Not everyone can go from extreme lows to extreme highs in triumphant personal stories of conquering adversity. People who say otherwise are lying. You may often read about those kinds of stories; though, most times, when a person goes homeless or something to that effect, they stay that way.
I've been homeless three times in my life: twice while I was a minor because of parental reasons I couldn't control; once because of parental reasons I could control.
Skipping over a lot of details, while making a long story short: After getting out of the military, I decided to become a homeless veteran because that, to me, was better than living in the same environment as my biological mother and step-father.
I was correct.
It was a decision that came with long-term mentally scarring and embarrassing sacrifices over the short-term. However, it proved to be the absolute best decision in the end for my mental health, wealth, freedom to rebuild my culture, and family in the long-term.
It was the ultimate marshmallow test.
I went to college while living outside, under the Rt. 42 bridge in southern New Jersey, doing odd jobs for cash to get by. My bank account locked up from defaulted bills I could no longer afford to pay while homeless, and thus my credit score tanked. Then, I temporarily dropped out after earning a job teaching English in China, after becoming the top in my Chinese language class.
Throughout this period, I was recovering from extreme sickness that had built up from my childhood, undetected tumors in my skull.
...while building my marketing strategy firm: OMI, and returning to college online for a degree in marketing.
...until I reached the point of success that allowed me to live in the south of Spain, while buying land in Alaska, and paying my way through a second degree: physics.
...as my credit score began to improve in leaps and bounds.
There's been no trick to the way I've bounced back: I was smart, disciplined, willing to be made fun of, willing to delay massive amounts of instant gratification, and willing to sacrifice nearly every element of my life (including friends and family) to come out on top.
Though, I will say that I wasn't so smart in the sense that I made no mistakes; I made plenty of them.
A person like me can end up homeless from making unintelligent decisions based on false axioms they were taught at birth. Much like how this highly intelligent individual sometimes struggles with math, being taught the wrong axioms at birth is like being taught PEMDAS in the wrong order.
It takes a willful effort to become self-aware enough to change the order of operations one uses to navigate through life. This is what had to occur for me to start making the right decisions to get from point A to point B.
Figuratively speaking, instead of being taught PEMDAS in the proper order as would be necessary to solve a life equation, I was taught something more like DEPMAS...which perpetually yielded wrong answers, and it wasn't until I started rebuilding the framework of my own psychology that I was able to turn everything around with great personal sacrifices:
But it's unrealistic to think that the average person can do this.
Meanwhile, because my parent(s) were solving their life equations with DEPMAS instead of PEMDAS, that would explain why they continually financially struggled. Though, once you reach a certain age, it becomes increasingly difficult to change one's habits and behaviors. I knew they wouldn't change; thus, I left and didn't look back.
Mike Norton is an American award-winning Internet marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also a writer, entrepreneur, and a quantum physicist studying part-time at the University of York. He is the bestselling independent author of Fighting for Redemption, and a veteran of the United States military who is a 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays of world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.