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You Are Not Your Past


Have you ever met a celebrity? Did you notice that little something different about them? Something you couldn’t name, couldn’t find words for but you could feel it. Have you ever met anyone that left you feeling that they were going to be great one day?

I was born a city girl. My family moved to the country just as I became a teenager. As a senior in high school, all I talked about was getting the heck out of that cow town and starting a real life. During that year, a Shakespearean troop deemed our school in the sticks worthy to be blessed with their presence. They came from east and west coast via Cleveland, Ohio.

Although I hardly appreciated Shakespeare back then, our class was slogging through one of his works. And because of that, my classmates and I were able to spend time with various members the six-person troop while they educated us about literature through play acting and conversation. They were all very dramatic and glamorous to us.

adult-back-cold-825877.jpgBut one guy, Tom, was particularly amazing. I don’t know if it was because he appeared to be the youngest and closer to our age, or because he was so irreverently funny. He had the smile and demeanor of someone who was going places, it rolled off of him. To look at him, he seemed like an ordinary guy and he was. But when he spoke, there was a cloud of electric vibration I felt from him that none of the others had.

What I didn’t know until many years later, was that Tom came from a broken home and lived through a series of successive step-families. He married the mother of his first child after their son was born. He didn’t grow up acting and was never cast in high school or college play.  But he didn’t let any of that stop him.

What does this mean for you?

Your life doesn’t have to be perfect for you to succeed. In fact, if you try to wait until it is perfect you’ll have missed out. It would have been a simple matter for him to pursue a straight job and raise his new family. He could have said other actors are better (better looking, more connected, etc.) and disqualified himself.  But he didn’t.

A few years later, Tom Hanks showed up on TV in a goofball sitcom, (Bosom Buddies) that I watched until it was canceled. And I remember beaming with a certain kind of pride when he starred in the movie “Splash.” All I could say was, “I knew it!” And he just kept going.

Whatever dream you have is important. It will affect the life of someone. You may never know the impact your dream will have on others until you begin following them. If you don’t do it now, you might not get a second chance.acorns-close-up-macro-60025.jpg

Every great thing started out a small thing.  A small spark becomes an enormous blaze; a tiny acorn becomes the might oak. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t because of where you are now or because of your past. No one knows what’s inside you until you show them.

The wonderful thing about human beings is that we think we can tell people what their future holds based on how they’ve acted or what they’ve done up until now.

But, people often surprise us. The single mother becomes an entrepreneur. A drug addict becomes a powerful preacher. The poor kid becomes a wealthy adult. Every successful person once had only his dream. Dreams are available to you too.

Guess what? Writing down your dream and putting a date to it becomes a goal.  When you break down a goal into actionable steps, it becomes a plan. When you add action to a plan, it becomes a reality.

People can and do succeed in spite of naysayers. People believe in themselves when others don’t. People can change their lives and they do it every day. Are you doing to be one of them?

See Tom Hanks bio here.

Published inInspiration


  1. Thanks for the affirmation. Our past has lessons for us, but it was never meant to define us.

  2. This is inspiring me. I told those who did read my post that I will post less to make room for God and myself like, writing my “BOOK” (HAPPY).
    I pray the Holy Spirit did not get tired of waiting but, God did NOT, fortunately, and HE IS very patient with HIS children and, I am a child of my Father, the true one I have, in Heaven. I want to please HIM in more ways than I can think of. Staying home doing nothing because of no transportation, is another confirmation that I must and want to do this. May I thank you Juli? Thank you for your [writing] support. I love you! You motivate me gently but firmly.
    Thank you.

    • Of course you may thank me. I’m blushing!

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