If you’re not afraid of working hard, self-reliance comes easy!

My parents were near forty with two teenage boys when I was born. I used to joke that I grew up with three dads, but I actually learned a lot from growing up in a family of adults. I never wanted to be the little sister that was never quite old enough, smart enough, or strong enough. I always saw myself as an equal, and I busted my ass to keep up. What an incredible sense of motivation I knew at such a young age.
My brothers and I, under our dad’s supervision, bought car wrecks to rebuild. We learned that if you invested blood and sweat fixing something, you sure as hell took care of it. This is where my good work ethic was born.
One thing in particular that stands out in my mind is the many summers spent at our cottage in Georgian Bay. Every weekend meant getting together with friends and family. We had fish fries, pig roasts, sailing regattas, and cardboard boat races. There were volleyball tournaments during the day and guitar playing and singing by the fire at night on the beach.
Being exposed to friends, family, and neighbors of all ages, getting together and truly enjoying one another’s company, was a great awakening for me. It taught me how to interact well with others. Deep down we are all the same. We want to be heard and we want to feel important. This is one of the most valuable things to remember in the workplace. Encourage others to be involved, as what they have to say is important.
There is a gift given freely by some people. They are special. They are mentors. They touch your mind, and you carry them with you for the rest of your life. The lessons they pass on are invaluable and can play an integral part in the person you become. For me, there have been so many positive people in my life…

  • The older brothers that motivated me to keep up
  • The teachers and professors who repeatedly went out of their way to encourage and challenge me
  • The bosses that gave me the opportunity to prove what I could do
  • The many colleagues I know that have my back
  • The husband that encourages me to chase my dreams (I cannot begin to explain how important this is.)
  • The daughter that impresses me more every single day

One of my favorite stories, as told to me by my grandmother, dates back to 1928 when she was a young mother of four children, ranging in age from one to six. They lived on a hundred-acre parcel of land in a small farming community of Ontario.

Back then, life was hard. Her days were consumed with cleaning, raising children, making clothes, baking, and farming. It’s astounding to think back to just how hard life was back then and how, today, we take everyday modern conveniences for granted.
On this one particular day, my grandmother was already physically exhausted, but she left the house, stepped into a heavy wooden neck brace that carried two large buckets, and headed off down the long, rocky, wooded trail that led to their well.
She quickly filled the buckets and set them on top of a large rock so she could hook them with the brace to carry them back to the house. Then, as she struggled to lift them off the rock, she spotted a baby black bear just off to her left.
Immediately, she thought that the mother had to be nearby, and she was. The mother bear was off to her right, and she knew it wasn’t good to be caught between a mother bear and her cub.
Exhausted and weighted down with the heavy wooden neck brace that now held the two full buckets of water, she looked back and forth at the bears.
As only my grandmother could put it—she looked directly at the mother bear and said, “Well, you’re just gonna have to eat me!”
She struggled under the weight of the load, shifting the brace on her shoulders, then slowly walked home and never saw the bears again.
My grandmother was one direct, spunky, hard-working woman. This story is just a mere example of her bravery and grit, but I can tell you first hand that she was a powerhouse. As exhausted and worn out as she was, she had to keep going. Others were waiting for her, counting on her, and things had to get done.
Whenever I feel that I’m caught between a rock and a hard place (pun intended), I remember this story, smile to myself, and know that I can face whatever hazard is in my way.
Whenever anyone is willing to give his or her time to you, make the time to listen. It’s the old saying: “If I only knew then what I know now”…well, I’d do things differently—smarter and better.
You just never know when someone is going to pass on a piece of knowledge to you that will create a positive impact in your world. By reliving instances of positive influences in your life, you cultivate a positive mind and a successful life.
People who love life know the value of positive influence. They are the pros!

About Lorii Myers

39 Time Award Winning Author
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