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Ivette Carolina Agudelo Lopez

August 18, 2023

Are you self-made?

Have you watched the documentary Arnold?

Before stumbling upon Arnold’s documentary on Netflix, I must admit I wasn’t particularly drawn to his story. I had only watched a handful of his movies, and honestly, I didn’t feel any real connection. Little did I know that that was about to change.

As fate would have it, I decided to join my husband in watching the documentary. To say that my outlook on Arnold and his journey underwent a radical transformation would be an understatement. His relentless pursuit of excellence, the unwavering spirit that carried him from Austria to Hollywood, and the humility with which he acknowledged his mentors and guides resonated deeply with me, actually, there was a particular phrase that stuck with me.

“I’m not self-made.” These four simple words spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger have ignited a profound shift in my perspective. They’ve prompted me to look back on my journey and recognize the indispensable role that mentors, coaches, and even distant inspirations have played in shaping who I am today.

Looking back, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who’ve guided me, whether directly or from afar. I discovered the real meaning of having a mentor just a few years ago. I just didn’t have that formal/official term back in Venezuela. However, what I did have was people whose wisdom helped me navigate the complexities of my career and people who probably didn’t know that I looked up to them to get inspiration and clarity during moments of uncertainty. I owe a debt of gratitude to these incredible individuals for their selfless investment in my growth, starting from my parents, who supported me economically to do and learn what I really wanted to do in life, and then bosses, colleagues, friends, and people just committed to helping by sharing their experience.

“Let’s celebrate the people who’ve believed in us when we doubted ourselves, the coaches who pushed us beyond our limits, and the distant inspirations who fueled our aspirations.”

But it’s not just about the mentors we’ve personally interacted with. As I watched Arnold’s documentary, I couldn’t help but reflect on the countless icons who’ve inspired me from the pages of magazines and the screens of my TV. So, from a Miss Venezuela turned into a filmmaker and director, to a Colombian-American comedian, actor, and producer, a genius Stanford professor… Those larger-than-life figures whose stories reminded me that the path to success is often paved with perseverance, hard work, and the invaluable support of mentors.

So, here’s to embracing the truth that none of us are truly “self-made.” Let’s celebrate the people who’ve believed in us when we doubted ourselves, the coaches who pushed us beyond our limits, and the distant inspirations who fueled our aspirations. Let’s pay it forward by becoming mentors ourselves, creating a legacy of growth, guidance, and empowerment.

As I continue my journey, I’m inspired not only by the lessons I’ve learned from my mentors but also by the transformative power of a changed perspective. Thank you, Arnold, for reminding me that success is a tapestry woven from the threads of mentorship, determination, and a willingness to learn from unexpected sources.

Who are your mentors? How have they shaped your journey? Let’s celebrate the people who’ve made a lasting impact on our lives! 🙌

#MentorshipMatters #Gratitude #PersonalGrowth #UnseenHeroes

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