay…too whatever…that you keep your eye on the prize that is YOUR life.

You see, your life is a prize. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are in the world. You have the privilege of living and it goes on. Think about the millions and billions of people who’ve not been afforded that privilege. Maybe they died too young. Perhaps they were born into a life that has been incredibly difficult and painful. Whatever it is, as hard as you may have it, believe me, many others have it worse.

So appreciate the path you’re on. Know that if you’re reading this on your laptop, mobile or tablet–or even in the United States, your life is a privilege. You have more money than most people around the world–even if you don’t have much. Use that as an impetus to follow your path.

And don’t, even for a second, think you can’t do something. Live to prove anyone who tells you that you can’t do something wrong.


Author of “Get Off the Couch: Grip & Rip and Break the Barriers Holding You Back in Life” (Free Digital Download)


© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.