I wanted to start my blog back up again after choosing to take a month off from writing. Over the past month, I have been very busy trying to look ahead to the future and determine how to be very intentional about how I choose to utilize my time.
I ended up watching a documentary on Compton, LA the other day, and I heard something that stopped me in my tracks. Serena and Venus Williams grew up in Compton. They even had an older sister that was murdered in Compton. What I didn’t realize is that their father choose to move to Compton when the girls were little even though he could afford to live somewhere else. He felt that people of high achievement need to struggle and grow up with adversity. He thought that people that lead a privileged life see an obstacle and give up. People that grow up with difficulty see those same obstacles merely as an inconvenience.
It is incredible how many choices we can all make every day. We can choose where we live, where we work, who our friends are, what we eat, what we say and what we stand for. So many people pretend that they are blocked for some reason, so they fall back onto the safe and predictable path. Every day we are presented with choices that we do not recognize as potential opportunities. It is never easy to make some of those tough choices, but that is usually where our real growth happens.
Unfortunately, sometimes we let the actions of others dictate our choices. We feel like we have no control over a situation and allow other people determine our future. As I may have mentioned the two things we have total control over is our attitude and our effort. When it comes to our attitude, it boils down to how we view or perceive a situation. It is unfortunate to see someone make choices that will alter their life just because of how they perceive a particular situation. Some people may view this as pride getting in the way. There are many quotes about pride being the enemy of love, grace, reason, etc. To me, pride becomes the enemy of your attitude. In every situation, we can choose to be grateful and look for the good in a situation, or we can choose to be hateful and find a reason to feel victimized.
One thing that I like to do every year in October is to reflect on my life plan. My life plan consists of main areas in my life, and each area has a lifetime statement, actions needed to take to get there and both 5 and 10-year checkpoints. It is a great exercise to make sure that I can make intentional choices based on my priorities and help remain grateful in every situation that may arise. Those events become speed bumps, not roadblocks.
I loved the quote by Bill Gates when he said: “most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year, but they greatly underestimate what they can do in a decade.” This quote is a good reminder for all of us that success and growth take time. Both success and failure are typically not achieved overnight; it’s an accumulation of the small choices that we make along the way.