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November 26, 2010

Against All Odds

Filed under: General,Quotes — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 11:49 am

Between 1980 to 1984 (while I was aged 13 to 17), I lived my life according to a saying I had formulated for myself. The origins of the mantra are somewhat hazy, but I know it came out of my need to redress “an education label” I had been given early on in my schooling i.e. that I was slow and/or retarded (intellectually disabled). Looking back, the fact that a 13 year old could come up with such a saying seems a little odd, but in hindsight, it was quite an accomplishment for a child who was permanently in survival mode.

The saying was part observation (of past circumstances) and part motivation (positive self talk and encouragement). It was obviously hobbled together by a child, when you look at its grammatical structure, but it worked and worked well. At the time, the mantra helped me excel in whatever I tried to do, despite my dysfunctional environment and against all odds.

The saying went something like this:
Nothing comes easy,
Yet nothing is impossible!

If you correct for the use of “nothing”, it meant…
No accomplishment comes easy,
Yet no accomplishment is impossible!

Something so simple, yet it placed me on a magic carpet of self confidence which lasted a full 5 years. Damn all the people I encountered from 1985 onwards who convinced me to abandon my own mantra! Shame on you, and shame on me for allowing you to take away my hopes and dreams!

Truth be told though – by the time I got to Uni, I fell into the same trap I had witnessed most of my high school friends succumb to, and that was, wanting to do well without actually doing the work! I forgot the first part of my own mantra, i.e. that no thing comes easy.

Unfortunately, what often follows a desire for reward without effort, is blaming everything and everyone when things don’t go your way. Once I got into this mode of operation, I became the consummate victim. It’s so easy to go from success to failure, if you start to think people owe you something. Looking back, it’s a shame I wasn’t able to maintain the humility of that 13 year old who never did learn that he couldn’t accomplish something. And why? Because he was always far too busy working towards that accomplishment! ;)

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

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