Updated: Aug 27, 2019
3 Challenging Choices Which Will Help You Move Forward
Make sure you read “A New Day. A New Hope. I’ll Make It.” Prior to this blog.
I’ve worked with students for 36 years. I have heard a lot of amazing things from students. I hear things like “Someday, I’m going to be a vet.” Or “I want to play professional basketball.” Another is “I want to be a pediatric surgeon.” One of the coolest I heard was, “Mr. Brown, someday, I’m going to start my own non-prophet to help feed and clothe the homeless.” When I hear things like this, I usually give the student a huge high-five! I get it. I too had hopes and dreams in junior high and high school.
Unfortunately, some of my students will say what they want, and what they actually do with their time to someday get what they want are hopelessly disconnected. And the two will likely never meet without some sort of intervention. I want to say very genuinely, I get it. I totally understand where they’re coming from. I used to say similar things and make the same mistakes. Change is hard. Doing the right and necessary things are hard too. We really do live in a “reap what you sow” world. In other words, what you invest into your life, you will get out of your life. Malcom Gladwell talks a lot about this in his book Outliars.
I’ve noticed in my own life, when it comes to working hard to achieve an important life goal of any kind—earning a degree, getting that dream job, raising a family, starting a business, or any other personal achievement that takes time and commitment—one thing you have to ask yourself is:
“Am I willing to spend a little time every day like many people won’t, so I can spend the better part of my life like many people can’t?” -Angel Chernoff
Many years ago, I played a lot of basketball. Today, I play the piano (mostly 70’s classic rock). From basketball and playing piano, I learned that repetition leads to reinforcement. The more I worked on my basketball and piano skills, the better I got. In other words, we ultimately become what we repeatedly do.
As mentioned in my blog “A New Day. A New Hope. I’ll Make It.” revealed the many challenges I was faced with as a child, a teenager and as an adult. I did not want to go down the road of alcoholism and substance abuse as my dear mother chose after her horrific experience in her life. So, I made some choices, but I noticed something, I was very intentional about these choices. I did things which were key to me being able to move forward and have a very different life than where I was probably headed.
Check these 3 out:
Intentional personal growth is key. Growth should be intentional and aligned with your passion and purpose. Many years ago, I thought how I wanted to be different and grow in some areas of my life. One day I realized something. Everyone who has breath, and that’s 7.5 billion people, have thoughts. But that’s all it is until we put action to the thought. It’s just a thought! So, I began to “Do”. I would have a thought on how I wanted to grow in my life but then I put intentionality to the thought. Boom! Suddenly, actions repeated over and over became reached goals! My friends, you must be intentional about your growth; stop waiting to become the person you want to be and start doing the things it takes to get to the place you want to be.
The first step towards change is awareness, then acceptance. The name of this blog site is Capture Your Hopes and Dreams. Listen, I’m going to be very honest with you. When I was a teenager, I was an all-state basketball player, I won a 1st place medal in a state speech contest, and life was looking pretty cool for me. The challenge was the deep seeded pain I was wrestling with from my past and my present situation. Being raised in a home where there is alcoholism is really difficult. So, I remember being alone in my bedroom at age 16 and I said, to myself, “Self, ain’t no way you are going to go down a crappy road in your life. Michael, you have to choose to do some really challenging things to grow and this will allow you to capture your hopes and dreams.” I became aware of who I was. I became aware of the home-life I truly had. Now, let’s get something straight. I loved my mom off the charts right up to her passing in 2016. However, I realized I was a bit of damage goods and I needed to repair some things that were damaged. As a result, I was fully aware of who I was, aware of my challenges and I accepted this reality. But here is where grit kicked in. At age 16 I said to myself, “I will not to become a victim of my past and to do whatever it takes to maximize my potential and no doubt about it capture my hopes and dreams." Holy crud! I did not realize how much of an uphill road I had to climb. But…I began to climb!
As a high school student, I realized motivation gets you going, but it’s discipline which keeps you going.
This will be kind of a weird example, but as a high school basketball player I wanted to shoot 80% from the free throw line. So, during the summer I would shoot 100 free throws repeatedly until I made 80 out of 100. Holy crap it took me a long time to be able to finally hit 80 out of 100 free throws regularly! Let me tell you, it sure paid off during the basketball season. However, the bigger picture is the life-lesson I learned…consistency is one of the main ingredients in one’s success in life!
A very important part of consistency is being able to know the what, the how, the where and the when. A common mistake is attempting too much too soon. My wife loves to say, “Slow and steady wins the race.” You know, I like her quote. I began to realize that I needed to bit-by-bit develop habits of success because habits lead to your destiny. We have two kinds of habits. Bad habits and good habits. I want good habits. Good habits lead to good places!
As I moved past my teens and into my 20’s, I began to realize I did not need to be goal conscious, but growth conscious. I chose to keep growing beyond my goals. I developed a daily growth system that played to my personality strengths.
I’m now way past 16 years old. Get this, a lot of the positive growth habits I began to develop way back when, was when Jimmy Carter became President, (long time ago…LOL), I still do many of those positive growth habits today. Boom! Still moving forward my friends! You can too!
What are some things you can choose to start today? Remember, keep them small. Just start and try to repeat tomorrow.