Meet Jeneve, aka “Mr. Big Life” — the legend from St. Thomas.

In January 2016, I traveled to St. Thomas with my family, and one night, we ate at this incredible restaurant called the Caribbean Fish Market (highly recommend it).

That night, I met a server — Jeneve — who has profoundly changed my life.

On the island, most people call him “Mr. Big Life” because he exudes this vibrant, contagious energy. He has the biggest smile and heart.

Jeneve then told me that he grew up in St. Kitts, an island with limited resources, and he’s now settled in St. Thomas with his 5 kids. Despite the challenges on the island, he remained extremely positive.

I asked him, “How do you manage to stay so positive and happy?”

With a big smile, he said, “Life is beautiful.”

Those 3 words meant everything to me. They stuck with me from that moment on and I would reflect back on our conversation every time I felt down or defeated.

And despite the worldly chaos in 2020, I was fortunate to travel back to St. Thomas this past week to round out the year.

As you can imagine, I rushed back to the Caribbean Fish Market with my wife to see if Jeneve still worked there. I was elated to find out that he does, and “Mr. Big Life” was happier than ever.

We chatted it up as nothing had changed over the course of 4 years.

Then, he told me some devastating news. Shortly after he and I met in 2016, his wife passed away and he was left to raise 5 kids by himself.

That type of life change would have a colossal toll on any human being. Losing your life partner and having to provide for a large family is unfathomable.

He did it. He chose to give that moment a positive meaning.

In fact, he started his own food truck that year to honor his family, aptly called “Mr. Big Life.” He found the light in the darkness.

And despite losing his life partner in 2016, surviving the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017, and withstanding the normal flow of tourist traffic to his food truck, Jeneve and his family are doing well now, and they still know that “Life is beautiful.”

Humans are resilient and have the capacity to rebound from anything.

It’s not about what happens in life. It’s about the meaning you give it.

Whatever you’re facing in your life, you can overcome it.

Sending you all the love ❤️

👉 If you enjoyed reading this post, feel free to share it with friends!

Download Unbreakable Mindset and learn how you can produce extraordinary results no matter what challenge you face, no matter how limited your resources, and no matter what strategy you choose to execute.

Follow Edward Gorbis on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Helping aspiring and first-time leaders unleash their full potential. CEO of Career Meets World.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store