When talking to people about increasing the joy and passion in their lives I often hear such lines as “If I had more money I would be happy” or “I just was born under a lucky star” or even “You don’t understand all the bad things that I grew up with”. It is no secret some people are born with more resources than others. More money, more education, a large support network, but these can be just as much of an obstacle as a gift. Sometimes being raised in such an environment can be as much of an obstacle as an advantage. How can being born in ‘all the right situations’ be an obstacle you may be thinking. Being raised with things that others do not have often robs us of that drive for a better life. That is not to say all people who are blessed with being born in the right circumstances are lazy, quite the contrary. Circumstances are what we make of them. For those of you shaking your head, let me give you some proof. First, let us flip this story around. What would you predict for a girl born to a 13-year-old single mother? Let’s say that girl after the age of nine is physically, emotionally and even sexual abused from the age of nine? What if that same girl finds herself pregnant at the age of 13 as well? Not looking so good is it? Now let us say this girl leaves her mother to find her father at the age of fourteen and 8 months along, and then shortly after arriving there gives birth to a still-born child. What would be your prediction for this young lady? Well that event could have destroyed, and rightfully so, any fragile teenage soul, but it only served to galvanize this young lady. She applied herself in school remained focused on her goals and while being employed as a journalist was offered her own daytime talk show. You see Oprah Winfrey did not let her circumstances define her. She knew the life she wanted, and when she couldn’t find it, went out and created it. So let’s do ourselves a favor and not cater to our present or past situations. Let us not be defined by events we had little or no control over. Let us be defined by our future, and by what we are yet to become! Let us create our own future, starting today.