There was a young man that was raised in the streets. He was 18 years old and he didn’t know anything outside of the hood that he was raised in. We shall call this man Shane (my daughter felt that that would be a good boy’s name).
Shane had a dead-end job that he lived paycheck to paycheck with and he was satisfied. When Shane was off of work, he would either chill at his boy’s house who also had dead-end jobs and was also satisfied with. The women that Shane surrounded himself with were no better. If anything, they were parasites sucking him dry with the little that he had for himself after his bills were somewhat paid. One day at his dead-end job, Shane overheard a group of middle-aged men in business suits talking about going to play golf in the next week or so. He joked about this with his coworkers and they snickered and laughed. Nit picked everything from the way that men walked, the way that they talked, the way that they dressed, and even mocked the black guy saying that he’s white. Despite the snickering, one of the men asked to talk to Shane. He was a tall, dark colored man. At first, his friends started laughing and clowning him, but eventually Shane responded to the man. The man said that he overheard Shane and his boys laughing and wanted to know why? Caught off guard, Shane said quite bluntly that he was laughing at the fact that the men were planning a date to go play golf. The man looked up smiling and questioned if that isn’t the same as Shane and his boys planning a day to go out and play basketball? Yet again, Shane was caught off guard. It wasn’t much of a difference at all. “How about this, you and your boys are more than welcome to come along with me and mine and you can learn how to golf.”. The man slid over his business card and was out before Shane had a chance to deny the invitation. That night Shane talked it over with the guys and they all laughed at his invitation to allow the other guys to tag along, claiming that they “aren’t going to be a part of no white boy sport” and left it at that.
Two weeks go by and Shane, doing what he does every day, just lounging around the house, decided to text the number that was given to him. Shortly after the man responded with an address and a time to meet that following Saturday. Saturday comes and, just like Shane assumed, he was the only one of his friends who decided to go. Funny because that man was the only one in his group to show up as well. The man, wearing Docker-style slacks, collared sports shirt, tennis shoes and baseball cap, approached Shane and introduced himself as Cliff. Naturally, Shane felt extremely out of his comfort zone. Everything about Cliff was alien to Shane. His posture expressed confidence when he walked. The way that his voice carried when he talked, very clear and concise, but what really got him was Cliff’s handshake. It wasn’t the slap, slap, slide, dap, shoulder hug that shane was used to. It was straight-armed and firm. Sort’ve unnerving. Sort’ve intimidating. That was the beginning of Shane’s transformation, but he didn’t know that yet.
Shane watched as Cliff showed him the basics of the swing. After about ten demonstrations, Cliff handed Shane the club. With the club in hand, he did the best that he could to try and mimic Cliff’s swing but he was having a lot of trouble. Shane’s pants kept sagging. His shirt was extremely loose and would get stuck to his shoulders and elbows when it was time to release. He just couldn’t hit the ball. Cliff made a slight grin and told him “Maybe if you wore clothes that fit you. Do yourself a favor. Let us come back next week, but you have some homework. When you get your paycheck, I don’t want you to spend an abundance of money. Go to a thrift store and get some clothes that fit you. Get you a collared shirt. Similar pants and wear some tennis shoes.” On that note, Cliff went on about his business and so did Shane. Highly embarrassed, he went back home to his boys and let them know about his experience. Of course, his friends didn’t have anything positive or productive to say. Why would they? Deep down inside, Shane knew that they never really were the type of people to motivate. Hell, now that he thought about it, they never really wanted him to do anything other than hanging out with them. He looked at Cliff’s business card again and decided that he would go and get some clothes in the coming days. Yet again, another moment that helped him with his transformation.
Saturday came and they are back in their meeting place at the golf course. Shane was nervous. He felt uncomfortable to be out in public looking the way that he currently was. The same look that he and his boys laughed at not so long before. Shane felt like a child wearing a suit that his mother forced him to wear on easter Sunday. Cliff, on the other hand, was surprised. He did not see the Shane that he saw the week prior. Now he saw a young man, standing tall, looking mature and professional. When Cliff approached him, Shane stuck his hand out and gave him a firm handshake. Even Cliff started to see Shan’s transformation. Yet Shane hadn’t caught on to it, but he eventually would. After a brief demonstration, Shane was up next to golf. Knees slightly bent. Arms fully extended. *POW*. First try and he made contact with the ball. For the first time in a very long time, he felt…..good. Not good. He felt GREAT! Cliff applauded and said, “I knew that you could do it!”. Yet again, he felt a feeling that he has not felt in a very long time. The feeling of somebody congratulating him. The feeling of somebody actually proud of him. A feeling that he would not want to lose for a long time. For hours they played the game of golf, laughed and told stories of their past and they got to know each other. Cliff talked about his childhood and how he and his family struggled their entire life. How Cliff was at one point homeless and how, if he didn’t do anything, he would die on the streets. So Cliff started reading newspapers. From newspapers, he started scrounging up a little extra change and eventually buying educational books and self-help books that were on sale from the nearest book store. He asked local stores about doing little side jobs for extra cash. He did that for months until the day he was offered a job at a nearby gym. Although He didn’t have a place to stay, he at least had lockers to secure the few things he had. Here Cliff was able to shower and keep up on his hygiene. The employees were very helpful and were friends with the employees from nearby restaurants who would donate food to him at the end of the night. Not having any bills and was fortunate enough to have everything that he needed to survive and keep up with his health while at the gym, he was able to get a bank account and save up his money. With an extraordinary amount of self-discipline, he put ninety percent into savings and used the other ten percent on the little supplies that the gym did not offer. He was highly dedicated to his job and it started repaying him by the number of people that he would eventually run into. He had conversations with doctors, lawyers, professional athletes, and so on. He heard their stories and he made changes. Started to open his mind and start listening to what they were listening to. Motivational speakers. Podcasts. Even opened his mind to different types of music. After a few months, he had a one-bedroom apartment a few miles from work. Staying hard working and dedicated to becoming something better than he was yesterday, he started working heavily on using his tools. He started a schedule that was revolved mainly around his health. Cliff noticed that the healthier he became, the better he felt. Cliff was waking up earlier and more energized. He was happier and, with those vibes, people were more inviting to him. He had people that he never expected to even look at him, approaching him and conversing with him. He has invited places and was now meeting people that saw how hard he was working on himself and heard the story of his struggles. Now his doors started opening up. It seemed like every day, at least, one new opportunity to better himself. Cliff started investing a lot of his time educating himself at the library and started researching possible careers. For years, he kept up with the routine of doing a minimum of one step to better his life, regardless of how small that step was. Eventually, he landed himself in a career that was extremely competitive and in high demand. With the struggles that he overcame, his work ethic and his determination to better himself, he was able to easily climb the ranks of his trade that led him to where he is now: making six figures and playing golf with a young man by the name of Shane. Shane, a man who was a mirror of Cliff’s past.
