Derek Clark’s motivational message is for everyone. He often shares his foster care story in a style simple enough that people of almost any age can relate. It is meant to inspire, educate, motivate with boldness, enthusiasm and hope. Audiences worldwide have been inspired to evaluate and change their life, no matter how daunting their circumstances. Our choices determine our outcomes. If one makes good choices, one will never give up, and choosing to never give up is the first and most important choice one makes. The world will often impose its own idea of who you are and who you can be, but don’t succumb to those judgments. You are who you decide you will be. The most important opinion you should have is the one of yourself. You have the power, don’t relinquish it. Strength comes from taking action. Adversity makes the strong stronger and the weak weaker.
Derek states “I consider my actions and thoughts to be those typical of a strong person, but I wasn’t always strong. A difficult early life made me the man I am today. As a motivational and inspirational speaker, my message of hope will take you on a journey through my life. I will share with you a collection of thoughts, case histories, poems, journal entries, lessons that I have learned as a father, and songs, many written in my darkest and loneliest hours. These are my reactions to the struggles life has thrown at me.
I won’t lie and tell you I was the happiest kid. I struggled mentally and physically. There were traumatic experiences throughout my youth and I had to learn to live with them. I was given up by my own Mom at an early age, yet inexplicably she kept my brother and sister. I was so scared and alone, and these feelings persisted on through my teenage years.
This negative energy wasn’t channeled into depression and melancholy. I wasn’t a depressed kid who was weak and picked on. I actually went the opposite way, and was filled with aggression and anger.
The fact is, I was a very angry kid with problems trusting, loving, and accepting others. These difficulties are described in the journal entries which I made throughout the first twenty years of my life. Deep down I believe I was a happy kid, whose anger and mistrust arose from the miserable life experiences which I had to endure at such a young age.
A fire raged within me. I could no longer trust adults and constantly defied authority, always eager to challenge the wisdom of my elders. I was not fearful, I was fearless, albeit not always in a healthy way. Some deep mistrustful instinct was triggered inside me, and knowing I could no longer trust adults, I felt I had to survive on my own and could only trust myself. While other kids were happy with their families, I was with foster families.
I knew these families weren’t my real one, and the parents weren’t my real Mom and Dad. Nor did I ever really know how long I might be at a particular foster home. This uncertainty kept me constantly on edge.
I was hurt deeply when my mother abandoned me to the foster care system. If I couldn’t trust my own mother, how could I trust anyone else? It brings tears to my eyes remembering the child I was, unable to trust another living person. I was a five year-old kid who was about to learn the art of mental survival on his own.
I am blessed to be able to share a motivational message that brings healing, hope and inspires others to find the strength within, the power necessary to thrive, to keep despair and loneliness at bay, and not allow these destructive habits of mind to take you down a road of perpetual self-torture.
It is unfortunate, but it seems we humans like to torture ourselves by blaming ourselves for the circumstances of our life, and those aspects of it that seem beyond our control. But life is out of control. The only thing we can control is our attitude. That is it! Life is what happens when you’re making other plans, but we own our thoughts and control our outlook on life.
It is we who are capable of not letting it bite us or get the best of us. The strength and will to survive each day comes from within, and we can approach life with an attitude of gratitude.
It is a choice to be strong. It’s that simple. We choose to stop the self-torture, and it is ourselves who free us from our mental prisons. We often keep ourselves from doing great things and put up imaginary walls to block us in. But we can just walk out the imaginary door. There is always a door for walking in, just as there is always an exit door for walking out. The mind always seeks an exit strategy. But you have to find it where it is hidden amongst all the mental clutter. Don’t ever tell yourself there is no way out of your present situation. Remember, you are in control. Your thoughts are under your control. And when you take control of your thoughts, you can build the life you’ve always wanted.
It is my deepest hope that my message will inspire you to Never Give Up! Never succumb to the negative thoughts which may be weighing down your life. Thoughts are very heavy and can give you a false outlook on life. The “victim mentality” is one of the worst things that can enter a person’s mind. It will change you mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially. Not only that, but you could very well pass this destructive mindset on to your children, just like any disease. The sins of the father are visited on the son.
By setting the good example of personal strength, by having control of your attitude and thoughts, you and your family will benefit. Do not come down with the “poor-me syndrome.” Everyone has the fire and desire within to succeed in every aspect of their life. Cultivate your strength by believing in the power of Determination, Perseverance and Endurance.”