Start Where You Are

I read a transcript of the Colin Powell TED Talk 2012.

This guy is a genius. I thought I always remembered that Powell said he used to be a janitor and that even today he could mop floors with the best of them.

This story might be apocryphal yet I seem to remember it’s true and that’s why I was always impressed with this great leader.

In his TED talk he laughs about getting a “straight C everywhere” in school. It wasn’t until he joined the ROTC in college that his life took off and he found his true calling.

Take this from Colin Powell:

“And I say to young kids everywhere, as you’re growing up and as this structure is being developed inside of you, always be looking for that which you do well and that which you love doing, and when you find those two things together, man, you’ve got it. (my italics) That’s what’s going on. And that’s what I found. I tell young people everywhere, it ain’t where you start in life, it’s what you do with life that determines where you end up in life. (my italics)”

No kidding. You could most likely watch Colin Powell’s TED talk on YouTube.

Truer words couldn’t have been spoken. This is the real deal: that it doesn’t matter if you’re diagnosed with schizophrenia when you’re 22. The future can be better.

Indeed 30-year long-term studies show that individuals diagnosed with this illness are often productive members of society living, loving, working, and playing well alongside people who don’t have mental illnesses.

I’m confident when I say that no one who’s 22 thinks about what their life is going to be like when they’re 50.

Hey: I’m 50 now. And I can honestly tell you: the view from here is beautiful.

I’m also confident when I tell you not to give up and not to quit. My life took a detour early on yet I had the courage to go back to school to try something different.

You might not find your true calling until you’re 35 like I did and that’s OK.

The view from here is beautiful.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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