I remember my first day of high school. The place was bustling with action. There were upper class boys with beards and senior girls with curves. Everyone seemed to know what was going on but me. There were cliques forming everywhere and I stood there in awe; overwhelmed as to where I fit in to this strange and chaotic environment. I remember looking at my puny little arms and lack of fashionable clothes; heck I was still wearing toughskin jeans by Sears! I was so small and skinny that I was almost invisible as I walked the halls. That lasted all of 5 seconds before I was spotted by one of the toughest kid in the school. Paul looked like a 25-year-old man, had a reputation of beating kids up for whatever reason he wanted and his eyes were fixed on me. He said to me “what the hell are you looking at”? I almost wet my pants. I cast my gaze downward and hoped for the best. Luckily a girl captured his attention and saved my life. When I got to my first class there was this vision sitting next to me. Aphrodite had nothing on her. She melted me like a candle in a Chianti bottle at an Italian restaurant. I was in love in about 3 seconds. It was bittersweet to sit next to this angel when I knew that she would never notice someone like me. Welcome to high school young man.
I was overwhelmed. How am I going to measure up to everyone else? I wasn’t popular. Only a few of my middle school friends knew my name. I was small, unfashionable, with a few zits on my forehead. I had only kissed a girl once and that was just a little peck on the cheek while playing spin the bottle in the neighbor’s camper. Everyone was cool and had it figured out (so I thought). Why was it that I was stuck on an island by myself? I worked really hard to get people to like me that year. I found myself picking on other kids (who likely felt like me) to the delight of the cool kids, working out to develop my body, mimicking the fashion of the trendsetters and as my parents soon witnessed, I had developed ATTITUDE.
One day the coolest and toughest kid in the school took notice of me and invited me to go out drinking. I had finally made it. I was now… uh oh blue lights… on my way to jail for public intoxication. I did all of this to get people to like me so that I could fit in. My identity was hinged upon what others thought of me. Now what did they think of me? Ugh. I was lost. In the 2 weeks following the arrest, I considered ending my life and I might have followed through if it weren’t for the words of one amazing teacher. He reminded me that everyone has insecurities, that I had great potential and that he saw me as a leader among men. Wow. I hadn’t thought of myself like that before. For the first time I UNDERSTOOD that everyone has insecurities and what people thought of me mattered little. What I thought about myself mattered most. My teacher taught me how to use my mind to develop PERSPECTIVE. However I choose to see myself becomes the truth.
So what about you? What makes your internal clock tick? Never forget that what matters most in life is not what others think of you but rather what you think of yourself. You were born for a reason and no one is more special than you. We’re all carved from the same cloth and we’re all equally special in the glow of that which created us. It’s our incessant need to be valid in the eyes of the world (EGO) that brings down the house. Your world will consistently disappoint you but your gift (your passion) will never fail you. Once you recognize the gift that you were born with, you can take that passion and exercise it daily making it stronger and stronger. Now your true inner purpose can be expressed outwardly (as in a career) to help improve the quality of the lives of others. Imagine how happy you’d become if what you love about yourself is reflected in that which you do for a living. Personally, I love to help others see the miracle of who they are. In the eyes of the world I have become a doctor, a blogger, an author and a speaker. In reality, I’m none of these. These are simply the methods I use to express my passion. I’m just me doing what comes natural and not worrying about the opinions of someone else. I revel in expressing my gift, helping others, and feeling happy everyday. That which you do for yourself dies with you, but that which you do for others endures.
There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. It’s already inside. You simply have change your perspective to see it and it’ll flourish. Being happy is a choice and you get to make it. Stop worrying about what others think of you. Let keeping up with the Jones’s be someone else’s mantra, if they so choose. If you’re not good enough right now, then you’ll never be good enough. Your fire burns within you, regardless of the world’s opinions. Blow a little oxygen on it and see what happens. Put everyone on notice. Look out world, I’m coming to dinner!
Dr. Peter Percuoco is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and a Keynote Speaker. With 30 years of experience, Dr. Percuoco has stepped out of the clinic and onto the stage to share his message of hope and potential inspiring people to be the best that they can be.