As we sat there in the car, we discussed our futures. He had big plans for himself, which included heading an investment bank in New York, going to a major business school, and generally taking on the world. When it came time for me to share my plans for the future, I still remember quite well what I said:
"I will be very happy if I get a three-bedroom house in a nice neighborhood and can at least afford to travel once in a while," I told him. "I really hope I can get a decent job when I get out of college."
"It's tough out there, but I am sure you will manage to get something," he said.
I never forgot this particular conversation because at that time in my life this was all I expected for myself:
- I thought my biggest challenge would be finding a job when I got out of college.
- I never thought I would be an attorney.
- I never thought I would even go to a good college.
- I never thought I would leave Detroit - and I never really had big plans for myself.
My sense of who I was and what I could achieve was simply not at a high level. At some point, however, based on encouragement from my father, teachers, and others, I began to develop a stronger sense of self - a sense of self that encouraged me to aim high in my life and to believe that I was capable of incredible things. Over time, this sense of self began to stick, and it continued to grow for me. A strong sense of self is the most important possible thing you can possess, and developing a strong sense of self will change your life.