Relentless Inspiration & Motivation in the Face of Incredible Adversities…
DISCLOSURE: Caps only denote my own writing style (I am not yelling)…
May God allow this article to inspire countless people… read it in its entirety and I assure you that you will have looked at life at a different angle (smile).
This is the story of a young man who was told that he was GIFTED yet UNFORTUNATE to have no parents around; no green card; and no financial support system and thus would have had no success in attempting to graduate from engineering school… yet despite the fact that he was told that he wouldn’t make it, he used the power of FAITH (taught by his late Father) to believe that he not only can make it, but he also will always beat (seemingly) insurmountable adversities/odds by believing that HE can do all things through GOD who strengthens him. Thus, despite being homeless in the last 3 years of his 5-year-electrical-engineering undergraduate career, his motivation/inspiration was catalyzed by his adversities…
The latter was supplemented by beliefs along the line that “he is the total sum of WHAT HE BELIEVES (something else that was taught by his Father, Pastor Lorins)… that LIKE attracts LIKE… that the POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING is real… that JOY and DEPRESSION are not great ROOMMATES. Thus, he has always done his best to remain as positive as he can and has only allowed sadness or depression to creep in during only specific periods of incredible adversities from which he learned some of life’s most amazing lessons. He went from being a potential college drop-out to achieving four graduate-school credentials and business success on many occasions… and now with self-discipline and determination added to his arsenal, he is just about to start proving to the World that he can do all through Christ who strengthens him!
The Great Maya Angelou is known to have uttered the following legendary quote:
“STILL I RISE – you may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies… you may TROD ME in the very dirt, but still like DUST, I’ll RISE… Did you want to see me BROKEN, BOWED HEADS and Lowered EYES?; Shoulders falling down like tear drops? Weakened by my soulful cries? You may shoot me with your words; cut me with your eyes; you may KILL me with you HATEFULNESS, but STILL like LIFE I’ll RISE! ”
I dedicate this article to my late Mother as yesterday was the anniversary of her death… she used her Motherly love to sacrifice my presence by allowing me to leave her household to go live with her sister in a foreign country to allow me to tap into my deepest potentials… and realize my relentless inspiration and motivation in the face of incredible adversities… Thank you you very much, Mother! Merci beaucoup, Maman! Muchas Gracias, Madre!
God is good because all I ever wanted to accomplish when I was younger was to become a loving parent, an eclectic business strategist and obtain an electrical engineering degree. And d I had already accomplished all of those in my 20’s…
I had worked for many solid companies and even got HIRED BY “NASA” at one point and opted to work for another company… but the key thing is that I, not only, achieved what I was told I couldn’t accomplish (which were my only goals at that time), but subsequently accomplished more credentials 3-fold. I helped create business structures for other companies, and then started my own, had employees and worked on countless, business, IT and software projects for a plethora of companies (all in my 20’s). I had held so many jobs, resigned and become a CEO of a promising IT firm with many solid clients in the ripe age of 27 or so. YUP, the little Black boy from the poorest country in the Western hemisphere who had no support system or green card or was supposed to have dropped out of college after he graduated high school at the top of his class DID NOT BECOME THE FAILURE that he was expected to have become. I was not arrogant, but I was IMMUNE from HUMAN STUPIDITY. I had had the highest scores on subjects like QUANTUM PHYSICS for a whole semester, I had overcome weaknesses and procrastinating nature a few times to score 100% on every homework and exam in several difficult courses and I have exceeded the expectations of countless clients. YUP, the young man could not be called STUPID, and could not be told that he couldn't achieve whatever he truly put his mind into... It was the point of no return no matter what obstacles that life would have brought, and LIFE has a way of bringing those along at the most unexpected times.
