Stop Tripping Over Pennies- Stabbing My Teacher

I was on a mission. I did homework for other kids for a quarter in kindergarten. I sold candy straight from my pocket. I devised nickel and dime carnival games for the neighborhood kids at Granny’s house. If they were able to throw a ball in a cup, I would pay them, but I always would rely on the odds that they would not make it. Advantage, ME!hustle 
Another turning point in my spirited entrepreneurial drive occurred the day I stabbed my kindergarten teacher in her leg with my pencil. I could not go to school anymore and hustle. My Dad and Mom did not know what to do with me so I began my career as a private school student a few weeks later. That is going to be for another book, so keep an eye out for it later. Feel free to use your imagination to what occurred between kindergarten and ninth grade.
Damien Memorial High School was a private Roman Catholic prep-school for boys in grades 9-12 located in Kalihi. It was a part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, sponsored by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Since then, it has added grades 6-8, became co-ed, and changed its name to Damien Memorial School. Fast forward to my sophomore year. This is the grade that changed my life forever. It is so significant I could not pass up the details.
I injured my pitching arm during my sophomore season of varsity baseball, a year removed from our school winning the Interscholastic League Of Honolulu championship and expected to win it again. My parents could not afford to pay for my Tommy John surgery. Tommy John surgery or TJS, known in medical practice as ulnar collateral ligament or UCL reconstruction, is a surgical graft procedure in which the ulnar collateral ligament in the medial elbow is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. The procedure is common among high school, collegiate, and professional athletes in several sports but most notably in baseball athletes. 
It is named after the first baseball player to undergo the surgical procedure performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe on September 25, 1974 on major league pitcher Tommy John. John’s record of 288 career victories ranks seventh all time among left-handed pitchers and the initial operation, John’s successful post-surgery career, and the relationship between the two men is the subject of a 2013 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary. Not being able to have the surgery brings me back to the point of what having money can get you. The inability to repair my arm took me out of all high school sports. As a result I started hanging around the wrong people and began selling drugs.
My agreement with Granny and my parents at age 16 was to simply get good grades and to come home at night. My energy and passion toward sports were replaced with being on the streets, night clubs, pool halls, selling marijuana, shootings, stabbings, and everything else common in a crime-laden neighborhood. I was carefree, fearless, smart, young, with no guidance or role models.  I thought it was great, not knowing that this combination for disaster would bite me in the ass later on in life. In addition to my academic and criminal elements, I also worked at two different gas stations making $3.25 per hour.
I never got mentored. I was not fortunate enough to find someone that was willing to take me under their wing. I allowed myself to be wrongfully influenced and used by the people in my drug and gas station circles. I did not know it then but I know that now. 
Money was the most important thing to me so using marijuana was out of the question because I needed to stay sharp and on my game. I went to school and maintained a 3.0 grade point average to keep Granny and my parents happy, worked at both gas stations and dealt drugs at “The Canal” and its neighboring back streets between Damien Memorial High School and the Kamehameha Schools in Kapalama Valley. multiple-drugsMy hustle changed dramatically during my junior year in high school with the introduction of methamphetamine, which was commonly referred to in Hawaii as “Ice.” 
My attitude toward money and my hunger for money inspired me to no longer be used by other people. I still wanted to earn my high school diploma but I decided to hit the streets in order to make my own money and open businesses while still in high school. The money I made during my junior and senior years in high school was spent on my bright orange Volkswagon Baja Bug, clothes, and jewelry. My dreams were to own a strip club and a high-rise business building in downtown Honolulu with my own personal helicopter landing pad. Dreams and aspirations are good things to have but the path I took to obtain it was my downfall.
I invested a lot of money and time in guys from my high school and other high schools to be my drug runners but realized that they did not have the same drive, intelligence quotient, and passion to do what I was doing. I learned two critical life lessons from this experience:
1. People say they want something but are not willing to do what it takes in order to obtain it
2. People who say they are on your team may really only be out for themselves
I am going to dive deep into situations to provide insight that you can relate to. You do not have to make the same mistakes I made in order to accomplish your dreams and aspirations.
For most people this might be not get to you, but for others it might just be able to change their life
Aloha…Gordon Wat


My Values have to ALIGN with me Dreams...


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