How Growing Up Poor Taught Me to Be More Positive About Life

in life •  last year

Old Home.png

Home, sweet home...

Above is a picture of my childhood home, where I lived from birth to about 17. And in case you're wondering, yes, it has always looked similar to the way it does in this photo. I remember when I was younger how embarrassing it was to have friends over, or to even have them KNOW where I live in the first place. I spent most of my young life in what would be considered poverty by most. Not poverty compared to other places in the world, but very low for U.S. Standards.

Poverty sounds a little extreme Chris, so what do you mean exactly?

I mean I can recall situations (quite frequently) in which we ran extension chords from the neighbors house in order for us to have ANY electricity. Waking up for school and being forced to take a cold shower. Or walking to my grandmothers house for lunch because the last pack of Top Ramen had been eaten already. Living in my small town in Missouri, I was easily at the bottom 1% compared to other families.

Being really poor in a small town often meant feeling isolated and insecure at times. Once I was old enough to realize that my family was not like that of my friends, I began to feel really weird about the idea of anyone knowing where I lived. I knew I was the "poor kid" at school and it drove me absolutely crazy thinking about how others must view me. Battling these constant thoughts eventually led to me having a new perspective on life; I was able to see that these negative thoughts were of my own creation, and that I also had the power to transform them.

So why am I telling you this?

I'm glad you asked. Despite how hard my life was a lot of times growing up, I always knew that there were others out there who had it worse than me. Life is all about perspective, and if growing up extremely poor taught me anything, it's that often times the things people spend the most time stressing over, are little things in the grand scheme of life. When I was younger, I hated my home situation. As an adult, I couldn't be MORE thankful for growing up in hard circumstances. It taught me to be strong, self reliant, and motivated. More importantly, it taught me that life itself is all about what you choose to make of it.

To rephrase that slightly, “LIFE WILL ONLY SUCK IF YOU ALLOW IT TO”

So don't. The one thing all humans have in common is our brain and it's ability to create a unique perspective on various events in our life. Two entirely different humans can experience the exact same event but both see it in their own way. What would be catastrophic to one person, might not even effect another individual. Our brains have the power to change how we perceive the world. So why are so many of us so unhappy?

It's hard to say exactly. But one very important point I am attempting to make is that you are in control of your own happiness. Some are dealt a significantly better hand in this life, but crying about how unfair it is will NOT improve the quality of your own life. Looking at things from a positive lense, however, WILL improve your life. And guess what?

You can start doing it TODAY!

Having a positive outlook on life is not always easy. And sometimes, not even always appropriate. There are certain instances when it is perfectly acceptable to not be in the greatest of moods. But for every other occasion, positivity is the best approach, and is very contagious. Like all things in life, all it requires is a little practice, discipline, and constant mindfullness. Make a mental effort to attempt to find a silver lining and odds are, you will successfully do so. Everyone in life has a past, and no one can change that past. The future, however, is in your complete control. So get out there and live the life you want to! Cheers, my friends!

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

I feel you. Great honest article.
Have you heard of Malcolm Gladwell's "eminent orphans" theory? He relates a thought that children who lose a parent early build grit and are have more successful lives.

It seems like you built resilience and a positive attitude by having it tough as a youngster. That's inspiring. Thanks. Cheers.

I'll follow you

·

I haven't heard of that but it makes total sense. Losing a parent is right up there with one of the hardest losses one can experience in life so it would only make sense that if it happened young you would be sort of "immune" to anything else life threw your way.

·
·

You had adversity at a young age. You learned that nothing can really hurt you unless you let it. It's almost like it turned your fear-setting down.

If you've already overcome rough things as a kid then you realize life can't beat you. I think a hard fork when you're young can turn into a personal super power if you deal with it in a positive way.

·
·
·

I agree 100%

This gem of a post was discovered by the OCD Team!

What is Operation Curation Delegation?

OCD -- Operation Curation Delegation -- is a team of newly selected Steemit Curators. We are exploring the Steemitverse in search of those under-appreciated, under-exposed New User Posts. And then, we share them with the Steemian Community.

We strive to find the gems lost in the Steemit Sea and bring to them to the masses. The OCD Team wants to support new users on their Steemit adventure!