I had a known racist professor who, in the halls of the Physics department at the City College of the City University of New York, once told me that due to my lack of support system (and implicitly being Black) I would not make it through engineering school, that I should have quit and do something else because I was often dozing off in class. Little did he know, I was paying my tuition out of pocket and was working in a hospice program for 12 hours a night and 7 days a week (i.e., 84 hours a week) where my job functions included that of taking care of the terminally-ill elderly people. Moreover prior to that since my days of High School I had also worked at Ralph Lauren, Fast food restaurants and as a messenger in Manhattan and I even sold Kirby vacuum cleaners. YET, one week after calling me a genius for solving a physics problem without ever studying, and posing one that he couldn’t solve in the whole class hour, instead of encouraging me to tap into my true genius despite all odds, he reminded me that I was doomed because of my lack of support system and (implicitly because I was Black and in a lower socio-economic bracket). This racist White man also told me to come tell him how I made it even I did, and thanks to him I went from being an average engineering student to one of the best ones in my class prior to graduating with my Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering. I combined that professor's ill-prediction with the advice of another decent White professor who taught me how to develop my own style to coin the way I would approach learning for the rest of my life... To use my own style to make LEARNING MY DRUG and to LEARN as if I would live FOREVER!
I once had no interest in getting multiple graduate credentials, or in becoming wealthy etc… Life was simple… I felt like I was ready to be an entrepreneur at the age of nine (9) when I started my first venture... Who would have thought that I would have become an entrepreneur, researcher, professor and an academic...
In the face of nearly insurmountable adversities which started from my days in my homeland, I was determined to become somebody… I refused to become a statistic… Thus, I wrote a letter to my late Aunt Marie-Rose with the approval of my late mother to visit the U.S. for a VERY LONG VACATION against my Father’s will. My Mother told me that my Father cried for months (my poor Papa) as I was his ONLY TRUE FRIEND in the household. I did try to block the latter as it would have induced me to change my mind. MY ABILITY TO BLOCK THINGS has helped me a great deal in life... Unlike most, I CAN SUPPRESS THINGS THAT BOTHER ME... I can delay both positive and negative feelings...
My Father's fears of the Black American experience was not merit-less, but in those days I was still naive about it all and often ignorance is bliss. My Father’s opinion of Black Americans and how they were treated in the U.S. was (understandably) not a glamorous one and the pervasiveness of gang-banging in the U.S. in those NY days induced him to feel that he had to keep me away from all of that, but helas, my conspiracy with my Mother and aunt worked and the only thing my Mother had asked me to do was to promise her that I wouldn’t bring discord between her and her sister (my dear Aunt Marie-Rose that I loved so much)… and that I never did… I never gossiped or acted as a messenger between the two, and never reported what was going on at my Aunt’s house to her. IN those days, most had to use analog tape recordings anyway to communicate from Haiti due to the costs and stability of the phone system there, and that made it easier for my mother not to find out how sad I was in my first two years away from her… I never stopped crying...
WOW... This article is taking me way back to the genesis of my manhood… when I discovered that everything ( whether perceived as good or bad) contributes to the betterment of those who have clean hearts and right spirits to help them assist the less fortunate or those who need help the most or even society at large. We're all each other's servant in one way or another. I recall saying the latter to a prestigious client and he told me NOT TO SEE MYSELF AS A SERVANT... and all I could think of was JESUS... the best SERVANT OF ALL!
Prior to the late 1980's Haiti seemed to have been an amazing place to me. We didn't far away from the beach and I had an amazing childhood to be honest. My parents were amazing people with a rather normal life... My Dad was a pastor and entrepreneur and my Mom was a designer/seamstress with her own department store (i.e., she made clothes for children and adults, including wedding gowns). Both of my parents were very talented. NOW you know where I got it from (smile)
But by 1987, Haiti was heading to the abyss, it seems to have been the beginning of disastrous things to come (both man-made and nature-induced)… There were gunshots everywhere, my school was trembling from sound vibrations emanating from machine guns. It was terrifying to say the least.... There were also stress in my parents household because they provided hospitality to a lot of Church people that visited the country (mainly because of my Father) and some stayed at our place for as many as 2 years while they awaited their green cards. My parents also ran a side orphanage in the guest areas of their property. They did the latter for decades and raised a lot of orphaned girls... My parents helped a lot people. I am (proudly) from that heritage and do the same daily and am very proud of my parents.
