I recall the air temperature that September afternoon. I can still hear the noises on that school bus and can feel the ripped vinyl of the seat. I remember the smell of that classroom. And most importantly I can remember the words of the “teacher.” They played over and over in my mind until they became part of who I would become.
“You’re not supposed to be here, Tommy Wyatt. You don’t belong here.”
When she said those words, and all the other children turned and looked at me, I felt a panic inside, almost a dizziness. I thought I would cry, but too many were watching. I didn’t know what to do. I was seven.
I was just a second grader, when my parents enrolled me in after-school CCD at Our Lady of Good Council church. We were bussed over and this scene took place on the first day after the teacher called the role and my name wasn’t on the list.
“Is there anyone I didn’t call?” she asked in a shrill and unfriendly voice. My hand went up. “What’s your name?”
I answered, “Tommy Wyatt.”
That’s when I was told, in no uncertain terms, by an authoritative figure, that I didn’t belong there. Obviously I was just in the wrong classroom, but that wasn’t what my seven-year-old brain processed. And I hated school from that day forward. Every day when I woke up, got dressed and ate breakfast I headed off to a place where I “wasn’t supposed to be” and “didn’t belong.”
Though I spent my life repelling any and all authority, things eventually turned out okay for me. Its no surprise that I ended up with a career and a life where I call all my own shots. But its also a career where I interact on a personal level with thousands of people. I get to hear their (mostly suppressed) dreams and I witness the conflicts they experience with their own belief systems.
To be clear, my conversations are normally about creating an extra income stream part-time, through the vehicle of network marketing. Its amazing to recount the reactions I’ve witnessed over the last 17 years. They range from pure 100% excitement to complete distain and disrespect. I’m sure that nobody would have an issue with an extra cash flow, more fun, and more lifestyle but some people just will not entertain that picture.
It took me a while to deal with the negative responses. I mean, I offer people better tomorrow’s for a living! But with my age came more wisdom and I eventually understood that you just can’t smash through somebody’s belief system. It’s engrained.
Like my experience at Our Lady of Good Council, where I learned that “I wasn’t supposed to be” in a structured and mainstream environment people are sadly told that they “don’t deserve” freedom, or happiness, or wealth. They are told that money (and people who have it) are evil. They are taught that “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” Stop dreaming. “Its unrealistic.”
So what’s your core belief? Does it limit you, or empower you?
I guess when that thoughtless nun stamped my mental DNA ticket in 1972, I just got lucky.