Two years ago, I had the honor and pleasure of visiting Rwanda, Africa with Kids Play International and a group of US Athletes. Kids Play has an incredible program that teaches kids gender equality through sport. Learn a little more about it in this video.
One day, one of the athletes, former Los Angeles Chargers and current New York Jets linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu said something to the kids that really stuck with me:
“Where you start is not where you finish.”
Jeremiah was born in Nigeria. His parents brought him and his siblings to the US where they started a new life and Jeremiah was able to reach the top of his field and play in the NFL.
An inspiring story for the kids of Kigali, no doubt.
I also felt the power of that statement personally. Having grown up in Ferguson, Missouri, where there wasn’t much encouragement of a career in the arts, to moving to Los Angeles and not only surviving, but thriving 13 years later, I could definitely relate.
Jeremiah is right. It’s not about where you start. It does not define where you finish. It doesn’t mean it’s easy to make the leap from Africa to an NFL stadium, or Missouri to the Paramount lot. But it’s doable.
The big picture isn’t always easy to see. Let’s take this theory to a smaller scale.
Ever had a bad day? I mean, who hasn’t? For some reason, my husband and I weren’t not seeing eye to eye today. I don’t know why. It’s just one of those days. We started on a bad note, but we’re not going to end there. We can make the choice to change the story. We will go to sleep tonight expressing love, kindness and support for one another.
Where in your life do you need to make a hard turn? If you’re not where you want to be, you don’t have to stay there. Too many people stay in a rut because they’ve been there so long, they don’t think they can or deserve to get out. You can.
Want to break a negative habit? Start today. Trying to change the way you interact with your spouse? Do it now.
No one forces us to stay stuck. You have to believe you’re worthy and that it’s possible to change. Whether you’re a kid who dreams of a better life, or an adult who knows they have to start seizing the life they’re got, the power is yours.
No matter what cards you’re dealt in this life, where you start doesn’t have to be where you finish.