Your post has been selected for possible nomination on our daily feature.

Please reply to this comment if you accept, and are willing to let us promote your gem of a post! By accepting this, you have a chance to receive extra rewards and one of your photos in this article will be used on our compilation post!

Please follow @ocd -- learn more about OCD (transparency is key) and see other Gems!

·

just reply buddy if you accept. really awesome content. our goal is to find authors who create awesome content like this and get them more recognition through @ocd

·

That is awesome thank you! And yes, I accept for sure.

·
·

Heck yeah buddy congrats. hope you got top five buddy

It's wild how the universe works though. I just clicked the new tab and saw your content and boom :)

·
·
·

Right place at the right time for me lol. It's amazing to me how much new content there is on a daily basis and how many great articles might get easily overlooked.

·
·
·
·

ayyy righttt absolutely.

But I definitely agree and we hope @ocd helps solve this problem. You should see a nice bump within 24 hours :)

·
·
·
·

You were the top ranked nomination today buddy I don't know if you saw. Check out @ocd 's latest post :)

·
·
·
·
·

Wow that is amazing! Thank you so much for that, seriously.

·
·
·
·
·
·

you're welcome buddy. Glad I can help out such an amazing person. congrats again :)

Great message man... I've spent most of my adult life with a chip on my shoulder, and it's been slowly dawning on me this last year what a complete waste of life it is to dwell on things you can't change.. And it's taken me a long time to realise this, and I still find it hard to focus on the positive, dwelling on the negative can become such a habit, especially if it's learned at an early age. But we all need articles like this to remind us every now and then, so keep it up Chris, thanks for dropping a brain seed.

·

Dude thank you for this. It feels awesome to know that people are actually reading this and soaking it in I'm such a powerful way while writing an article it's always a guessing game on whether people will even see it or not so the positive reaction I've received so far from this post is amazing glad to know I'm not the only one with these thoughts.

A half full Glass is better than a half empty one !! HolySmoke! ... Following ... RESTEEMED ...

·

Thanks for reading!

·
·

Thanks for upvoting my comment...

Wow, wonderfully written! I grew up in a similar situation, being the oldest of 6 siblings. My mom and dad did their best to provide (and provide, they did) but we were dirt poor. I always remember being so embarrassed to have friends over to my house, but they all tell me that time spent at our home were some of their best memories. This is why I have grown up to be so grateful, and have a great appreciation for the small things in life. Great post, man. Thanks for sharing!

·

It really does wonders for your perspective on what is "hard" as an adult. I am sometimes broke, but never like I was as a kid. It's almost like once you experience the worst, life is only easy beyond that point. I just feel bad for people who hit rock bottom later in life, rather than being born on that rock. Thanks for reading!

I wish more people could have your perspective. It woukd help people see that at times living through am experience like that can help you be truly happy because you know how hard it is to struggle. I'm happy for you and look forward to more posts.

·

Thank you for checking it out. I really believe that if you haven't struggled through anything hard then you will never fully appreciate when life is going well.

Great article, I feel you in so many ways, U was a single mom most if my kids life so I couldnt ever give them what they deserved and I live in a house where you really don't want people to know you live there. I mostly feel bad that I had to have my kids feel like that.

·

Single mother is one of the hardest jobs out there so I salute you for trying your best! Keep your head up and stay strong :)

·
·

Thanks, appreciate encouragement always!

@chrisgoans, thank you for your article so much! When I read things like this, I feel happy that I've joined this powerful community :)

·

Thank you for checking it out and I'm glad I could have a positive impact in some way!

Great attitude regarding growing up poor. Many would not see it as a form of blessing. I grew up with 6 siblings, so I know what it's like to compete for food. It made me a better person and more likely to show generosity. Thanks for the post.

·

I agree completely. It is so much easier to be generous when you can personally relate to struggling. Such a character building life event coming from very little and building up on your own.

Very good and inspiring story, you are what you think, and your thoughts are wonderful !

That is so true, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

Nothing like glaring poverty to give you a sense of realism. Hard to be entitled when you have nothing to be entitled about. Nice post.

·

Couldn't agree more!