Did you ever wonder how some of the world’s most successful people came from some of the most difficult and challenging backgrounds?
With every disadvantage possible working against them, how did they somehow manage to climb their way up and obtain incredible success.
These are billionaires like Ralph Lauren, Oprah Winfrey, Do Won Change, and John Paul DeJoria, each worth over $3 billion a piece.
This list also includes celebrities such as Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Tom Cruise, and Leonardo DiCaprio, all who had to overcome some form of poverty, abuse, or dysfunction and yet still managed to go on to create wildly successful careers.
Nothing From Something
On the flip side we hear of the children of celebrities who are given everything, and then proceed to accomplish very little, if anything at all. The news is full of stories of kids who are famous simply because of their parents. Many even have their own reality TV shows (which I guess could be argued is a form of success).
Darren Hardy notes in his book The Compound Effect (Which I’ve read numerous times and highly recommend)
It’s interesting that wealth tends to skip a generation. Overwhelming abundance often leads to a lackadaisical mentality, which brings about a sedentary lifestyle. Children of the wealthy are especially susceptible. They weren’t the ones who developed the discipline and character to create the wealth in the first place… We frequently see this entitlement mentality in children of royalty, movie stars, and corporate executives…”
How is it that those who come from nothing rise to greatness, and those that come from everything, fail to thrive and maximize their potential?
As Darren mentions, a big reason is comfort.
If you’re not tested, and pushed, and forced to become something more, then why would you?
As Jessica Hagy writes “Why pursue greatness when you’ve got 324 channels and a recliner?”
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -Helen Keller
Something From Nothing
As for the millionaires of today, a big misconception is that they inherited their money. In reality, somewhere around 80% of all millionaires today are self-made.
Comfort is the enemy of success, because the minute we feel comfortable we stop growing, stop pushing, and stop trying to improve. There’s value in pushing your limits, testing the boundaries of your mind, body, business, and life, in an attempt to become a better person.
The strongest steel is forged by the hottest fire. -Chinese Proverb
Being uncomfortable is well, uncomfortable, but when you look at it as an opportunity to grow you’ll find there’s huge rewards in pushing through and becoming more than you were before.