Sunday, October 8, 2017

In Pursuit Of Happiness



Chester was a tiny little dog. He was excited to start puppy school, but he was also nervous because he had no idea what trade he wanted to pursue.  
After months of waiting, he finally realized he wanted to be a guard dog. 

"Chester’s mom had given him all of the time in the world to choose what trade he wanted to learn. But her patience was wearing thin.  
Chester, have you decided what you want to do with your life? All of your brothers and sisters have already gone off to pup school and graduated. Why are you taking so long to blossom?” asked his mother. 

“Mom, I want to be a guard dog,” Chester blurted out.  
“Honey, you’re so small. You can't be a guard dog; you'll get eaten alive.” remarked Chester’s mother. 

This lit a fire under Chester. He was determined to pursue his road to happiness, no matter how long and hard the journey may be. “Mom, I’ve made up my mind. I am going to be a guard dog,” said Chester before he skipped away.  
The very next morning, he enrolled in pup school as a guard dog. His classmates were German Shepherds, Pit Bulls and only the toughest dogs. But Chester felt confident in his ability to succeed. 

When he got home from school, Chester would exercise to build up his strength. It was tough, but he stuck to his guns. He knew he could do it. 
At his final examination, he had to run an obstacle course in under 45 seconds. And, because of his hard work and small size, he was able to complete the obstacle course in 20 seconds!  

Against all odds, Chester became a guard dog. 

Initially, Chester’s fear of failure kept him from pursuing his dream of being a guard dog. And, when he finally worked up the courage to follow his passion, he was criticized. Nonetheless, Chester stuck to his guns and achieved exactly what he set out to do.  
He pursued his happiness and won.  Surely, you’ve encountered a situation where your lack of confidence has stopped you from chasing something you know you would love to do. However, if you don’t even try, you've already lost the battle. 

Maybe you couldn’t give that executive your elevator pitch because you thought he wouldn’t spare a second to talk to you. Or you may have even opted for a “safe” college major rather than what you truly love to do.  It’s important to remember that every day is an opportunity to succeed. And pursuing your happiness can effectively be done just one step at a time. 

If you want to be a doctor someday, the first step is showing up to class. If you want to work as a bridal consultant, the first step is handing out resumes.  Once you take the first step, once you get up off the couch, the steps that follow seem to fall into place!

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Class Project

Jimmy was having fun playing video games in his room, not worrying at all about his science project that was due in two days. 

Mrs. Peterson had assigned it last week. At first, he had intended to do the project, but a couple of days after it was assigned, Mrs. Peterson was absent, and they had a substitute teacher. So he decided to put it off until Mrs. Peterson came back.  
But she hadn’t come back all week! And now here he was with nothing to show for himself. Even so, he still wasn’t too worried about it – the substitute hadn’t mentioned the science project at all. So Jimmy played some more and went to bed. 
The next day, Jimmy walked into science class to find Mrs. Peterson sitting at her desk. He felt his heart sink. 
“I’m sorry I was away so long,” she said. “But I hope you all have been working on your science projects. I’m really looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.” 
When he got home from school, Jimmy got to work frantically, trying to put together a project. He stayed up very, very late. Finally, he had something he could turn in, though the measurements were rushed and the project had come out all wrong.  
Jimmy got his project back a week later with a big red D written on the front, then his mom took away all his video games. 
Poor Jimmy! Losing all that sleep and his video games, too! But what’s a kid to do? His teacher was gone all week... 
We can always find excuses for putting off the things we need to do. We’re missing a person on the team, the instructions weren’t clear, we have other projects that take priority, the deadline is a long way away – the list can go on and on. 
But the truth is circumstances may never be ideal for anything. 
If we use excuses and justifications to avoid beginning important projects, we’ll always deliver a mediocre performance.  
Procrastination is defined as putting things off that you should be doing now. We all do it from time to time, but when it becomes a way of life, we shortchange ourselves and never become the person we can be. 
Why do we procrastinate? We can convince ourselves with any number of excuses. We’re waiting for the right mood, or the right time, or we don’t know how to start, so we just don’t do anything.  
It’s helpful to take a real honest look at yourself:  
Why do you put things off that you know you should be doing?  
Is there a lack of a clear goal?  
Do you need to strengthen your decision-making skills?  
Are you a perfectionist?  
Do you have a fear of failure? 
Once you’ve pinpointed those reasons for putting things off, eliminate them from your life! Don’t allow excuses and justifications to keep you from becoming the best leader, parent, or partner you can be. 
Ensure your success by beginning tasks promptly and eliminating procrastination from your life. Doing so is a major step to becoming a productive person, a reliable friend, and an honorable partner. 
More things to ask yourself: 
Do I make excuses for putting off projects I should be working on? 
What is the root cause of my procrastination? 
How can I plan to finish tasks on time without the panic of a last minute rush?