Wanted to share some brief thoughts with you tonight. Been out of town for the weekend, mostly because I was visiting my mom.
The weekend was great but my mom did share some advice with me, which ultimately made me realize I was getting complacent. Below is a text she sent me.
“I’ve been thinking about you and your next steps. I think you have worked extremely hard to give yourself a huge advantage to date! Congratulations your edge is really awesome and obvious. I’m very proud of you.
Here is my concern: It is very easy to squander an edge! I know that first hand. Don’t want this to happen to you.
Think smart son.
Don’t think about short term pleasure- what immediately appeases the senses. Think about the long term picture. Perhaps what you may need to endure for a short time to live in a state of bliss down the road. You have many years ahead of you. Many!
You have to turn things up now to avoid everyone who did the average catching up to you. How unfortunate that would be for you. Literally to run ahead and then jog on the spot and wait to get to the end zone with everyone else.
Your focus on personal sacrifice has diminished. The person who sacrificed to finish his degree in three years for a chance at a better future has shifted gears to seeking the things that give immediate gratification. Your focus is now on what you enjoy.
That’s the ultimate goal son but few can realistically achieve it at 24. Get back on the treadmill. Find back your fight. You ended the race prematurely. Get back in the game! Go for what you deserve with all you have in you. Don’t cheat yourself now. You have worked too hard. Keep up the fight- you are too close to finding gold to shut down the machinery! Don’t make that classic mistake son. Please.
Open up yourself to new horizons, new opportunities and think about ways to enjoy those- even if that’s over time. Move away from thinking of what you enjoy and hoping to make opportunities out o them. The former is more practical as as you grow the things you enjoy change and you may find you are exactly where you are meant to be. Secure a future for yourself! There is a pleasure in that.
I know you are not religious but you believe in some higher power. So do I. The fact that you are so qualified and not landing your ideal jobs may be a chance to rethink your direction. Whatever that may be… I don’t know what your path will entail and I won’t make suggestions unless asked. However, I recommend you seek counsel. And I further recommend you only seek counsel from individuals who have accomplished sufficient to advise you or those whom you are truly confident want more for you than they want even for themselves. If you get anything else wrong in this life- don’t get the foregoing wrong.”
I initially took these words the wrong way, thinking I was being called lazy. However, my mom called me to let me know that my work ethic wasn’t the issue. When she says “seeking comfort over pleasure” she means that I was shutting myself in from good opportunities. I had a bad experience as a teaching assistant, and I have actively avoided teaching since. However, teaching could be a rewarding and career rejuvenating experience. As my mom said, one failure or bad experience shouldn’t stop me from pursuing something. I have failed to get published numerous times but I kept trying. I have tried to learn guitar before, I quit, but now I am continuing again. There are many other opportunities or suggestions my mom has given me that I was quick to shut down, not due to laziness, but because I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone. I shut out opportunities and I fear that I am becoming more average day by day. It seems that I rebelled against every opportunity given to me as a child, sports, instruments etc.
Now I am just yet another 24 year old with nothing to show for my academic achievements or my work ethic. I disappear into the crowd and I could end up being another person who had potential, but squandered it. This weekend I realized that things might not just work out soon enough. Don’t put faith in God, the universe or whatever you believe in. Have faith in yourself and apply yourself. I haven’t been lazy but I haven’t been taking advantage of opportunities either. I hope this motivates at least one other person to take a harder look at themselves and get one step closer to being the best they can be.