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Life has a habit of throwing situations at us that leave us feeling dissatisfied with where we’re at in life. Our success is determined by how we manage to take it upon ourselves to turn these negative situations into learning experiences that actually better us as opposed to growing complacent. Look at singer/songwriter Shakira, she’s literally the definition of self-made. By the time she was 8 years old she had written her first song and by the age of 10 she had been competing in both local and national talent contests. Shakira released her first album when she was 14 years old. Her album had been successful, especially for her age. She had received wide recognition in her home country of Colombia, but the goal was to become international. In an attempt to reach these goals, she had turned her focus to her acting career, however, her heart is in the music and it wasn’t long until she went back to recording. When Shakira got back into the studio, she took control over the direction of her music. She mixed both her Colombian and Arabic backgrounds to create a beautifully blended sound on her next album which started out as a slow seller, but it eventually became number one on the charts in EIGHT different countries! She continued to take control over her music career and prosper further. However, she wasn’t satisfied with bettering her own life, but those of children all over the world. At the age of 18, she founded the Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) foundation which is currently providing education and nutrition to over six thousand less fortunate children in Colombia. In late 2011 she launched projects in Haiti and South Africa. She went from growing up in a not so privileged home, to being one of the most distinguished pop stars in the world who does everything in her power to help those who are born into situations that aren’t the greatest. Life is what you make it and if you ask me, Shakira has mastered the art of living life to the fullest.

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