Want More for Yourself and See What Happens
I could never have planned my life the way it has turned out; I just knew I wanted more. As a kid, I remember daily conversations between my parents concerning money. These weren’t discussions about what to do with the abundance of money available, but the lack of it and the stress that created. As an adult, I can appreciate the stress each individual encounters when trying to create a life and sustain the lives of those they are responsible for. However, I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want to be stressed to that degree every moment of each day.
Be Grateful, But Want More for Yourself
I wouldn’t trade what I learned from my childhood; it taught me how to work hard and be resourceful. I’m grateful to my parents and what I learned growing up. Those characteristics would become integral in creating a life where I could comfortably pay my bills and experience things I never imagined as a child.
I knew from an early age hard work was going to be necessary to get anywhere. It was as I accepted different jobs that my desire to want more forced me to seek greater opportunities – to not settle and get comfortable with the status quo. It became a situation where I continually forced myself to be uncomfortable – to stretch beyond my current skills – in order to one day achieve the comfortable lifestyle I swore I wanted to achieve.
What is it that motivates you? Ultimately, you must have the drive to seek more in order to achieve more. You may not have a specific dream or vision – I certainly didn’t. But recognizing opportunities for growth and seizing them will result in things you never thought possible.
Believe the People Who Believe in You
As you force yourself to push forward, you’ll undoubtedly experience two forces: those that tell you that you can’t and those who tell you it’s possible. Ignore the naysayers and hold onto the believers. Mildred Valentine, the choir director at my church growing up was one of those believers who fundamentally helped change the course of my life.
I remember tossing a football around with some other kids outside the church one day when Mildred came up to us and asked for the ball. We snickered at the thought of our choir director being able to hold the ball, let alone throw it. But we were set straight when he fired a perfect spiral like it was no big deal. It turned out that in addition to leading our church choir and teaching music at Jones County Junior College, Mildred was also an All-Conference high school football quarterback. When I was young, the choir was something to look forward to, just like baseball games and Scout outings. Even when I got to high school and had given up sports in favor of work, partying, and chasing girls, I remained in the choir. I’m glad I did, too, because Mildred offered me a half scholarship to the junior college, and all I had to do was sing in the choir. Without him, I might never have pursued higher education.
Higher education hadn’t been on my radar – it wasn’t something I had visualized or dreamed of. But the belief and opportunity provided by someone else were enough for me to seize it, which would result in a path to career opportunities I would have never considered before.
Being grateful for all you have, the relationships you are blessed with, and the opportunities that come your way is essential. However, it is wanting more that pushes you forward to achieve things you never could have planned for yourself.
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