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I’m a very goal-oriented person, and it’s a trait I picked up when I was a kid. I was overweight, shy, and often went through a melancholy phase. Thankfully, I didn’t have to walk uphill both to and from school, as many people joke when describing their tough formative years. Instead, my parents dropped me off at school in the mornings, and I would often walk home or ride my bike. Buses only picked up kids who lived a mile or more from the school, and we were just inside that 1-mile mark. As it happened, a public library sat between my house and the school. In the winter, I’d often hang out there to warm up before continuing home. Of course, I did a lot of reading, too. During one of those midwinter visits to the library, a set of audiobooks caught my eye — “The Psychology of Winning: 10 Qualities of a Total Winner” by Denis Waitley. I eagerly grabbed the cassettes, checked them out, and took them home. As I listened to the tapes, it dawned on me for the very first time that I was in control of my attitude. I was in charge of my happiness, who I was, and who I could become. It was remarkable, and it blew my young mind. I could wake up in the morning and set my destiny. After I listened to the tapes, I started going down a path of self-improvement. I set goals and pushed myself. By the time I finished my freshman year of high school, I had dropped about 40 pounds. But it was about much more than losing weight. I also joined speech and debate to overcome my shyness and be more engaging. I learned that when I set goals and worked to complete them, I got the results I wanted. Right out of high school, I found an opportunity to sell things. I had developed the necessary skills and got good at it — so good, in fact, that it became my career. And it’s all because I changed my mindset and stopped letting life just happen; I took control.
Years later, this is still very much my mindset. I read and listen to audiobooks and podcasts as frequently as I can. I love to learn, and I’m constantly trying to improve myself as a person. I frequently set goals, and I live as deliberately as possible. I’ve learned that living intentionally leads to the greatest fulfillment in life, because you have a direction to focus your energy and a definite purpose for yourself. And that purpose can be anything! For some people, checking off a list, like a bucket list, is their version of living an intentional life. Others work more day to day. You have to find what’s most fulfilling and productive for you. Over the past few years, I’ve been following “Your Best Year Ever,” a program and book developed by Michael Hyatt. It’s about becoming focused on what you want to accomplish. My process is to look at the past year and consider what didn’t go well and what I could’ve done differently. I list those things and get them out of the way. Then I write down what did go well and the many great things that happened over the year. After I evaluate my year, I look to the year ahead. What can I do differently? What can I do so that when I look back on 2019, I’m happy Continued on page 3 ...
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