He loved to party when he was younger. As he grew older and had a family, getting down to his last dollar almost broke him.
The first recollection of my last dollar was in the Marine Corps when everything was coming down on me. I literally had one dollar to my name, along with senseless bills, a desire to party and make spontaneous road trips, while living off ramen noodles, rice, eggs, and soy sauce.
In a moment of surrender–after a swig of Mickey’s and a couple shots of whatever that was–I took that dollar and taped it to my mirror with the inscription, “my last dollar.”
So there I was… faced with that question I tend to ask more often as the years go by, “what now?”
Fortunately, there always has been and there always will be a solution to every problem, and what do you know, I heard that if I go give a little plasma I’ll make a few bucks that could get me into my next Rave!
Yeah, you probably already figured out I was a little young and immature for sure, barely old enough to drink but I was having a good time. Those were some fun days but at that time even a last dollar was still pretty scary. A last dollar takes on a different meaning these days; a big difference!
Today, I have more people relying on me than ever, especially my children, so the pressure is really on if things get hot.
These are the kind of things that can drive a man into severe breakdown because he doesn’t get to just feel like a failure all by himself. He gets to realize that he failed everybody else, which is quite humbling; the obvious public display of how you’ve failed people.
But it’s not just that; it’s not that I care about what anyone thinks, it just so happens to be a genuine compassion that I don’t want anyone to suffer because of me or the choices I’ve made.
It’s happened time and time again, and the last time this happened, I was down to my last my $5,000. Then, before I knew it, I saw $1000, then $500, then $100, and I was so scared to look at my bank account because I knew it had overdrawn, and here I was with a few $20’s in my wallet.
Everyone was calling me. People were angry, calling me out, wanting money, things were shutting down, and I knew my car and cell phone were next.
When you’re in the middle of all of this, it’s hard to think. It’s tough to put a solution to your problem. You feel like you’re underwater, and everything is working against you.
This is where the fight or flight kicks in on a serious level! You are either going to let the rubble of your mess bury you and make you a victim of your choice to give up, or you are going to do everything you can to claw your way to the top of that rubble so you can jam your flag of victory into the ground and claim what’s yours.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in all of this is that it’s difficult to build a boat underwater. It’s hard to start a new foundation from beneath the rubble, and it can feel like everything is working against you if you don’t have a real reason to climb out.
Nothing has ever increased my chances of success more than my very reason for succeeding. If I didn’t have that reason, that rubble would bury me. If I didn’t have a hard hitting “why,” I would drown and just be another statistic.
If you’re going to win and beat that last dollar, it’s because you have a strong enough reason to win. Nothing is going to hold a person back who has decided to fight for their life. Not a thing on earth but death itself can stop such aggression.
That aggression who lives by a reason to win knows very well that once you’re on the surface, you can finally gaze across the surface of deep with a sigh of victory. From there and only then is when you have the freedom to start building your boat that will take you to the life you’ve always dreamed of.
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Photo: Flickr/ javi.velazquez