“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” — Stephen Covey
Most, if not all, of us have been familiarized with the proverb, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again,” a phrase 9 out of 10 Olympians have once quoted because, fun fact, that’s actually all it takes to become an Olympian. While I respect the famous words from Thomas H. Palmer, I find the more accurate wording of the proverb to be, “If at first you don’t succeed, give up.” Not only is it the less tedious choice, but it also frees up your schedule from all that trying again. And who doesn’t love more free time?
Okay, I don’t truly believe that. And since this is my first post, I should forewarn you that immense sarcasm runs through my veins. So, if I say something too ridiculous to fathom or something only an emotionless a**hole would say, it’s just pure and honest tomfoolery, and who doesn’t love some good tomfoolery to complement more free time?
Regardless, I do not believe in giving up after failure; however, sometimes what you believe is not reflected in how you act. And when it comes to my personal failures, I find myself mocking Palmer’s words of wisdom and following my less tediously inclined advice and throwing in the towel.
(this was literally my reaction after attempting to learn the cool kinds of swimming only to realize I can’t keep my body afloat and I don’t like being submerged in wetness)
Giving up has always been my initial response involving any scenario of potential embarrassment or self-loathing. Somewhere along my way, I decided I had to be good at something before I pursued it. Makes total sense, right? A perfect example is the blog you’re reading right now. In the past three years, I have attempted to pursue blogging on three separate occasions. Each time has resulted in partially set-up sites with half-written posts and a few choice words of negative self-talk questioning why I even bothered. Questions like, “Who would even want to read this?” or “Why is anything I have to say worth the effort of putting it out there?” or, my personal favorite, “What if I just straight up suck?”
These were the words that daunted my thoughts and terminated any progress I was heading toward following through with my desire of earning blogger status. The reality is, those questions are all valid. Each circumstance they propose is possible to happen. No one may want to read this (but I at least got you to, so well done defying those odds), and I’m still not claiming these words have any worth or that I don’t suck. But, I’m doing this. I’m tracing back my steps to where I had thrown this towel and picking it up. It’s time I stop allowing my circumstances to define my successes and I allow my decisions to guide that outcome instead.
Before I give too much praise for taking initiative, I should disclose I forced myself into it. In case you haven’t transferred colleges a time or two, I’ll fill you in on the beauty of such indecisiveness. Course credits are rarely ever exact transfers. In some cases, this leaves you .83 credits short your senior year in your “free electives” requirement. And in case you haven’t experienced life as a senior in college, .83 credits in “free electives” standing between you and graduation is the emotional equivalent to Bambi thinking his mother was right behind him as they ran into the thickets to protect themselves from hunters only to find, as he turned around, that she was shot and killed. RIP Mrs. Bambi.
Okay, it may not be that dramatic, but I can assure you it’s a total buzzkill and the last issue you want to address when you’re so close to kissing school goodbye. However, this .83 credit wasn’t going to resolve itself. My options were to buy a parking pass for the semester, drive 35 minutes to campus and take some ludicrous gym class that would obviously benefit my career down the road when I pursue bowling, or, explore the possibility of doing an independent study within my personal interests and out of the comfort of my own home.
Though it was a tough decision, I opted for the independent study. I proposed a project in which I would run a personal blog and post weekly regarding topics related to my major of organizational leadership or ones within similar manners. It was approved with flying colors from my advisor and off I went.
Thus, here I stand, $200 richer and pursuing an interest I have denied myself for years. Not going to lie, a fear of failure and total suckness (sp?) is still rooted deep within. But if I have learned anything about fear, it’s to force yourself to have it account for a grade, a grade you have no choice in earning if you ever want to graduate, nonetheless, and you’ll be shocked how quickly you’ll overcome that fear. And I suppose I should credit Thomas Palmer as well. Although, he would be more accurate in saying try and try and freaking try one more time.
Thus, here you stand reading my first completed attempt at blogging. I can’t promise I’ll unearth any astonishing new concepts to you or be as inspiring as that little cat hanging by its measly paws on that tree branch encouraging you to hang in there (if you haven’t seen this poster, go to literally any dentist office). But, I can promise you some tomfoolery and hopefully an insight into the world of organizational leadership. It will be a journey, to say the least, and who doesn’t love a good journey?
So, this is the blonde leading the blonde. And all hair colors in-between. Welcome to the journey.