Before Steven Spielberg was Steven Spielberg he was just Steven; a boy born in Cincinnati to an electrical engineer dad and a concert pianist mom. Because of Steven’s dad, they moved around a lot. After Ohio, there was New Jersey. Then Arizona. Finally, Northern California. All these new environments showed up in Steven’s grades which were mediocre at best. Later in life, it was discovered that Steven was diagnosed with dyslexia—he chose not to let that slow down his career as a master film maker.
Before Oprah Winfrey was Oprah Winfrey she was just Oprah; a girl conceived from a one night stand into a childhood of poverty. Oprah spent the first six years being raised by her grandmother on a farm in Mississippi. When her grandmother got sick, Oprah was sent to live with her biological mother which triggered a toxic 8 year upbringing; one that included abuse, neglect and rape. She was eventually sent to live with her father Vernon Winfrey who was a Barber in Nashville, Tennessee. Vernon helped bring focus to Oprah’s studies. While in high school, she worked her way into a job at a local radio station. She earned a scholarship to Tennessee State University. At the age of 19, she earned her first job at CBS. You know the rest.
Before Jim Carrey was Jim Carrey he was just Jim; a boy who had spent time living with his parents in a Volkswagen van in Toronto. When he was 8, Jim started making funny faces in front of a mirror and realized he could do some pretty stellar impressions. To help his family with finances, at 14, Jim dropped out of school and took a job as a janitor. A year later, he made his debut as a comic. Four years later, he move to Los Angeles.
Before Howard Schultz was ‘CEO of Starbuck’s’ Howard Schultz was just Howard; a boy who grew up in subsidized housing in the projects in Brooklyn to the son of a truck driver. Howard once said, “Growing up I always felt like I was living on the other side of the tracks. I knew the people on the other side had more resources, more money, happier families.” Today, Howard wakes up at 4:30 every morning from his Seattle mansion overlooking Lake Washington. After an hour-long work out, he is on the phone talking Starbucks with Europe. And he ends most evenings with calls in Asia as their work day opens.
Living out of a van. Average grades. Dyslexia. Poverty. Abuse. Divorce. None of us can control our starting hands; yet many limit what we believe we can achieve in our lifetimes because we’ve handcuffed our minds to those starting hands.
Limiting beliefs limit our success.
Break the story. Break the ceiling.