Rooting for the Underdog

I remember the response I got from a good friend once when I asked if he was impressed by a younger coworker who had quickly risen to a high-level position. My friend responded, “No, not really. That’s all that was ever expected of him from the beginning.”

The guy in question grew up with a CEO father and was exposed to all that goes along with that life: Privilege, access to good schools, and the connections to help get his foot in the door and then propel him to the next level once inside. It was the only world he knew.

Of course, there are plenty of people with the same advantages who completely blow it. I’ve known a few myself. Still, like my friend from years ago, the cookie cutter success story never really appealed to me. It was just a little too…predictable.

What did appeal to me, and still does, is the underdog. The one who achieves the same results, or even better, but in spite of a challenging situation or past. The underdog.

Those who didn’t go to college right out of high school but either went back later as working adults or found ways to succeed without a degree.

The family that came to the US with nothing and opened a business that became incredibly successful.

The kids who grew up poor or were involved with drugs and gangs at an early age but turned things around and now live happy and healthy lives with kids of their own.

These people impress me. Their stories impress me. For many, there were significant hurdles to overcome just to be able to compete. Just to be able to stand in the same room as those who followed the tried and true path.

The underdog’s path is rarely convenient and pretty. In fact, it can be downright ugly.

But within that ugliness lies their secret weapon: A mental toughness and an ability to assess their situation and set in motion the changes necessary to turn things around.

We all took different routes that led us to where we are today. Those who hit a few potholes along the way, got some stitches, and maybe broke a few bones…they teach us that there’s more than one way to get to where we want to be. Their story is worth reading.


12 thoughts on “Rooting for the Underdog

  1. I’ve always been the flag barer for the Underdog, but the older I get the more I start to have even more respect for the stories in between. The people who struggle just to plod on, keep their families safe and happy, don’t ‘rise’ to the top, but find what they need and are happy. Those are my goal tribe now. Once again you’ve got me thinking on a new path started from reading your blog! thoroughly enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about that a lot actually. Trying to convey that it’s not just about rising to the top but just being in a better place. Yes those are equally impressive to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great and inspirational piece!! Thank you Rick!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and the constant support!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome! I love your work!


  3. Renee Leonard Kennedy September 3, 2019 — 5:51 am

    I needed to be reminded of the beauty of the struggle up the rock face. Now, persevere. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. Persevere, always.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. September 3, 2019 — 7:33 pm

    I, too, am a big fan of the underdog – the real heroes! This was a huge post for me to read right now as I continue to debate continuing to write my story or not. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you took the time to read. And even happier that you got something out of it. Always my main objective 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I love this! I always root for the underdog. I believe positive encouragement works wonders! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. And commenting 🙂


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