There is no such thing as a self-made man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.George Matthew Adams
Success stories – We’ve all heard them! These are stories of individuals who have overcome so much and have achieved success (personal or professional). These stories inspire us and allow us to believe that we too can overcome our challenges. They remind us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and that one day we could also share how we persevered.
As I come across some of these stories, I often see the term “self-made”, referring to individuals who have overcome life challenges and have become successful or rich by their own efforts. I’ll be honest (I’m sure some will disagree), I’m not a fan of this term, or perhaps, I simply don’t understand it. Success, which is very different for all of us, does not come easy. It takes time, dedication, persistence but most importantly, it takes the support of a community. Self-made, in my humble opinion, is not real.
My take on it!
Self-made, to me, lacks humility. Its main focus is the self and fails to recognize the people, the community, the individuals who have shaped our path in some way or another. We cannot forget the help we receive along the way, no matter how insignificant it may appear to be.
At the end of the day, we are responsible for what we do with our lives. Others can motivate and inspire us but only we can put in the hours and do the work. Perhaps self-determined is the best term to use rather than self-made. We can be determined to reach success in our lives without ever forgetting to acknowledge and be grateful for the help, the nudge, the prayers we received along the way.
Any achievement or success that I’ve ever had is due to the friends, family, community, and mentors who invested in me. As George Matthew Adams said, anyone who has done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us has entered the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success. It is important that we acknowledge that.
No matter where we are or where we’re headed, we cannot do it on our own. Just as we say it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to uplift and elevate one another. It is our duty to work together, to collaborate, and contribute to each other’s success. We are stronger and better together.
Our successes truly are the collaborative efforts of many.
We Are All Connected
I like to believe we are a continuation of the great men and women who came before us. Their spirits live within us. Their power, strength, and resilience carry us through life and allow us to thrive.
Behind every success we have, there are investments and contributions from our families, friends, mentors, etc. We are made up of each and every single one of them – their words, actions, prayers, etc. We are all connected!
Ubuntu, an African philosophy meaning “humanity.” It is translated as “I am because we are,” or “humanity towards others”. It is a reminder that we thrive through others.