The Three Biggest Influences That Have Shaped The Person I Am Today

We are all a product of our past

Photo by Kristina Wagner on Unsplash

There are many forces in my life I am grateful for. I am grateful for my family and the upbringing I had which molded me into the person I am today. Many factors have influenced the person I am today and there are probably many more I am not aware of.

There are three that stick out, three I am eternally grateful for:

1. Ballet

I started dancing at the age of 6 years. Ballet taught me rigid discipline, focus, and perseverance.

I starting attending ballet classes three times a week from the tender age of 6. Some days I dragged myself to class, and it was the last thing I wanted to do, and other days it was easy and wonderful.

I danced even when I did not feel like it, and there were days I loved it, and days I did not.

I learned from a young age that perseverance is key to success and I have applied that principle to all aspects of my life.

Ballet taught me to continue when things are tough, even when your feet are bleeding.

It taught me there are many rewards to gain from practice, practice, and practice.

It takes many years before you can dance on your toes. And hours of dancing to be able to perfect one move. Overnight success is not an option. I don’t regret any second I spent in ballet class.

Reaping the rewards take time.

Being a ballerina for over 10 years has contributed positively to the person I am now.

Discipline and perseverance. Two key takeaways.

I applied these two principles to learning to play piano, to studying and training for years to become an attorney. I will continue to apply those lessons in my life.

They are good lessons.

2. Reading Books

I discovered the joy of reading at a young age and I was hooked. I read every book in my tiny school library. The library teacher jokily said:

“We are going to run out of books for you to read!”

They did run out of books and so I read every book in the local library. Well, every book I could read, ones without sex or violence.

While my friends were watching cartoons I was reading about faraway places, magical worlds, and fascinating cultures.

Books taught me valuable lessons. They taught me about the world in a way that you cannot obtain from watching TV. They taught me about complex relationships, falling in love, loss, pain, and regret.

I traveled around the globe and learned about ancient times and strange customs. I broaden my mind and expanded my horizons all from the comfort of my own bedroom.

I love reading, its like breathing. I have to read. I cannot stop.

There is no greater pleasure in life than reading a wonderful book. When you read a book you step inside a parallel universe and you travel through that universe and you discover wonderful things. I have no doubt that reading made me smarter, improved my writing and my memory.

Without all the books I read, I don’t know who I would be and what I would be doing. When you are a reader you are almost never bored. There so much joy, happiness, and pleasure to be found in a good book.

Books shaped my mind and they made me wise.

3. Therapy

Without therapy, I don’t know where I would be. I would not be here today. I would be lost and confused. Therapy helped me see the harmful thinking I was engaging in.

It helped me discover so many things about myself that I would never have discovered.

I started going when I was 23 and I don’t regret any money or time spent in therapy.

I learned to accept and love myself. It helped me cope with life’s difficulties and discover I needed to work on my self-esteem.

I doubt I would have met my amazing partner if I had not gone to therapy.

Our emotional lives are tough and difficult and we all need help learning and coping with them.

Without therapy, I would not be the person I am today; content, stable emotions, and much better self-esteem.

Therapy is immensely helpful and I am so grateful I stuck with it even when it was uncomfortable.

In the end…

We are all shaped and influenced by multiple experiences. We are molded and made by forces that are sometimes within and out of our control.

What are yours?

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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