Perception has been a topic that we at Cultivating Tomorrows Leaders have wanted to discuss for some time now. We've seen, first hand, the impacts that it has had on individuals, including the staff and CTL, both positively and negatively. Today you're going to learn a secret that very few others have acknowledged regarding personal and exterior perception. Let's start by elaborating on personal perception.
Okay, maybe insanity isn't the best word to use for this example, but in essence, it goes well with my idea of what I think it takes in order to be successful in whatever you do on a micro and macro level.
I'm not simply talking about everyday tasks, like waking up and breathing, ordering food, and driving from point A to B. No, I'm more so referring to the attainment of a lofty goal. One that requires more legwork than your average aspirations. When it comes to goals like this, often times a lot of time, hard work and dedication is required to see any kind of results. And often times, it's not uncommon to put in more than your fair share of time, hard work, and dedication yet see no results over the horizon. It is times like this when that little bit of insanity needs to kick in - that crazy dose of faith that tells you DON'T QUIT when all other signs point to a dead end.
When it comes to achieving goals that few others set forth to accomplish, you can almost guarantee that the road to achievement is a much rougher path than the one most commonly used by the majority of your peers. As the saying goes, "If it were easy, everyone would do it."
The very first thing you must remember when you begin to embark on a challenging goal is - it's not easy, but it is doable. The tricky thing with certain goals and aspirations that fly outside of normalcy is that often times, there is no easy projection of how things might turn out or when things might develop. For example, you may be deciding that you're ready to tackle the necessary requirements in order to become a lawyer. As a pre-requisite, you must first do well on the LSAT's to get into a good Law School and secondly, you must pass the BAR before you can legal practice law.
The large majority of society might say "That's a lot of work", "I don't know if I can do well on the tests/exams", "That's a lot of time wasted to prepare", and so on. Truth is, a lot of these concerns are valid, but what if you take each of them on and dedicate everything you've got towards overcoming them? Chances are you will and at the end of that tough fight there's gratification that is exponentially greater than any gratification that the majority of people get out of doing mediocre activities. That's a fact! But before you can properly reach your goals, there are a few rules that you must keep in mind ever step of the way that will test your determination and will hopefully bring out the "insanity" within you.
rules to success in any worthy ideal you pursue
RULE #1: Mentally Prepare for Battle
Before you embark on any mission to achieve a certain goal, you should first fully outline what it will take to achieve such goal and mentally confirm with yourself that you are ready for the challenge. It all comes down to the question - How bad do you really want it? After you've fully analyze the required energy and resources it's going to take to achieve your goal and you're still more than willing to jump out and pursue it, start picturing your ideal outcome IMMEDIATELY and visualize yourself forging ahead, completing each necessary step to achieve your goal.
RULE #2: Devise a Plan & Write Down Your Goals
I'm a firm believer that a goal is nothing more than a dream until you write it down! Take this simple visual for example - imagine having a goal to travel from California to New York on the road. While it may be easy to picture the trip going smoothly and reaching your end destination, if you've never driven to New York from California before, do you think you will be able to successfully complete such a trip without proper guidance? It's highly doubtful.
Devising a plan and writing down your goals is the very best way to keep track of every step needed to be successful and also keep track of your progression. Write our your plans and goals and read them daily. Seeing them on paper, coupled with your mental vision are great complements and offers tangible guidance, opposed to driving blindly.
RULE #3: Work the Plan
After you've written down your plans and goals, it is now time to execute them. Just like with baking a cake, you have all of the ingredients and directions written down, but there will be no cake to eat until you follow the instructions to make it. The same applies to your goals. Don't just stare at them every day hoping to see one of them transpire. You must work at them each and every day. Every little actionable step you take towards your goals brings them one step closer. So don't just look at your plans and goals on paper, work on each plan and goal religiously. In due time, they will all begin to take shape and turn into reality.
The most important rule of them all...
