I read a book review in the Wall Street Journal this morning that really made me rethink my priorities. The book being profiled, entitled "Bend, Not Break" was written by Ping Fu, the Chinese-born chief executive of the high tech company Geomagic. Geomagic is a 3D-imaging company which enables innovations like customized prosthetic limbs and orthodontic braces. It uses 3D capture to create 3D models that can be used for engineering, product design, art, archaeology, medical procedures, and archival purposes.
The relevance to finance? The book is an autobiography, and boy, is her story inspiring. Ms. Fu grew up during the Cultural Revolution, and was just eight years old when Red Guards took her away from her caretakers. Until the Revolution ended, she worked as a child soldier, and was physically and sexually abused by the Red Guards. She also witnessed shocking events beyond our wildest nightmares-- Guards throwing a teacher head first into a well, a boy beaten to death for insulting Mao, etc.
After the Revolution, she arrived to the U.S. at age 25 with $80 and three words of English. Want to hear about hard work? She worked as a maid, waitress, and babysitter while simultaneously learning English and Computer Science. After getting her PhD, she was eventually hired by Bell Labs before opening up shop by herself.
It's hard to complain about lack of success after that. You simply can't complain about a poorin a hard major or being too shy to network when there's people like Ms. Fu who literally overcame a language barrier, a cultural barrier, a gender barrier, and a technical knowledge barrier all at the same time.
Please share your thoughts on inspiring stories you've heard that brought you back to reality and made you grateful. These narratives can prove to be extremely motivational in tough times.