Anthony Trucks is an author, speaker, and former NFL player. A difficult childhood, a severe injury that ended his football career, and even an unfaithful wife did not break his spirit. He brings a good mood, love, and laughter everywhere he goes.

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Anthony was given away to foster care when he was three. He went through terrible treatment until he was six. He experienced torture, starvation, and beatings. You don’t have to be a psychologist to recognize the severe impact of such an experience. Combined with racial prejudices that he faced, I am amazed at what Anthony has achieved.

That was the issue I was mostly interested in. What was Anthony’s life path that allowed him to break the bad luck he had since his birth to become a successful, happy, and loving person?

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Everything changed when he was 14. He was formally adopted and he played football for the first time. As he says, he discovered his purpose and his self-worth through football. He felt small before. Now he knew he meant something. Nevertheless, he wasn’t an angel. At high school, he got arrested for breaking into cars. In that moment he realized that he could lose everything if he continued his behavior.

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During high school, he met his sweetheart and got engaged at 19. He went to Oregon for college, then entered the NFL. First for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then the Washington Redskins, then he ended up in Pittsburgh to play for the Steelers. Unfortunately, when he was 24, he tore his shoulder and had to end his athletic career.

When he left the NFL, he opened a successful gym in the San Francisco Bay area and ran it for six years. Last year, a lot has changed for him. He closed his gym and decided to follow his passion — inspiring people and helping them achieve their potential. He founded Trust Your Hustle and speaks at different events. In less than four months, he gained more than 30,000 followers on Facebook.

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I loved Anthony’s perspective on inequality. As he says, “We can say that the world is controlled by white people. Okay, so these are the rules. Just accept it. You have to earn your place at the table. You are not going to get the place at the table by yelling at someone. You have to deserve that spot. Go be smart, go read, go and be better. Do what is important to do and be better at it then they are.”

“We say we want equality. But we cannot force them to get down — you have to get up. You can choose to complain about it or you can do something about it. It’s the matter of conditions. Blacks just have different conditions.”

I really liked his standpoint and I agree. It is like the comparison of people living in Italy and in Sweden. They live in different conditions. It is easier to grow crops for Italians than Swedes. They have better weather, more sunny days, etc. But it doesn’t prevent Sweden from being great. They do not call for equality. They work hard to achieve whatever they want, regardless of conditions they were put in.

I was still amazed by Anthony’s ability to stay proactive. In his life, he had many reasons to resign. But he didn’t. He says, “You can complain all day or do progress. I cannot afford the luxury of going back. I don’t want to waste my time like that.“

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So I asked him: “What is your recommendation to people who are in the stage of life like ‘My life sucks?‘“

“It’s all just the matter of perspective. I lost a job, I broke up with my boyfriend, I crashed my car. Everybody’s problem is relative. Some people wish they had this problem! I was in The Philippines and I met a girl who supports her entire family by selling fried bananas on the side of the road. She is not complaining about her car! The problem is that when we go below our standards we feel that our self-worth decreases. You won’t be happy if your worth comes from your car or from the money you have. You won’t be happy unless your worth comes from anything else than how you treat people around you. For some people, that’s their identity. They are their car, their house. So when their house is gone, who are they? They lose their identity and self-worth. You gotta change your perspective and what your self-worth is coming from.”

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What does money mean to you?

Facilitation. Time. Experience. Health. Money helps you to create experience and it facilitates time to create more experiences. But money has nothing to do with happiness. It is important to be at peace with having nothing.

What is your mission?

My goal is giving people tools that will help them to be happy. Happiness means something different to everyone. So I just want to provide the tools that help.

What is the main message that you want to share?

Trust your hustle!