Anyhow, I left a homeland that was ravaged by looting, civil war, beheading of former militia of the son and dictatorship heir of the physician-turned-into-dictator, who was known by Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier. Accordingly, the son was called “Baby Doc”, even though he was not a medical doctor like his Father was. The irony is that I only had one sibling and on a Haitian scale I was rather doing great fiscally (well, at least my parents were and so was my little venture which got bigger and bigger) as I lived in a large modern house with plenty of yard and traveled once a year out of the country with my Father. WHEREAS, upon arriving in the U.S., I was rather poor (on a U.S. Scale) and at first I lived in a one-bedroom apartment in a so-so area that was actually housing six (6) individuals (on of which was pregnant). But I give my Aunt credit for loving me enough to have listened to my prayer in that letter and for accepting to bring me into her circle in that environment (where I had to sleep on a floor for a while) until she could afford to get a bigger place where I shared a room with my two older cousins. What she did demonstrated TRUE LOVE and I will always open my hearts for my cousins and children and her husband because of it. Thus, despite my aunt stern personality, even in Haiti, I enjoyed spending time with her because I understood her and I loved her wisdom and the entrepreneurial spirit that My mother and she shared.
Both my late Aunt and Mother lost their mother, who was a gorgeous entrepreneur herself until she was killed by her best friend. The two entrepreneurial and wise sisters suffered along, and thus became pseudo-parents early on to help take care of their younger siblings and were toughened by life to give their children and relatives a sort of tough and nurturing love that is unmatched. My Mother often told me that she slept on her Mother’s tomb for the first 7 months of her Mother’s death because she was very spoiled by her Mother, and she was persecuted by her own family until she went to live in a military family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she met my Dad and became irresistible to him, so much that he used every trick in the book, including that of convincing that family to persuade my Mother to date him (something she did reluctantly at first) and I’m glad he was convincing because from that unlikely UNION between BEAUTY (my later Mother) and THE BEAST (my Dad) came yours truly... PERFECTION... I'm just kidding (smile).
Anyhow, I left Haiti with disgust to pursue my education in the U.S. But little did I know, despite having emanated from a chaotic land to a seemingly less chaotic land, namely the US, I had to discover things that I could have never anticipated, such as:
1. The complexities behind missing one’s parents and leaving everything that one knew behind in one’s homeland…
2. The complexities of relentlessly and fruitlessly(for a while) pursuing a green card (i.e., legal permanent residency) in the U.S.
2. The need to be immediately competitive after being told that I was non-English speaking by a High School teacher and sent back to my adviser.
3. The need to face INCREDIBLE LIFE TESTS at yet a young age. I was very spoiled in Haiti yet was facing MERE TOUGH LOVE from my aunt. Something that I needed to toughen me up, but it didn't always feel good at that time, BUT she was exactly what I needed and that's why God placed her on my path. I LOVE AND MISS MY AUNT MARIE DEARLY. AMAZING HUMAN BEING!
4. High School -- in High School, I had no Green Card (GC), and not enough time and support system
5. College -- In college, I also had no GC, not enough time, and not enough money... and I had to deal with the difficulty of having to work 84 hours a week (7 Days a Week) in order to pay my tuition out of pocket, not to mention live as a homeless person in the Architecture building for the last 3 years of my undergraduate career.
4. First Marriage – Being married in my early 20's was a daunting task. My ex was younger and I was more like a Father than a husband. She was a decent person. But at times I wanted a partner, someone who could have intellectually challenged me... and often I started wishing that she were like others with whom I enjoyed communicating. Financially, I had to work very hard, as the sole bread winner after losing my first engineering job opportunity while getting married (and honey-mooning). Subsequently had a nasty case of Chicken Pox and Cracked windshield while my was pregnant with my son (who is now a man).