RULE #4: Don't Give Up
This is by far, the most important rule. As we stated at the introduction of this article, any goal that challenges the norm will require a higher level of determination and hard work. In most cases, it will not come easy and may even be very new to you. As such, properly prepare yourself for battle and refuse all urges to quit. This is where the highest level of "Insanity", will power and faith will come into play.
Unless you're psychic, you will never fully know what the outcome of your efforts will be. As such, it takes a special part of you to look at the bigger picture, see what drives you to move forward, and what you'll be giving up if you decide to quit. Quitting is easy. Perseverance is hard. Those that choose to persevere in the eye of adversity and the unknown will experience relief, gratification, satisfaction and blessings like no other! You're willingness to hold onto your faith and believe that everything will work it is what will carry you towards your goal when a clear vision of success isn't in sight.
I leave you with my favorite quote - "Do for 3 to 5 years what most people won't do, and for the rest of your life what most people can't do."
-Cultivating Tomorrow's Leaders
When 17-year-old valedictorian Chelesa Fearce stands before her Georgia high school graduating class today to give her speech, she will talk about overcoming homelessness and fighting to "get the future that you want."
Fearce, a senior at Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., spent most of her high school career living in shelters, the occasional hotel, short-term rented apartments and sometimes the family car -- when the family had one -- with her mother and three siblings.
"I would just pray," Fearce told ABCNews.com. "My mom, whenever we're in that situation, she always finds a way out of it. So I would just tell myself, tomorrow it will not be like this, so take your time, do what you have to do now so that you get the future that you want tomorrow."
Regardless of where she was living, Fearce found a way to study. She recalled using a cellphone light in shelters to get her homework done.
"I'm so happy that I got through all of this and that I finally have gotten to this point," she said. "All the studying I've done ... you don't know! It was crazy. I was studying science, math, everything. I'm very proud to come this far."
Fearce completed high school with a 4.466 GPA and scored a 1900 on the SATs. She tested high enough in school to enroll in local college courses for her last two years of high school. When she starts Spelman College in the fall, she will already be a college junior.
To read this full article, use the link below. It's a very inspiring story and is the epitome of using the power of your subconscious mind to change your conditions and the power of discipline, focus and determination.
Georgia Teenager Overcomes Homelessness to Become Valedictorian
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Cultivating Tomorrows Leaders
-Credit to Good Morning America, ABC News, and Yahoo!
Cameron Clarke, a senior at Germantown Academy in Philadelphia, is an Academic Superstar having scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT!
For those that are unaware, this is an incredible achievement. In 2012, more than 1.66 million students took the SAT and only 360 test takers across the nation achieved a perfect score of 2400 according to SAT officials.
Clarke is an a class of his own exemplifying excellence and determination. This is evident in his approach and execution in preparing for and taking the SATs, tirelessly preparing for the exam and opting to test the test for a second time even after landing above the 98.5 percentile of test takers with a 2190 score the first time around. Cameron knew he could do better and made sure to exhibit that.
Cameron says "I put in a lot of work…I took a prep class with some of my friends, and I did a lot of practice tests from a book.
"But that only prepares you so much," he explained. "The difference between getting, like, a 2400 and a couple of points lower is just focus.”
Cameron’s next big goal is to attend his dream school, Princeton. If his work ethic towards taking the SAT is any indication of how hard he’ll work in order to get into Princeton, it is likely he will be there in the Fall.
The media is very quick to shine a light on our athletic phenoms but rarely highlight the academic achievement of our bright children from urban communities. Parents, it is great that your children can find a role model in athletes and entertainers who are constantly in the spotlight and this can even be beneficial as they make note of some of the philanthropic doings of these individuals, but let’s not forget about the scholars that have made a huge impact on society. These individuals are excellent role models for any kid to grow up and aspire to be like.
Cultivating Tomorrows Leaders would like to send a big congratulations to Cameron Clarke on his amazing accomplishment and wish him the absolute best in all of his future endeavors.
