5 Things I Live By!
As I sit here, the only thing that I can possibly think of is what in the world just happened? I first want to apologize to all my readers for being away for quite sometime. The reason for being away from Ambition Daily for a bit was due to my world being rocked by changes, challenges, and accomplishments. Aside from that, I also do not want to write just to put mere words on a page. I want to write something with meaning and that will leave a lasting impression. Now that I have been sitting here for about two minutes, I guess this is a good time to start, right? However, where do I begin?
The past month and half has tested me in ways that I will try my best to express. It was a time that put everything that I have learned, preached, lived, and studied to the ultimate test. Heck, it even put some of my past posts to the test. So what actually happened? Well, to make it a long story-short, I have graduated with a BS and MBA in a matter of 3 years and have already begun law school. The kicker is that I am only 21 years old. This post is not to brag, but to give you a personal insight into how I accomplished this, as well as things that I personally do to keep myself on track.
How Did I Do It?
Point 1: #ThinkAboutMyEntireLife
I am a deep thinker. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that my mind never stops thinking. Even when I’m asleep I feel as if though I still think. The reason for the “hashtag” is because my friends love to make little jokes about how I always look like I’m thinking and always leave a comment on any pictures they get of me, #BotanaThinkingAboutHisWholeLife. Back to my point though! This is one of my most essential tools, but it can also distract me. I love to sit down, think and reflect on my day, week, month or even year. It helps me stay true to any plans and goals that I have. It helps me remember why I am struggling, why I am succeeding, why I am going through certain motions. It helps me to stay away from making mistakes with my personal life. So what can you take away from this point…well start thinking! Give yourself some time to “#ThinkAboutYourEntireLife”! Trust me it works! It helps you plan out a week, a month, a year and even your life! It’s important because it keeps you in check and ultimately driving forward onto whatever goal you have to accomplish.
So how does this apply to my long story-short? Well, 3 years ago I decided to take a risk! I chose to go to an out of the norm university; one with an accelerated program that would allow me to finish my BS in 2 years and an MBA in 1 year. In making that decision, I planned the next 3 years of my life out in order to get me into the position I am currently in, a law student! I thought about the risk, I took it, and made an executive investment in my life that has got me to the doorstep of one of my biggest aspirations. Throughout the past 3 years that plan was tested countless of times and I always found myself #ThinkingAboutMyEntireLife making sure that the plan was being pursued in the correct manner and that no matter the hiccup ultimately I would make it through! This brings me to another point.
Point 2: I Wasn’t Born A Leader…I’ve Made Myself Into A Leader
I personally believe that everyone has the capability of being a leader because everyone can be a leader in his or her own unique way. At the end of the day everyone possesses a leadership quality or qualities. One of the biggest testaments to this point is a true idol of mine, Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson did not want to be a leader. As a matter of fact, in reading his autobiography, I Never Had It Made, he always questioned why it had to be him, why he had to break the color barrier in baseball, why did Branch Rickey pick him, why did he have to be the one with enough courage not to fight back? Branch Rickey made the leader in Jackie Robinson! Not only did he give Jackie the chance to play professional baseball, but gave him the confidence he needed because Mr. Rickey believed in Jackie. Branch Rickey was a leader himself and a leader must always instill confidence and influence others so that their legacy lives on and their mark is left in this world. The size of the mark and impact is not what matters, only the fact that it merely exists!
I learn as much as I can from those that have either left their mark in the world or are currently in the process of doing so. Everyone has his or her own interests but pick a leader! Pick someone you can learn from and apply it to your life, your situation, and your story! Leaders become leaders because they either educate themselves to become leaders or willingly ask someone to teach them! Take initiative; find that someone or teach yourself. Become a leader so that your story will live on! I tend to forget about how stories like King Arthur and the Three Little Pigs have lived throughout countless generations and that is because stories are passed down! As cliché as it sounds your life is a story and every story is important because people can always learn from them, no matter whom you are!
Now, I want to take sometime to talk about how I have taught myself to become a leader. I realize I am in no comparison to Jackie Robinson, Steve Jobs, or even Walt Disney but I do believe myself to be a leader! Aside from breaking the mold and going to a nontraditional university and starting law school one year ahead of the game, I make it a point to try to motivate, inspire, and influence as many people as I can. That is what my #ThinkPositive campaign is all about! It is about letting people know that although something seems impossible the word “possible” exists within impossible. It’s about reminding people that there is a positive to every negative. That in essence is influence, is it not? On top of that, actions speak louder than words, do they not? I am passionate about life in general to include many things like percussion, family, God, and law to name a few. I am myself at all times, but I also hope people see my passion acting like a contagion. A contagion that makes them interact with their passions with the same amount of enthusiasm and drive that I do with mine! However, all in all I am who I am because of the work that I have invested into myself, the people that have influenced me, and those I pick and choose to learn from. Make yourself a leader, learn from others, tell your story, be passionate, grow, succeed, do what you love, ultimately the world is yours! Is it not?