5. THE LOSS OF MY LATE BROTHER, BEST COUSIN GERALDINE , HER MOTHER AND FIRST SON (around the same time period) was daunting at best and it was highlighted by my Father's first stroke after which he was never the same again.
6. The Initial part of Graduate School Studies (Masters’ and PhD) – the need to run multiple companies while being a single parent alone with my first two children (not to mention after-school program)… without God’s help and that of very good friend and business partner named “ASR”, I don’t know if I could have done it... I had to bring my first two babies (namely, Brandon and Trisha) wherever I went while I was their custodial parent and separated from their Mother (including my office, and class).
7 The End of Law School and the balancing of that with research in grad or post-grad studies and a new baby, new family (with my second wife) and the running of a franchise that I started as a franchiser and other companies even though I had enough money reserved to do everything was nothing short of complicated. I had advertisements on billboards and the radio etc. I now wonder HOW I survived. I just never gave up and had FAITH 100% until the very end. The time to study for Bar exams has been scarce because of my business endeavors. But I am determined to create the time to study for both law and medical board exams this year. I'd love to pass the medical boards and a few bar exams, including the Patent Bar before year's end. Please keep me in your prayers.
8. DIVORCE and CHILD SUPPORT DRAMA and MY MOTHER’S DIAGNOSIS WITH BREAST CANCER and the end of my Second Relationship -- I left my first marriage after giving it a chance twice and signing agreements with my ex as to what would be a deal breaker… Upon separating, she placed me on Child Support (CS) and lied about the payments she had been receiving as being non-CS payments and got CS from the date of separation rather, but I did sign the docs because I know that as a businessman I would be able to make money and wanted to see the end of that chapter of my life. But circumstances arose, particularly the death of my Mother which discouraged my motivation in my business ventures and exposed to many dire child-support imposed issues despite my failed attempt at diligence (e.g., have legal counsel appear on my behalf while I had oral surgery). It was, indeed, a very sad period of my life. Having to stay away fro my children for a while was tough. Dealing with STUPID PEOPLE that I normally would have never had to deal with as I was VERY INDEPENDENT. In fact, I bought my first car with money saved right out of High School. I was ready to give up when my Mother died. But my best friend ASR said, don't leave the country YET... think about it more and if you must, then you can make an educated decision. I was pampered in Michigan by people that may differ in race, but not in heart. I cherish them greatly, particularly my best friend Arlene for being there for me on worst days. I left my last relationship because my ex was not supportive enough... and there were incidents that occurred with one of her children. I just had enough and thus decided to start doing Pre-med and got waivers to US medical schools until I decided to attend medical school out of the country.
9. Medical school – during medical school, the deception of a so-called friend who failed to deliver $20K USD while I was out of the country studying medicine affected my game plan greatly… and the daunting task of being in another program, and teaching online concurrently… the attempt to start a new business in a different country, while maintaining existing ones from afar and the need to study medical science at a fast pace, balance existing relationships and other academic endeavors, and missing one’s children among other things was particularly challenging.
I went to medical school after taking pre-med courses at 3 Universities including University of Miami and University of Toledo. The progenitor of that was my late and beautiful Mother who reminded me of my medical doctor aspiration that I had since I was 2 years of age and literally took me to her physician and encouraged me to attend pre-med courses even while she needed my presence. She did it all while she was fighting terminal breast cancer. ONLY a MOTHER’s LOVE could have induced her to have so done. I MISS AND LOVE HER IMMENSELY for showing such unadulterated love to me during the last days of her life… moreover, at a low point in my Child support issues, she encouraged my Dad to come to my financial rescue for the very first time in my 30 years of living in the U.S… I know that she is the one who personally asked him to do it, because I wouldn’t have so done either.
