<image via turatti on flickr>
I have come within metres of a convicted killer.
Did that get your attention?
Paul Wood told an amazing story at TEDx Auckland this month. From high school dropout and murderer to PhD, it’s a tale almost too good to be true. No doubt those younger years form a part of his life he’d rather forget and leave well behind him, but it’s a surefire way to gain media attention and can only be a boost for his business.
His turnaround is a testament to the power of drive and determination.
Without that that internal drive and desire, you can’t expect to get very far. He identified the negative influences in his life, the factors that were holding him back, and set about eliminating them. Sure, there were setbacks, and it took a long time to work through his first degree and fulfil university requirements while in prison, but after that, he set about gaining another, and then another…
But he also made the point that he couldn’t have done it alone. Success rarely happens in a vacuum.
His father visited him every weekend. His professors visited him in jail so he could complete his course criteria. It’s something I’ve mentioned before – you need incredible inner strength and motivation to break a cycle, and it’s damn hard to do it in a hostile environment. Conditioning factors shouldn’t be understated, nor should the importance of mentors and role models. No human is an island.