|Album cover from my childhood youth. The rectangular box is a mirror. So simple, |
yet as adults we tend to forget this truth about ourselves. Mr. Rogers was a wise man!
All of us, young and old, worry about our futures and whether or not we are capable enough to succeed in them. At age two most of us truly believe in our own wonderfulness, that it will go on forever. But as we grow older, the "I can do anything" train of thought is replaced with "I don't know if I can," and the ever-popular, "I probably can't."
Truth is, you have passion inside you the world needs to know about. You can write a story/sing a song/build a tower/paint a picture better than anyone else you know. Your two-year-old self would totally look in the Mr. Rogers mirror and tell you this.
If you have dreams/goals/aspirations that at this moment seem entirely unattainable, I tell you this: Find a way. And do it when you're young. Here's how:
1) 86 all limiting beliefs. Untruths such as, "I could if I were as smart as ..." have no room in the achieving your goals scenario. Channel the toddler within you and truly believe you CAN. There is no room for self negativity in your plan.
2) Bug your parents. You might be thinking, "They don't have the means to ... (send me to college, help with travel expenses ... fill in the blank) so why ask?" But believe me, 9 out of 10 parents would happily do whatever they could to help their children realize their aspirations. (I know this because I am an actual parent.) We just need to know what they are.
3) Educate yourself. Being the best you you can be takes work. Become an expert at whatever interests you and a master at maneuvering vehicles (scholarships, networks, etc.) that will take you exactly where your aspirations lie.
4) Rely on the kindness of others. You may think people don't really care. Guess what? They do. Think of your teachers, family members, friends, friends of friends - the majority of them would love to have played even a small part in your success. But they cannot know you'd like their help unless you come right out and ask them.
5) Pull the plug and/or drastically reduce all unproductive distractions. And by distractions I mean Facebook.
6) Stay grounded in your faith/inner belief system. Whatever decisions you make in life this comes first. Oh, so important.
7) Start on your aspiration list. Right now. Open up a word program and start typing. Begin with a list of goals, then record just how you will go about attaining them. Keep the document on your desktop for easy access and go back to it frequently to modify, recording all encouraging thoughts and ideas that enter your brain. It might take years, but one day you will go back to it and find there is nothing left to edit. Then you will have created the perfect life plan for yourself!
8) Say nice things when you look in the mirror. This is the toughest item on the list. But if you can master it, all good things will naturally come your way. Promise.