In West Philadelphia, born and raised. Just like the song.
We actually lived in the northern suburbs of Philly, but my parents had a convenience store on 46th and Walnut, the heart of west Philadelphia. As a kid, I spent so much time there, my family started telling me that I was actually delivered at the store.
As the child of Korean immigrants, I grew up in a fairly typical Korean-American home.
My parents worked a ton of crazy hours. Like many immigrant parents, they were very strict.
They required both my sister and I to practice piano, violin, and math. I hated it. To this day, in spite of the thousands of dollars and hours spent on these instruments, I still can’t play anything.
I never played any organized sports or joined any after school programs (except Korean school, of course), because that was not important to my parents.
They didn’t revolve their lives around me because that’s just not how life works.
They were too busy working and trying to build a life in this new country that the non-essentials were just that: non-essential.
No cub scouts, boy scouts, tee ball, little league, chess club, sleepovers, video games, TV, fidget spinners. Nothing. Whatever took away from piano, violin, and school work was a gratuitous luxury.
When I share this story at my training workshops, I’m surprised by how many people can identify with my experience. These are working professionals from all walks of life. They have achieved great success in spite of their limited childhood experiences.
But then I’m equally impressed by the individuals that grow up in spoiled, had everything they ever wanted, “single-child syndromy” homes and are well-adjusted adults. They are kind, compassionate, and incredible leaders.
And I’m reminded of this truth: Who you are is a result of your choices.
Your upbringing does not make you who you are.
Does your past effect your life now? Yes, I believe it does impact who you are.
But does it dictate how you live life now? Absolutely not.Your past impacts your life, but you alone are responsible for the choices you make today. Click To Tweet
I’ve read the saying, “life comes at you fast.” But I don’t think that’s the full story.
This seems to leave too much to chance and circumstance. If you don’t like where you’re at currently, you have the power of choice.
You can choose different.
“Your life is a result of the choices you have made. If you don’t like your life, start making better choices.” ~ Zig Ziglar