Meet Alex, sixteen years old. He layed on his feathered couch and stared up at the crystal chandelier on the ceiling. The tall grandfather clock in the other room would ring for 4 o’clock and Alex would then break from his lazy glaze. Another school day skipped, he would think to himself smugly. The house butler would then open the door for Alex’s father who upon coming in, would normally erratically express his disappointment in Alex’s behavior. Drugs and slothlike carefree behavior have turned into a daily habit for Alex, as he had known for some time now that once he turned eighteen, he would inherit 5 million dollars from his father’s assets. However, Alex’s father had had enough and told his son that unless he got his act together, there would be no inheritance.
This worried Alex, but his worthless habits made him careless about his future. He knew deep down that he should quit his behavior now while he was still ahead, but it seemed impossible for him. There was no drive to achieve in his heart. Everything he knew had been given to him his whole life.
As many like Alex, he didn’t attend any form of college. Not because he wasn’t accepted, but because he didn’t even apply. Two years later he was exiled from his family’s house. His father had an idea of throwing Alex into the real world to wake him up as some desperate last resort. Needless to say, it didn’t work. With no high school degree to show for, and no money, he turned to begging for money on a corner, sleeping in alleyways. This is what his life had become over the last few years. He could have done so much with his life he would think, while high…
Meet Marc, fourteen years old. He stands at the end of a large empty poorly paved parking lot in Puebla Mexico. Being the only non Mexican boy in the small town he sits on the corner curb, exiled by the other boys his age. He watched them play soccer with an old ball one of them had stolen months back at a store up North. Although the other boys would never let him play with them he was fascinated by the sport and the professional players.
The ball in the boys game was soon kicked out and rolled over in Marc’s direction. The boy’s quickly made their way over to him to retrieve their ball. Marc would make a move to place his foot on the ball to control it but the oldest and most skilled of the Mexican group quickly took it back, and with the tip of his toe, maneuvered it, just out of Marc’s position. The other boys would cheer as he humiliated Marc’s inability to take the ball back from him. Finally, the boy kicked the ball up to his head and shoved Marc to the ground. The others burst into laughter as he fell the scraped his hand. The boy glared at him in a cocky manner, “Stop trying to be like us, white trash! This is our sport!.” With that, they left him, crying on the street.
Marc had never felt so destroyed before. The physical pain was only the rough exterior of what was truly going through him. As he got back to his disheveled home he tore open his box of scratch magazine covers. On each was a different professional Mexican soccer player which he had idolized. These men were heroes in his country, even to the boys who bullied him. These men had everything they could ever want and did what they loved. Marc looked around the room he was in thought. The ceilings cracked, windows broken, everything used and dirty.
The pain Marc was feeling from moments earlier was rapidly shifting to a sense of anger. He refused to accept this life any longer than he had to. He had a vision; a purpose. He imagined himself on those magazines he viewed and this new vision set a flame inside him. He didn’t know exactly how he would do it, but he knew he would. It was settled, failure was not an option in Marc’s mind. He was determined to do whatever it would take in order to become a professional soccer player.
Every night he would sneak out of his abusive father’s house to steal the soccer ball from behind the large garbage bin, where the boys hid it. He would practice the basic moves he had seen the pro’s do on television for hours at a time, setting small goals for himself every night. Even though he came home around 3:00 every morning, he seldom grew tired when he practiced, his progress ever so captivating to himself. He knew that with every kick, every session, he was getting that much closer to his goal.
Soon when school started, Marc tried out for the soccer team. The coach was a bit weary at first of letting the boy play but eventually gave the boy a single chance due to his persistence of asking. To the coaches surprise, Marc began to dominate the other boys on the small field, spinning and flicking the ball as he ran it and scored on the opposite goal. Although Marc was proud of how far he had come, he did not let his current satisfaction change his state of mind. He had his eyes set on the pros and nothing less.
As years went by his vision did not waiver. His last year in highschool soon came and rumors of the white boy from Puebla had spread across the high schools of the state. The talk brought a University scouter to one the games. He watched as the smaller white boy dominated the field around him with such passion. As the game finished, the scouter insisted on giving Marc a full ride scholarship to play soccer at one of the top universities in all of Mexico.
Before Marc even knew it, he was playing with some of the best in the country. Only one step away from what he had started so many years ago. He would watch his fellow soccer colleges party and drink through the weeks, but he stayed away from it all. He knew that only one of them could have a shot of making it to the big leagues and he was willing to work while they all played. His fear of failure was too powerful.
When finally got drafted onto Mexico’s professional team it shook him to his core. The feeling of success was overwhelming. Having overcome everything and gotten to this point seemed impossible to all others but he stayed true to himself. Marc accomplished his purpose he had set for himself, and become the first professional soccer players, with only one arm.
These two passages represent the two opposites of successful human nature. The first one tells the story of Alex, a rich boy who had been given everything in his life. Alex had no sense of what sacrifice was and thought pleasure was the only thing in life to be had. However, Alex soon learned the truth when he was exiled from his perfect life. This pictures just how devastating a life of pure indulgence with no purpose can be. With no drive or passion for anything, it was only a matter of time before someone like Alex would end up at the bottom. Alex is a dramatised illustration of those who don’t have the self direction to reach or even set life goals.
The next story is the flip situation in which the boy Marc is shown to live in poverty. Despite this, Marc exercises a power of pure dedication only the truly successful experience. Through this, Marc is able to strive through his boundaries set by others until eventually reaching his goals, at any cost.
I believe that Marc’s story is the truly important one here. Although his story is clearly an ideal for others, thousands of similar stories exist in which real people have defied the odds to achieve their dreams. If there is one thing to take away from a story like Marc’s, it’s that anyone has the power to take control of their life to do whatever they set their mind to. However, this takes self control, sacrifice, and most importantly of all, a true obsession for what you want. An obsession so strong that it makes you want to succeed more than you want to eat, more than you want to eat. If you have a true vision or passion for something, there is nothing stopping you from reaching success.