How I Went From Feeling Like a Loser to Feeling Like a Champion and How YOU Can do the Same
This is an essay that I wrote for a writing class in the Fall of 2013. The story that I am telling takes place right around the beginning of 2013.
180: The Story of How I turned My Life Around
As I laid alone in the sweet and peaceful darkness that surrounded me I felt as if I did not have a trouble in the world. I was untouchable. Nothing could end such a feeling of pe - *BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP…..* I woke up in horror to realize that the only reason I was feeling such tranquility was because I was asleep. My 8 o’clock alarm felt the need to end the wonderful nights sleep that I had been enjoying. How selfish of it. I rolled out of my toasty warm bed and into the freezing air of my seemingly arctic bedroom. I grabbed the least stinky clothes I could find off of my floor and threw them on. As I walked outside into the freezing cold, my Mother said the same thing she said every morning. “Have a good day at work, Broc.” Every day she told me to have a good day at work, but I could never think of a time where I ever really did.
After opening the store I sat and waited for the inevitable. I waited nearly 20 minutes before I finally heard that deafening “ding-dong” sound of the first customer entering the store. “Welcome to the UPS Store, how can I help you today?” As I said these words I thought about how awful the day ahead was going to be. Customer after customer came in until finally, I was free to go. My shift was over. It was as if I was suddenly free of all my current problems. That feeling quickly died as I got in my car to drive to my night classes.
As I sat through each class, I thought to myself how stupid they were. How it was all a waste, and how there was no point for me to be there. I had no goal in school. I didn’t know what I wanted to go into. Why pay all this money for a higher education if I don’t even know what I am going to do with it? I was failing my classes. No matter how hard I wanted to succeed, I could not bring myself to put any effort into any of the classes. By the time I made it to the end of the semester, I had barely brought my grades up to a passing level. The only thing that kept me going was the idea that I was going to waste a LOT of money if I failed to at least get passing grades. I decided midway through the semester of hell that I wasn’t even going to register for spring.
Over Christmas break we were having a Christmas/birthday party for my mom. She was turning 50, so we invited the whole neighborhood over. I sat down and watched as people trickled into my house. I knew all of these people, but not enough for me to want to have a conversation with any of them. Finally somebody I liked came in. Somebody I always enjoyed talking to: Kirk. I walked up to him and greeted him with a halfhearted hello. Before I could even get another word in, he asked me if I was looking for a job. I had my part time job at the UPS store, but I hated it. I was looking for something new and different with a full time schedule (even though I hadn't made an effort to find it).
On the 2nd of January I woke up, feeling ready to go and give this job my all. It was a fresh new job and I knew that at this point I had an opportunity to make a good impression. I showed up 15 minutes early and walked into the warehouse to receive instruction on what I would be doing. Nobody was there. I walked around and tried to get some sort of idea of what I was supposed to be doing. Eventually, Kaleb showed up. He worked in shipping and that’s where I was supposed to be so I introduced myself. He looked at me like I was some sort of monster. Like the idea that I was taking the time to say hello to him at this hour in the morning was a sin against everything he has ever known. After staring at me awkwardly for what felt like the whole day, he finally told me what to do. Apparently I had started on the busiest day of the year. A perfect opportunity to prove to show them that I had a good work ethic.
As I came in to work every morning, I became more and more familiar with how everything worked. Whenever I finished something there was always something else to do. The people who had worked there for many months already were very behind. I heard them give excuse after excuse explaining why they were behind and why it wasn’t their fault. I quickly realized it was all a bunch of bull. They were behind because they didn’t care, and they didn’t put forth the effort necessary to finish what they needed to. So like any newly motivated person would do, I picked up the slack. I worked extra hours, and I worked them extra hard. Justin, who was the warehouse manager, quickly started to realize that I didn’t work like his other employees. He saw that I was putting forth a strong effort to fulfill the groups workload. He called me into his office on the 1st day of my third week, and told me something that changed the way I looked at myself, work, and life forever. He told me that he had never seen somebody work as hard as I did. He told me about how he had been waiting for somebody like me to come along. Not only did he say these things, but he also gave me a significant pay increase which he said made me the highest paid person who worked in the warehouse at that moment. He told me that he could see me going far with the company.
I was in shock. Up until that moment, I never saw myself as somebody who was capable of being outstanding in anything. I never saw myself as somebody who could impress somebody like that, and stand out in a positive way. I felt like if he really knew me, he wouldn’t have said any of what he did. But I realized that if he really believed that I was different, then I really could be. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of motivation which left me feeling better than I have ever felt in my life.
I worked through spring semester of school, and loved every minute of it. I never thought I would be somebody who would love my job. When April came around they decided to make me the manager of the shipping department. I was trusted, I was valued, and I was wanted. I felt incredible. Like I could do anything. I had achieved so much in such a short amount of time. I decided shortly after I was promoted that I was going to go back to school and give it my all. As soon as fall came around, I did. I put more effort into that semester of school than I ever have. I didn’t really know what I was going to focus my studies in, but I believed in myself that I could become great at whatever I ended up deciding to do.
Taking that job was the best decision I have made in my life so far. That job has opened me up to the idea that I am capable of being so much more than I ever imagined, and has also given me the motivation to do so. I meet people all the time who tell me how much they hate their work, and how it kills them. My work, gives me life. It’s what gives me the strength I need to take my life by the horns. I love my job, and I love what it has done for me. It has taught me that hard work really DOES pay off, and that I am capable of becoming something great. I have also learned to find the value in everybody. If I was able to find value in myself even after feeling so worthless, then who is to say that others who may not have it all together can’t do the same thing. That job is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
My Thoughts Now (March 2015)
When I wrote this, I was just starting to see what I was capable of. Since then I have been able to find success in many thing I have tried by living by a simple lesson my Dad taught me while I was going through my hard time.
"Whatever you do in life, no matter how hard or impossible it may seem, do everything you can to be the best at it."
Since I have started applying that to my life I have found success in almost everything I have tried. I used to think that life was all about doing as little work as possible while getting the most out of it as possible. This was a good strategy in my teens, but it does NOT transfer well into adulthood. If you truly want to find happiness and success in your life, you have to take that big step into whatever it is that you want to do and give it EVERYTHING you have. No excuses.
I was fortunate to have a good opportunity to really work my hardest and do my best at something, but I have also since then been able to take on things that I had no connections with and no easy way in, where I was still able to find success because I didn't give up on it just because it was hard.
I urge everybody who has read through this to go out and give your life your best work, and I promise you will be rewarded for it in some way.