I was going through my iPad files when I came across this paper my younger son Colton, wrote to the upcoming UW Leaders. I found it to be quite profound, funny and insightful and perfect for starting 2018, now a full six years later. 2018 is going to be a more tangible, full of successes and improvements year, more of being physical human beings. This is why his advice is ideal. The lofty spiritual principles of the past several years will applied a bit differently, and will be swirling like rainbows in the ethers around us, providing steam and energy as well as intuitive insight, as we place “boots on the ground” taking body, mind and emotion into action. Colton’s upbeat inspiring suggestion to younger students is as applicable now as it was to his younger upcoming leaders.
Here’s to diversity, challenges and break-throughs, courage, inspiration, confidence and passion. Here’s to making 2018 a sweaty, heart racing, goal producing phenomenal year!
Cosmic sunshine to you!
“Holy hell! UWL is already drawing to a close… I honestly don’t know what happened to the time. Time flies when you are having fun! I have been thinking a lot of what I would like to leave all of you with and as much as my mind keeps wandering around many wonderful leadership topics, it keeps settling on the ideas of confidence and passion.
I tend to repeat myself (usually unbeknownst to me) more often than I would like, and I’m sure many of you have already heard me yammering on about these two topics more than your fair share. However, these two qualities, in my opinion, are arguably the most important attributes that one possesses, so I will once again share my humble thoughts about these awesome nouns.
Let’s start with confidence, probably the most elusive, finicky human characteristic. The dictionary defines confidence as “full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing; belief in oneself and one’s power or abilities.” Belief in yourself sounds simple enough, but some times it can be one of the hardest things to find. In my experience, building confidence is somewhat similar to a heroic quest. Every person’s quest is different. Some are short. Some are long. Some even bring you back right to where you started. But in every case confidence is the treasure found at the end of the journey. You find bits and pieces of it along the way, but the full treasure trove is only discovered after you have made the trek yourself and shown yourself that you can do it.
So what would advice would I give you about confidence? I will refer to my good friend, Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo, when he says, “Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you: as Albert Mondego, the man!” Obviously this quote was intended for a male, so I will extend this last part for all of the wonderful ladies of UWL to say, “What makes you a woman… Then the fates will know you as we know you: as _______________, the woman!”J What I’m trying to get at is that you as a person are worth absolutely everything in the world and you should never let anyone tell you otherwise!
Now on to passion, the second most human intangible idea… This topic usually gets me into somewhat shaky territory with strict parents because my thoughts, many times, conflict with their own. Throughout my life, my mom has constantly told me to discover what makes me the happiest and then to follow that passion wherever it took me. She would always tell me, “I majored in art history and absolutely loved it. I would never change anything about my college career. Do what you love most. When you find your passion, stick with it, regardless of outside influences. Money follows passion; it’s not the other way around.” In 9th grade I found my greatest passion in creating music (repetition again… I know). However, my dad and my grandfather had told me all of my life that I should be an engineer because I had the talent and the drive to do it. Like an idiot, I forgot the teachings of my mom and followed the wishes of my grandpa and father blindly. After a rough freshman year of not enjoying any of my engineering classes, I finally decided to listen to my mom’s words again in order to follow my dream.
With an ounce of confidence and a dash of passion, the average person can become extraordinary. Think about what you could do with a pound of each. Go on your heroic journey for confidence, and while you’re out there, look inside yourself for what drives you and makes you happy. Henry Bromel once said, “dreams are the windows of the soul—take a peek and you can see the inner workings, the nuts and bolts.” You will be/feel infinitely more successful if you enjoy what you do. In the end, when you are on your deathbed and you look back on your life, I can guarantee you won’t be thinking about all of the jobs you possessed or all of the money you made. You will be thinking about the people you met and the memories you share with the people you love.
I know all of you can change the world for the better if you put your minds to it. I have high expectations for all of you. Keep me updated with your progress!
As always, leader love!