True Stories to Inspire You To Never Give Up!


Derek Clark shares a part of his life in an effort to inspire others to never give up and to never let the past infect their future. He is a popular motivational speaker and an author of six inspirational books.

This is the true story of my life. A life in which abuse, loneliness, and dark nights of despair rattled the very bones of my body, drained the tears of my spirit, shattered my mind into a million fragments, and left me for awhile plodding through life as an empty shell, a lost and helpless soul. I have breathed the air of the unloved, and suffered deep psychological and spiritual wounds due to abandonment at an early age by my mother and father. I have blamed myself for a past over which I had no control. My trust in people was displaced with hostility and anger. And yet, my spirit would not be broken. I have fought for survival in the name of love, powered by a dogged will whose voice never stopped telling me to NEVER GIVE UP!

I was a five year-old kid, and already a survivor of appalling events. I have never known my father. My mother, having given up on me, placed me in the County Social Services Foster Care System. She was desperate to be rid of me. The saddest, most inexplicable part of this was that she kept my younger brother and older sister. I was devastated knowing I had been deleted from my family. I was now motherless and fatherless. I loved my mother, brother and sister, but my love for them wasn’t enough for her to keep me in the family.

She claimed she could not control me, and that I was a “devil,” but I now know she was the one out of control. I was the child and she was the adult. I am not to blame for the predicament I found myself in. That is life; it is unfair.

Watch Derek Clark’s TEDx Speech On The Power of Determination!

There are millions of little kids who have been given up on, and I hold their parents completely responsible. The ignoble actions of parents will always be remembered by their children. I know, because that five year-old foster child still lives within me, constantly striving to be empowered, to make his insecurities my own. But I refuse to be a victim; I am a conqueror. I am stronger than my unworthy parents!

There is no question; the mental and physical struggles of my life have proved very difficult to overcome. They say the first five years of a child’s life are the most critical to his or her development, and that children soak up everything they experience like a sponge. I agree. I have seen my own three children sponge both my strengths and weaknesses. Kids watch their parents, and mimic what they observe. The influence of my first five years contributed to many destructive behaviors throughout my life. I often wished I had been given away at birth, so that I wouldn’t have had to endure the memories and nightmares which have haunted me these many years.

There is always a lesson to be learned from adversity. I have learned many such lessons the hard way, but have found there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The light that leads us out of the darkness is the positive energy that comes to surround those who continually search for what life has to offer. The answer is always within. By harnessing this positive energy you can accomplish anything. Nothing has ever held me back from “going for it.” I have not let anyone or anything stop me from making my dreams a reality. I keep on keeping on. I am an unstoppable force. I am headstrong and know exactly what I want. I have always trusted my intuition.

My search for life’s meaning eventually brought me through a baptism by fire, which cleansed my soul. I am like the mystical “Phoenix” that has risen from its own ashes, a resurrected soul, a lost boy who evolved into a man. In life’s journey, I was meant to shine.

It is this journey in which fractured souls are made whole again. It is this journey in which wounds are healed and pain is finally replaced with love and peace.

Written by Derek Clark

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