I have put off posts to let people know who I am and what I am about for too long now. It is time for my four part series introducing myself and who I am to the reader.
In this post, I am going to talk through how I was brought up as a young-in from 6-14 years old.
I was born and raised in Plano, TX. At the time, the area was very much developed with not a whole lot going on. I grew up with an older brother and was blessed to have two loving parents in the home. Looking back I now realize how fortunate I was to have a great household to come home to with two very loving parents and an older brother who didn’t pick on me too much.
Developing My Competitive Mindset Early On:
As a kid I was in every sport you could possibly imagine. The only sport I never played was football and that was mainly due to my parents not wanting me to end up in the hospital. I will say, being a tall and skinny kid in a football game in Texas would not end all too well (unless maybe I was the punter haha). I was an extremely competitive kid and who always loved competition. Any time I could get outside and do something competitive I would jump at the opportunity. My dad pushed me a lot in athletics and was always the coach of my teams. Looking back I also didn’t realize how much of a blessing I had to have both of my parents at all of my games and practices. It must have been a significant time commitment to them.
Family Environment I Was Raised In:
My family lived in a modest neighborhood directly across the street from a library. My parents both drove 5-10 year old cars that were definitely not the flashiest (not as cool as my 11 year old VW Jetta though haha). We had a comfortable two story 4 bed, 3 bath home with all old appliances and no fancy interior decorations. We didn’t spend any money on material things. Both of my parents worked full time jobs with my dad being a tools salesman and my mom working in database administration. A typical week day would be school followed by my parents taking my brother and I to one of our sporting events. A typical weekend would be my parents driving both my brother and I around going from one sporting event to another. As you can see competition was instilled into me from an early age.
Parents Views On Money:
From my early childhood (till the age of 14), I don’t remember hearing my parents speaking about money a single time. I didn’t find this odd at all. I simply thought every household didn’t talk about money. No discussions on how much my parents made. No discussions on what type of things they were investing in (if anything). And definitely no discussions about money goals to get out of the rat race and become financially independent. This prevented me from having any base understanding of money and investing. I guess that could be a good or bad thing.
The Beginning Of My Mindset Shift:
I was now 14 years old and had moved to a new city in north Dallas a few years earlier. By this point, I had decided to give up all athletic sports besides tennis. I was ranked top 10 in the state in juniors and I now had a decision to make on what high school I would attend. I was in a unique situation where a new high school was going to open up for my freshman year. From an athletic perspective, I was already being recruited by the old high school’s tennis coach. I had to make a critical decision at this stage of my life. I could go to the new high school where I would be with all my friends but have no idea how good the tennis program would be (which would be risky), or I could go to fundamentally sound school where I knew I would get great coaching. After all my goal was to play Division 1 tennis out of high school. I ultimately decided to take a riskier path, attending the new high school, with the main driver being all my friends being there.
This fundamental decision made me have to grow up extremely quick from an athletic perspective. I went to a brand new high school, and in my first year of playing tennis there, I was the number one player on the team. I was not only young for my grade (14 when most of my friends were well into being 15), I was also an extremely timid and shy kid. I was a scrawny 5′ 10″, 115 lb. 14 year old freshman playing 17-18 year old seniors who were twice my size. It was time for me to make a critical decision in my life. I could be intimidated by the size of my opponent, or I could step up to the challenge and step out of my comfort zone. I decided the later. My freshman year I was first team all district, made the regional tournament and only lost 5 matches all year. I am extremely grateful for not only the decision I made at that time to choose the school I did, but also the decision I made to not be intimidated by my opponent standing across the net.
Looking back, here are the main takeaways I had from the early times of my life:
- Money: This was never something my parents discussed. I wish my parents would have talked more about money in the household growing up, but I am honestly glad they didn’t. I believe the discussion of money is valuable if and only if you know how to effectively get certain points across to your kids.
- Mindset: Competition was driven into me from an early age, mainly from athletics. I cannot be more grateful from being as involved with athletics as I was. The main things I took away from athletics were the drive I now have and the work ethic athletics instilled in me.
- Mission: In life you can’t be afraid of the unknown and taking risks. The decision of going to the new high school was a fundamental decision I made early on in my life I couldn’t be more grateful for. This decision helped to shape my mission of going against the status quo and doing things that may seem difficult at first but are the right decision for the long term goal.