And now it’s a matter of taking exams to cement my existing credentials… and the silver lining is that even if I had chosen to stop at the level that I have gotten, I have already overachieved and already surpassed all my previous goals… Trust me, it is an amazing feeling (smile).
SEE – at my age, I am immune to defeat… it means the same as success to me and I learn as much from it as I learn from success and often I learn way more in the former. I have learned that God/Nature always gives us the right tools to PRESS ON… I have met incredible friends like my best friends Aldyn Brutus, Arlene Russ, Patrick Pierre, Rosette Polistin, and Reed Sawyer, Ellis H., and God has helped me foster amazing relationships with people from whom I can relate and learn like “Erika C.S.”. “BUT FOR GOD” is a very pervasive aspect of my ascent from non-importance to a man to whom others pay to listen.
There is an aura of achievement, satiation, and gratefulness in my soul… YES, I would be liar if I were to say that MODERNLY, I do want to become one of the wealthiest men who have ever lived (and I will). In other words, I also believe that I can and will 100%. I have paid my dues and know what I need to do. I am not doubtful about life or my life or God or people. I know how people are and can be. It is now a matter of pressing on and getting things done. I see the temporarily-closed doors as blessing that allow me to focus on the open ones that I might have missed (smile)
PRESS ON FOLKS… God is more than AMAZING and life is TOO GOOD not to… and don’t forget that we all stand on the shoulders of GIANTS who died to give us the opportunity to PRESS ON. Thus, not so doing is an insult to those very souls. May God BLESS YOU and here are a few INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES that I have hand-picked for you:
"If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary."
~ Jim Rohn
“We are all born Superstars, we just have to pull it out of ourselves” ~ Unknown
“One shouldn’t give another human-being the responsibility for one’s happiness” ~ Unknown
"Whether you believe you CAN or CANNOT you are still right" ~ Unknown
“There will be people who will either distract you from becoming who you are meant to be by asserting that you are not as good as you really think you are OR that they think nothing special of you… but, don’t let your EGO deter you from your focus, and distract you from your ultimate goal, learn from each mistake, and just prove them wrong by focusing on being as good as you truly are and will be in the end” ~ Pete Lorins
“EGO is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of STUPIDITY” ~ Unknown
“PRIDE is the burden of a FOOLISH PERSON” ~ Unknown
“As you await a close door to open up, don’t stay so fixated on that door that you neglect to see ALL THE OTHERS that are WIDELY OPEN JUST FOR YOU” ~ Pete Lorins
“LIKE attract LIKE – If you see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand” ~ Unknon
“I think, therefore, I am!” ~ Descartes
And WHEN IN DOUBT, remember to ask yourself – “HOW AM I LIVING?”
Try not to judge others
Do your best to show up early (to be early is to be on time)
Make sure that your servant’s towel is HUGE and USED
IF you want to do something, you may as well do your best to do it the right way the first time around
How you do anything is how you’ll do everything
Enhance your life every day by seeking wisdom… be a WORK IN PROGRESS… don’t be a KNOW IT ALL… be ready to learn from every situation and everyone!
I do my best to keep my word to everyone but do at times shut down with people or entities that are overly unreasonable and tend to stay away from them… the challenge is to work with even UNREASONABLE PEOPLE… and as part of being a work-in-progress I have understood that we do have a great deal of unreasonable people out there and that there is always a reason for their madness, and thus we must find ways to work with EVERYONE (smile).
The future is brightly beautiful and God is so absolutely amazing… Please say the latter with me a few times and remember my many obstacles and the issues that I had to overcome and know that you can do the same and MORE, and you’ll be on well on your way to being both INSPIRED and MOTIVATED!
May God bless you and if you ever need some extra motivation simply visit me directly at:
TAP INTO MY ENGINEER YOU CAREER LINK
IN A RUSH... please forgive any typographical errors ("Typos")