Point 3: Created My Own Social Network
When I saw Social Network for the first time, I was with my roommate and we left the theater in utter awe. Mostly because of how much of a hustler Zuckerberg was but that is beside the point. Sometimes when I talk about my way of doing things, it can get kind of repetitive, but repetition is like conditioning and I have conditioned myself to think a certain way. I have talked about the importance of a network in a variety of my posts in small doses. However, Zuckerberg networked and created the biggest social media site in the world.
A network is so crucial to any single person! Who do you turn to when you’re down? Who gives you energy? Who gives you a nice kick in the ass every now and then? If the answer is no one to any or all of these questions, find someone! Take yourself out of your personal bubble and interact with society. Society is all about human interaction! In fact, social media and the Internet have made society 100x more interacting! We need others in order for our personal selves to grow!
My Social Network did not just come up to me with its arms wide open; I had to work for it. I was like many others; overwhelmed walking into my first day of college. That moment was one of my biggest steps. I had to remove myself from my personal bubble, reach out, and network. I had to create the college experience for myself, an experience that lined up with my vision, which was to become an attorney! In doing so, I met many individuals that have truly become a blessing to collaborate and work with. It is so exciting to say that due to the amount of time and effort I have invested into my network that I know for certain it will pay off! A network is like a stock but it is up to you to help it grow and mature into the vision you have for it!
The Social Network I created with the help of others got me through the past 3 years in ways that I will not go into detail, but it gave me one of the most important things, experiences that I will carry the rest of life. Whether it was producing a radio show, going to the Grammys, writing for this website, recording drum covers, writing business plans, and collaborating on several projects the opportunities came because I wanted to make an investment into my network and ultimately build it to what it has become.
To wrap up my point…take time to invest in your “Social Network”. Build your stock and crawl out of your personal bubble because I can promise you it is worth your while! Your growth depends on it and to highlight my point, leaders are not born they are made. Your network is part of the creation of the leader within all of us!
Point 4: The More Business Days the Better
One of the most humbling things I realized is that the changes and accomplishments did not happen overnight! It never will! Things happened the way they happened because of the previous 3 points I have made! I meticulously planned it in hopes that it will all come together at the end! It worked! Plan ahead and forget about quick change. The changes that are planned ahead of time through leadership and with the influence from your network are the most breathtaking and impactful! Overnight changes can be incorporated, in order to kick-start the bigger changes that need to happen. So, be selfish and invest in yourself! Invest in making changes to better yourself! Invest in the amount of business days it will take, not the overnight shipping!
Point 5: Humility Goes A Long Way
The tone of this post has been construed in a certain kind of way. It is a tone that gives off a sense of me having done most of the work myself. That was not my intent, but I am confident in the amount of work and time I have invested in myself. Although becoming and growing into a leader requires a lot of self-work, you must always remember to be humble!
Humility is not always easy. It can be easier for some than for others, but it’s the effort you put into being humble that counts. I couldn’t have survived and overcome obstacles I encountered in the past 3 years if it weren’t for my social network and loved ones! I depend and hold myself accountable to be able to make it through the struggles, but I never forget the support that I have and always remember where I came from. It’s like that saying, “You have to know where you came from in order to know where you’re going”. Never forget the people that were there for you from the start and those that have become a part of your life within the past week! Always show appreciation and continue to show humility. This is so important because a leader is only as strong as their followers and without followers then who are you influencing? Appreciate and love those that have helped you! It goes such a long way! Our world has become a world where social interaction is wanted! It is wanted more than ever and it is due to social media. People are now more open to sharing particular things about their lives with the world. It is like their sense of fear has flown out the window and people just want to interact with each other. So to wrap up my point, be humble. Remember your story and those that helped you reach your goals and get through struggles. Appreciate others, show them love, and most importantly show them not in the biggest way but in a way that leaves a lasting impression of your appreciation for them! Humility goes a long way! People want to feel appreciated, wanted, and important! It’s our responsibility as leaders to guarantee our followers, friends, and loved ones that feeling because without them what is a leader?
Okay I am finally done! I feel like I can write for days! Again I apologize for being away for a bit but I hope this post helps you realize that I was in no place to write something like this 2 months ago! Life is not easy and no one ever sold it to us as it being so. With that, take time to:
#ThinkAboutYourEntireLife, take some initiative, to mold yourself into a better leader, find your own “Social Network”, don’t settle for short cuts, always select more business day, stay humble, and lastly #ThinkPositive!
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