You are Special.

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You fought a very steep battle to get here on earth with the millions of sperm cells you had to navigate to get made. No one might not have told you of late, but you are specially made, uniquely positioned, and here to make your greatness felt. You are not here to drop two or three kids, work in multiple corporations, get old and DIE. Most of us will not live a life based on how we want it to be, but it is never too late to be who we are. You might have forgotten how special and unique you are due to the vicissitudes of life; the trials and tribulations have gotten you into a funk. It is part of the human experience; life is about learning to suffer with grace because if you don’t handle the challenges of life with grace, they will stay in your face.

What you are going through right now, no matter how tough they might seem, is not who you are. You are one of a kind; there is no one like you, and there will never be anyone like you. You are here for a special mission to make epic shit. You are a force of life who might have forgotten your essence, but the beauty of life is that you have the remote control in your hands. By making the right choices, you can change the direction of your life and alter its course at any time. American philosopher William James once quipped, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.

Teddy Stoddard and his teacher Mrs Thompson

There’s a story from many years ago that tells of an elementary school teacher whose name was Mrs. Thompson. As she stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the first day of school, she told her children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and told them that she loved them all the same. But that simply was not true, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children. His clothes were messy, and he constantly needed a bath. Teddy could be unpleasant at times. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen and making bold X’s and finally putting a Big “F” on the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records. She put Teddy’s off till last. When she finally reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy’s first-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners. He’s a joy to be around.” His second-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student and well-liked by his classmates. But he’s troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.” His third-grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest. His home life will soon affect him if steps aren’t taken.” Teddy’s fourth-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends, and sometimes he even sleeps in class.”

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in heavy brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she explained how pretty the bracelet was while putting it on and then dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smell just like my mom used to.” After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On this very day, she quit teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic and instead she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson began to pay close attention to Teddy as she worked with him. As time went on, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class. Despite her lie, he had become one of her teacher’s pets. A year later she found a note under the door from Teddy telling her that she was the best teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Six years passed by and to her surprise, another note came from Teddy. He wrote that he had finished high school third in his class and that she was still the best teacher that he had ever had in his whole life. Four years later, another letter came, saying that while things had been tough at times, he stayed in school and stuck with it and that he had graduated from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the very best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Four more years passed by and yet another letter came. This time, he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he had decided to go a little further. Again, assuring her that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. The letter was signed Theodore F. Stoddard MD.

The story doesn’t end there. There was one final letter that spring. Teddy said that he had met this girl and that he was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place, at his wedding, that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. She wore that bracelet, the one with the several rhinestones missing. She also made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. After the wedding, they hugged each other as Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.” Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back, “Teddy you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”

Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be. – Goethe

The Marva Collins Story

In the Power of Positive Leadership, Jon Gordon shares the inspiring story of Marva Collins. Marva was an elementary school teacher who believed in her pupils, and they lived up to her expectations of them.

The Power of Positive Leadership

Frustrated by the bureaucracy and inadequate teaching in public education, in 1975 she started her own elementary school, Westside Preparatory School, in Garfield Park, an impoverished Chicago neighborhood. There she taught children, many of whom had been wrongly labeled as “learning disabled,” to read, write, and study classical literature. The system said they couldn’t learn, but Collins believed that with discipline, structure, hard work, and positive reinforcement they could, and many of her former students say she inspired them to believe as well.

She would often put her hand under their chins, lift their heads up, and say, “You are brilliant.” One of her students said when you keep hearing that you are brilliant, you start to believe it. The television show 60 Minutes did a special on Collins and brought a bunch of her former students back for a reunion. Many of those who were told they had learning disabilities were now teachers, attorneys, sales leaders, and successful college graduates. They are living proof of the power of a positive leader who believed in them and was optimistic about their future.

When you keep hearing that you are brilliant, you start to believe it.


  • Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Reclaiming Emotions
  • It can take a lifetime to handle our emotions; growing up, many of us were taught that certain emotions were wrong, perhaps that anger was bad, that joy was uncivilized, or it wasn’t okay to cry. So, instead of accepting our emotions, we learned to push them away.
  • As our practice develops and we cultivate greater self-acceptance, we learn that there are no right or wrong emotions. So rather than categorizing them, we can try viewing our feelings as clouds; when we look up at the sky, we don’t judge the clouds as good or bad. The clouds are just clouds; we allow them to be.

“There’s no ‘should’ or ‘should not’ when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.” – Fred Rogers

  • Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – The Real MVP

Kevin Durant 2013-14 MVP Speech

  • Each of us has a real MVP, someone who pushed us, shaped us, sacrificed for us.


All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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