by: Rodolfo Vargas
Growing up, I always played the game of “What If…” What if I could jump as high as Michael Jordan? What if I could play soccer like Messi? What if I could be like Batman? My imagination would jump from one idea to another in an instant. What if I’d been born a multimillionaire? Have you ever asked that question yourself?
Everybody knows the stories of the people who win the lottery only to suddenly lose everything. Take the story of Jack Whittaker, a West Virginian who won $315 million. He was arrested many times for driving under the influence. His family broke up. A briefcase with over half a million dollars was taken taken from his car while it was parked in a strip club. His granddaughter died under suspicious circumstances. What good did money do him?
Russell H. Conwell, the famous thinker, preacher, and writer from the late 1800s, put it this way: “The moment a young man or woman gets more money than he or she has grown to by practical experience, that moment he has gotten a curse.” When a person receives money that has not earned and has not worked for, the value is gone. It is a blessing to have the desire to become wealthy, healthy, or to leave a legacy in this world.
Growing up, there were certain economical limitations I used to question. Why are we not millionaires? Why don’t we take the vacations that the other families take? Why can my friend afford to have those tennis shoes that I can’t? Instead of having that wrong thinking, as I grew older I changed my question: What do I need to do in order to achieve that? It’s not an accident that some doors are closed so others can be opened. I didn’t understand it in the beginning, but being born into a family that was not incredibly wealthy was the opportunity of a lifetime. It motivated me to achieve success and bless other people.
The hunger factor is the desire everybody has inside of them to achieve something big. Sometimes that desire is for something that nobody has ever achieved before. Unfortunately many people have lost that hunger factor along the way. This hunger factor makes you frustrated sometimes because you haven’t achieve a goal. It gives you those butterflies that you feel when you wanted to give your best and you end up in second place. It’s the desire you have to give the best to your family or provide that vacation you promised to your kids a long time ago. It drives you toward the destiny you haven’t accomplished yet. It is the human discontent and the desire to get better in life that drives the world.
Whether you were born rich and all your necessities are supplied or not, you have the desire to accomplish big dreams. We have to find the reason why we wake up in the morning to give our best to the world. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to society. Maybe we wouldn’t have had Steve jobs if he had been born a multimillionaire. Maybe we wouldn’t have Pele or had Martin Luther King.
You might object: “But you don’t know my situation, you don’t know how I grew up in my family.” I understand that. Maybe we still have all the emotional scars we had when we were kids with those people telling us that our dreams were impossible, that our wants were too expensive, that we were too different, etc. These words of discouragement bring us down instead of lift us up.
Many years ago Johny Weissmuller, also known as Tarzan to all the movie viewers from that time, was a great swimmer. Nobody at that time was as fast as he was. All coaches and even doctors around the world said that we would never see another swimmer break his records. Around the world he held more than fifty of them, and for many years nobody could break them. Nowadays, do you know who is breaking Tarzan’s records? Thirteen year olds are swimming faster than our friend Johny!
If you look inside, we have been programmed for success, not for failure. I like to think that there is force higher than us looking out for us, and I like to believe that we have come here with a purpose for greatness and that every single human being has the capacity to achieve what God has put in their mind. I keep learning everyday, and what I have learned is that “What If” is not as important as “When I Become…”
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