Someone once told me that if you ever have trouble understanding the actions of people around you, imagine them as little kids. Because really, we all still have the little kid versions of ourselves inside, fueling us.
This made me think of a key question:
What is your most significant memory from childhood - and how does it affect you still?
I have a couple, one "good" and one "bad."
First the bad. I have fun memories of playing touch football in the street all day, but then I'd come home starving, only to find an empty refrigerator and empty cupboards.
That’s never going to leave my brain – searching the house for ten or fifteen cents because I hadn't eaten all day.
As a kid, that feeling of hunger fueled all the little businesses I ran as a kid - shoveling snow, handing out fliers for local shops and of course, my paper route. Making extra money in those ways meant I could even buy my own lunch at school, instead of getting the free lunch my family's lack of resources "entitled" me to.
Being self-sufficient was a very proud feeling for me, and I think I've always been that hungry little kid who needs to feel self-sufficient all the time. That's what drives me in my work, what gets me to the office early, and keeps me there late - even though a lot of people think I "made it" long ago.
I couldn't shake that feeling of hunger even if I wanted to.
My "good" formative childhood memory is a composition of of all those summer days when I was able to scrape together enough change to go to Yankee Stadium for a game or, when it was a lucky day, a doubleheader. My friends and I were never able to buy tickets for very good seats, but we knew a few tricks, and sometimes we could sneak down to empty spots in the closer rows.
In any case, Yankee Stadium on a summer day was a great escape from our little apartment on King's Highway in Brooklyn. It was like paradise.
I couldn't shake this love of sports - particularly live games - even if I wanted to.
(Needless to say, that passion has driven my career as well.)
Do you have childhood experiences that still drive you?
Are they driving you in the right - or wrong - directions?