Shane never would have guessed that he and this man standing in front of him would have so much in common. It was just unbelievable to him to see this man that has so much money, is loved by so many people, and that has his life set, to have come from so much pain and suffering. It humbled Shane a lot, as well as motivated him to understand that at any point in his life, he can always change it for the better regardless of his circumstances. At the end of the day, when Shane finally made it home, he was greeted by his homeboys who wanted to chill at the house. Before he could get into his front yard, his friends were already clowning him. Laughing at the way that he was dressed. Just that quick, that negative feeling that Shane forgot about while being around Cliff instantly came back. That negative feeling that he didn’t realize that he had until he changed his perspective on life, got out of his comfort zone, and refused to settle with the lifestyle that he was living was back and he didn’t like it. With a quick hello and an even faster goodbye, he let his friends know that he was tired and wanted to get some rest. His friends didn’t like that. They were always over at that time and never has Shane ever wanted to not hang out. When he went upstairs, he sat on the bed and saw his reflection in the mirror and did not like what he saw. He thought about what Cliff told him and used that as motivation to do something new. He reevaluated his life and figured out what he wanted in life. He figured out where he wanted to be in all aspects. How he wanted people to see him as and to remember him by. Starting that night, he promised himself that he will never settle again. He promised himself that after that day, he would work on himself and take at least one action a day to better himself and get to his goals.
Reaching his goals started off extremely slow at first. He would write down his strengths and weaknesses. Looked at where he was in life and compared it to where he wanted to go in the future and set goals to get there. He asked himself many questions like what makes him happy and what he wanted to do for a career. He wrote down all of his debts and figured out what kind of sacrifices that he must make to be able to save up and catch up on them. While analyzing everything around him, he discovered what he would need to reach his goal. Eventually, he came up with a daily schedule that he felt was realistic and simple enough to get started. In the process, he kept in touch with Cliff. Hanging with Cliff introduced him to other well-off people that had their lives together. Others, that in their own way, motivated and taught Shane what options that he has to do to become a better person. With time, Shane noticed that by practicing his self-discipline to keep up with his daily schedule and working on his routines, his days felt more productive. He started getting way more done and with everything now having a place and being organized, he started feeling happier and happier. Instead of waking up from an alarm clock, he noticed that his motivation for the next day was going to wake him up long before his alarm would go off. Shane’s new way of life was the priority. He was noticing that the negative aspects of his last life were dissipating and stronger, positive aspects were taking their place. He started getting job opportunities practically handed to him, just by the way he presented himself. People didn’t see a young boy from the streets that has nothing going for him, who was satisfied. When people approached him, they saw strength, determination, confidence and professionalism. His friends slowly drifted away, not because he didn’t love them still, but because life has a way of making everything fall into place. His friends were still doing the same things that they were always doing and Shane’s new agenda was not going to allow it. Life was getting good.
Four years later, Shane is doing extremely well for himself. He is now working with an agency that pays very well and gives him phenomenal benefits. He practically makes his schedule and has many vacations throughout the year, where he promised himself that he will see the world, experience new adventures, listen to different music and see how people around the world live. While conversing with people, he did the opposite of most people who just have to be right. He embraced being wrong. He loved when people would correct him because it gave him another opportunity to learn more and more. One day while going out to lunch with his new friends, he overheard a few people snickering behind his table. Shane was dining in a pizzeria and some of the kitchen staff must have been on a break because they were hanging out at the back tables joking around and eating. He kept hearing the snickering and eventually looked back and saw a young man who seemed to be the life of the party and gently got up and walked to the group. Shane, wearing a suit and tie stood tall and introduced himself with a firm handshake. He asked if there was a problem because he felt that they were laughing at him. The young man gladly snickered and said that they were laughing at the fact that a group of guys was talking about doing an activity in a few weeks or so. Shane smiled and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a business card with all of his information and said, “How about you and your boys come out with me and my boys? Get out of your comfort zone. You might learn something new.” Before the boy had the opportunity to deny the request, Shane was already walking out of the door. The group started looking at each other and laughing at the fact that this random guy invited them to hang out. They all cracked jokes. Everybody already through out the idea of the invitation. All but one. The young man, staring at the business card, did not say a word. He didn’t realize it now, but he was about to step out of his comfort zone and contact Shane later on that night.