To read the full article on Cameron’s perfect SAT score use the link below.
Perfect SAT Score For Cameron Clarke, Germantown Academy Senior
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Cultivating Tomorrows Leaders
The image above illustrates something that very few of us understand. Like my last blog post mentioned, success rarely forms a straight line. The sooner we understand this concept, the more success we stand to achieve.
In most cases, success will always be an uphill battle. The key to making it to the top is persistence – one step at a time. How many times have you turned back around when the climb seemed too steep? Quitting is easy. Persistence calls for more discipline and determination. So before you give up on something, ask yourself have you exhausted every option and every move beforehand. Often time, the answer to that question is no, so the next big question is, how bad do you really want it?
When something means a lot to you it’s a lot easier to fight for what you want. Just remember, the amount of effort you put into something is reciprocal to what you get out of it. If you fail to give 100% to something and then decide to quit because you didn’t immediately get the results you were seeking, don’t think for a second that things will be different with the next project or goal. You can plan for days, months, and years and expect all of your plans to take shape in reflection to those plans but rarely does that happen. Be prepared for a few bumps in the road regardless of whatever else comes in your way, stay focused on your end goal and remember that success is not a straight line, but through all of the zig zags and winding turns, success will be waiting at the end for those who have shown determination.
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Cultivating Tomorrows Leaders
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
This past Sunday I took a very important exam – the second half of the required exams needed to pass in order to apply for a Mortgage License with the NMLS. Between work, continuously building Cultivating Tomorrows Leaders and GMAT studying, I was also preparing for this test. Three day prior to the actual exam date I studied for hours upon hours with just 3 to 4 hours of sleep in between and felt pretty confident about the results. I've been told that this particular test component was the hardest one and that a lot of people fail it on their first attempt, but I was extremely confident that that would not be me.
Tuesday night, I received a special invite to go to a comedy club in Hollywood, CA. Normally, with all that I'm currently focused on, I would have declined the offer. But the truth is, prior to the invite, fatigue started to set in on me. My normal drive and determination to study hard and focus on my goals weren't ass strong. Turns out it was likely due to overworking myself and my extreme sacrifice in order to succeed.
While I would be the first one to heavily promote sacrifice in order to reach your goals, at times you need to give yourself a quick dose of satisfaction and entertainment - a tune-up if you will. During your quest for success, it's important that you give yourself time to stop and smell the roses.
What I mean by that is, take a moment to enjoy life. Treat yourself for all of your hard work, by taking some brief time out to do something you love. It doesn't have to be too extensive. The last thing you want to do is get too comfortable with this downtime. But taking a day or so to indulge in things that interest you i.e. movies, outdoors, travel, sports, television, cooking, etc. Whatever you decide to do, embrace it fully, leaving your work completely out of the equation. Doing so may be just what you need to reignite that flame and allow you to work more efficiently.
At the comedy club, I left my work at the door and focused completely on having a good time. That night turned out to be one of the best nights I had in a while, full of laughs. Afterwards, I was able to refocus, work hard and study more efficiently.
As it stands to day, I'm in Miami. A little work involved but mostly pleasure, enjoying the sun, beaches and tourist attractions. And despite having to incorporate some work into this trip, I'm making every effort to stop and smell the roses. You'll be amazed at how efficient your productivity is if you do the same. With this moment to exhale, I am now fired up and ready to get back to work with enthusiasm.
Moral of the story - work hard and be willing to sacrifice current pleasures for more abundant ones in the future, but also remember to give yourself a chance to relax, and rebuild that fire to work hard.
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Cultivating Tomorrows Leaders
The Cultivating Tomorrows Leaders Blog is a unique look inside of the life of the sites founder, Eric Miller, a self-proclaimed late-bloomer, determined to succeed. Follow him, as he relentlessly works towards his goals and innermost desires. Follow me to the top!