To my college students
I woke up this morning and during my quiet time you were on my mind. I felt God was leading me to share parts about my college journey that are going to help you succeed in life long-term and be happy and fulfilled along the way.
When I was 19, many of you know that I met a mentor named Shannon. As the saying goes, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. That is the first question that precedes and extraordinary life, “Are you ready? Are you craving more?”
I was, and I was literally willing to do anything and everything that he taught me or told me to do. Why? I trusted him more than I trusted myself. And, if I am honest, I wanted to be better than all my friends. I am happy to share, that selfish motive did not last :-)
I think I mainly followed my mentors teachings so closely because he made me feel like my life mattered (which it does, and so does yours).
But more than that, he made me feel like I could become someone “very important”. The idea of mattering and being important is really why I started doing the following things on a consistent basis:
Reading books. Between 19-21 years old I read a couple of game changing books:
-7 habits of highly effective people
-15 invaluable laws of growth
-As a man thinketh
Just to name a few. I liked the way I felt after reading books- I felt smarter, wiser, more inspired to become like the people in the books.
The books told me what I needed to stop doing and start doing to become a better person, a more successful person. The best lesson to takeaway from this is that I listened. I was like a well-behaved dog. It did not ALWAYS work out, as not every single author of every book shares your values. I learned that the hard way. However, most of the time it did. Something else I started doing was the following...
Sharing what I learned in books with other people. I was excited and realized “if this helps me, it could certainly help others who are ready too.”
Perhaps that is another lesson for you- are you sharing what is being given to you, or are you hoarding it?
One decision you might make today is to never ever ever let knowledge or wisdom stop in your hands. It must circulate. What goes around comes back around- some call it Karma, some say it is just the way life was designed.
I soon realized that my mentor Shannon was not the best role model I could have. He had flaws just like you and I have. I did not like a lot of what I began to see happen when the pressure was on and temptations grew high. The lures and pulls of this world are intense sometimes.
I needed a new source. A mentor, a role model, a “Yoda” who was unshakeable. Unchangeable. Unaltered by his or her conditions.
Is it even possible to find someone like that?
I did not know, until I met a guy named Jesus. Yes, Jesus- the guy from the Bible. I had heard of him, but never really read about him. He was EXACTLY who I wanted to be like. He was wise, helpful, and treated every single person like the gold that they were. His leadership was evident- he created a movement that now billions of people are a part of. He was all-powerful, yet completely gentle and caring at the same time.
I made a decision to follow His leadership and His leadership only. I would still read books and be a student of other teachers' teachings, but I would not follow anyone else. There is a big distinction there.
This decision transformed me from being just a productive, smart, 20-something year old, into a person others really started to look up to and admire. My age no longer mattered. I saw myself differently and therefore other people started to see something different in me and the way I went about living my life.
I now call it "my secret weapon" 😜
Here are a few other things that I learned:
-It is not what you do when others are watching but what you do when no one is looking that counts
-How you treat the person who can do you absolutely no good defines your character as a person
-You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want
-Everything is figure-out-able, but most people settle and never fully commit to figuring stuff out. They want, but don't do.
You can figure out how to become more. Figure out how to get any job they want. Figure out how to break into the starting line up. Figure out how to get that person to date you ;-) Figure out how to overcome internal dis-ease.
If you have anxiety, fears that cripple you and hold you back, doubts about your worth and confidence, it is POSSIBLE to EXTINGUISH those for good. You can figure out how to “make your mess your message”.
But only if you become EXTREMELY RESOURCEFUL. You must become like a Marine on a Mission- committed to getting the ball across the goal line and figuring it out→ research how to overcome it, call every mentor you know, get a coach or a therapist. Everything is figure-out-able. Which leads me to the next one…
-What you do today does matter, because 1 week is simply a chain of 7 days linked together, a year is a chain of 365 days linked together, and your life is a chain of a bunch more days linked together. All you have is today. Putting off things that could and should be done today is a habit of a person who will eventually end up unfulfilled, living an ordinary life at best. That is because of the next one...
-You really do reap what you sow in life. If you are a tiny bit generous with your time, others will be a tiny bit generous towards you. If you take a tiny risk, you may get a tiny reward. But if you take a huge step of faith, the reward is magnified.
If you aim to put a smile on others faces when you walk into a room, others will do the same towards you. If you sacrifice a TON of your time and comfort to help another person through their tough times, others will sacrifice a ton for you. Sacrifice only a little, and be prepared to receive little.
You will reap what you sow in life. What you give comes back. What you invest in yourself comes back
These are a few lessons I wanted to share just with you guys because I am committed to leading you towards the extraordinary, massively fulfilled life that awaits you.
I want you to know today that for as long as I live, I will be in your corner. I will be your mentor forever. I think you are awesome and have greatness within you.
Your friend and coach,