I experienced many challenges in school to obtain an education. Suspensions, detentions, and failed courses are all a part of my academic records. There were times when I wanted to quit, but somehow I developed the courage to continue. I did not attend private, magnet, selective enrollment, or gifted schools. From kindergarten to PhD, I attended local and public institutions.
I used to get intimidated when I saw my older sisters’ school assignments and compared it to my homework. The idea of being able to complete an advanced math problem or writing a paper with a five-page requirement appeared too difficult. Eventually, I did make it to the grade level where I received those assignments I feared, and they turned out to not be as difficult as I envisioned. Was I assigned easier homework than my sisters once I reached their grade level? No, that was not the case.
I refused to quit the process of getting an education, and that significantly impacted my ability to complete the once perceived impossible school tasks provided to my sisters. With each grade level that I passed, I acquired a new set of skills that prepared me for harder and more complex problems. Refusing to dropout of school is what eventually led me to earn a doctoral degree in Policy Studies in Urban Education.
The skill that I learned, never to quit, in school is what I now apply in my business as a writer, consultant, and capoeirista. As an entrepreneur, I have faced significant financial challenges that have caused me to think about abandoning my business. For months at a time when I focused solely on capoeira instruction, I did not make a profit from the classes I taught to children and adults. These were challenging seasons, but over time I added additional skills and made a shift in my business approach. This past year has been exceptionally tough also to create sustainable income while living in Mexico; however, I am determined not to quit.
The approach that I adopted from my experiences in education and applied to business has also proved beneficial in my personal life. My wife and I have three small children who are ages four, five, and six! They are an extremely active bunch and difficult to handle at times. Temper tantrums, sibling rivalries, and other challenges occur every day in my home. However, as a highly devout parent, I will never give up on loving and supporting them in any way possible.
The philosophy I have for my children is also applicable to the relationship I have with my wife. Like any healthy marriage, we have occasional disagreements. We always aim to present calm temperaments, clear communication, and consistent affection toward each other, but we don’t always succeed. There are times when disagreements linger for days, but eventually, we apologize and get things back in order. My marriage with my wife is stable because I refuse to give up on her, us, and our family.
No matter if it is school, work, business, parenting children, or a long- term relationship, sometimes the best thing we can do is just refuse not to give up!
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