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You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are.

As I described in a post yesterday, this was one of many lessons I learned from my late grandfather Don Clifton (1924-2003) who would be celebrating his 90th birthday today.

This is why it can be so frustrating when society keeps telling you that you can be anything you want to be . . . if you just try hard enough.

While people can overcome adversity and are remarkably resilient, the most potential for growth and development lies in the areas where you have natural talent to start with. The more time you spend building on who you already are, the faster you will grow.

  • JJ truth

    But there are often too many odds against, a poor person or a retarded/ disabled person developing their natural talents and finding suitable work with them or lasting careers. It just isn’t possible for anyone born poor or disabled. This is only applies to those who have parents working in the field whereas, they have established good reputations. Of course, if you are born rich than its extremely possible that you can pursue any type of work using your natural talents because you have the income to develop them to the fullest, gain the mentors etc. Such things are nonsense for those who are born poor in America. The dream doesn’t exist besides— a dream isn’t reality its just a figment of the imagination. Poor people don’t have any chance to achieve the “American Dream or to build wealth—unless they marry or inherit it.” Time to stop promoting this huge lie that everyone can be anything they want—useless, utter clap trap.

    • John Mars Weaver

      because no one cares about the poor…wealthy people are greedy and must be punished for making people suffer in poverty in a world full of greed

  • John Mars Weaver

    I grew up in a real poor family and am a nobody shattered both my legs yrs ago and ruined my life.. and am a nobody.when I was growing up I wanted to be an astronaut or a pilot but my father was an abusive peace of blamed for a crime I didn’t commit the da pressed charges on me when I was 18 and ruined my chances to join the military and here it is many yrs later I am 42 living with a gimp and a professional bum I amounted to nothing and going through my mid life crises I am depressed because I am a worthless peace of garbadge thrown away by life

    • John Mars Weaver

      and no I don’t have a criminal record I am free and hopeless

  • Sharon Hall

    Boo hoo. I was born in a very poor family. No one ever finished high school in my family, except my brother and myself. I went to the public library and read, and checked out books, kept out of trouble, studied hard, pushed myself and I was the first to go to college, which I paid for myself, by working three jobs. I went to graduate school, and worked my way through that, too. Poor my ass, make yourself better. You have to want it and to work for it. Nobody’s going to hand it to you. My cousin, who has Down’s syndrome, folds clothes at the hospital. Her friend works as a greeter at the museum. It is possible to educate yourself, plus there are grants and aid for minorities and disabled people to which I did not have access. There are odds against all of us. No one is guaranteed a lasting career. I have had every type of job, but have been employed. Make yourself more employable. The odds of winning a national championship are overwhelming, but you can’t sit on your ass and win it, either. You have to get out and do the work despite the odds. I know, I did it.