November 29th, 2012/Mindset/By /

Mindset: Realizing Your Advantages in Life

Thanksgiving just passed and every year I focus on one thing I’m grateful for; this year it’s opportunity.

I arrived in Vietnam about a week ago when a guy approached me to shine my shoes. I didn’t really want it but he was persistent – it’d only take 5 minutes costs $1. I’m sitting there watching him work when it occurred to me that our lives could’ve easily switched. Maybe it could’ve been me shining his shoes, and he’s the one on vacation.

My parents immigrated to America 3 decades ago: no connections, no job prospects, and not a word of English. They sacrificed and worked hard so that I could have a better chance in life.

I didn’t really think about this growing up and I didn’t realize it until I started traveling a lot a few years ago. The average guy here makes about $200 a month. If I was born in Asia I have no fucking clue what I’d be doing for work. Even if you go to college here, the average graduates makes $300 a month.

The next time I’m feeling unmotivated I’ll remind myself that I have an opportunities in life that many people don’t. No matter how bad things get, there are billions of people out there that would switch positions with you in a heartbeat.

We’re living in a great period now for entrepreneurship. You have more access to more information now than anyone in history had 10 years ago. Whatever excuses you have is wrong.

Part of my motivation comes from wanting to make my parents proud and pushing myself everyday is the only way I can repay them back. I can’t ever have them thinking their son’s mediocre. We’re all born with certain advantages in life, and we need to work hard so that we don’t waste what was given to us.