Dedicated to my mentor, J
Because I had problems “catching on” to certain things that most other people understood how to do easily, many people didn’t believe I would be able to get very far in life. One of my teachers even said, in so many words and by their actions, that I wouldn’t really amount to anything. Sadly, I believed him for almost fifteen years. But then, I met my mentor, J, about seven or eight years ago. She changed my life! Here’s what I learned about life from her about not letting people or your own limitations get in the way of accomplishing your God-given dreams:
- Don’t take what the naysayers in your life say to heart.—There were a great number of people in my life that acted like or even said straight out that I wouldn’t be able to do this or that. I was often treated as if I would never be able to said thing, without even letting me try it first. It was as if they were afraid that the inevitable (i.e: failure) would happen. For instance, in one job I had, I wanted to move up in the company. I wanted to cross-train, and then become full-time. My boss at the time told me flat-out that I wouldn’t be good at doing said thing that I wanted to cross-train in. However, the problem with that was that I wasn’t even given the opportunity to train! So, how would they know that I wouldn’t be able to do said thing if it wasn’t even proven that I actually was bad at it? In retrospect, I should have pointed this fact out to my boss at the time, but was too discouraged to ask again. However, in contrast to the naysayers in my life, J pushed me to succeed and believed in my God-given abilities. She didn’t even pay mind to the people in my life that discouraged me from trying said things that they thought I couldn’t do, but helped me find a way to prove them all wrong instead. Also, I am happy to say, my current job encourages everyone to cross-train, even me, whom others in my past said that I wouldn’t amount to all that I do now. Various people that were in my life had said because of my past difficulties, I would not be even able to drive, get a job, or work full-time. I’ve done all of that, because J was finally able to get me to stop listening to those naysayers. If you are facing naysayers in your life right now, even if those include your own voices, do NOT listen to them! Prove them wrong. Listen to the voices that believe in you and your dreams, and do what you can to make that dream come true.
- Be motivated to work hard.—What I have accomplished in my life wasn’t just magically handed to me on a silver platter. Some people who get jealous of others think that their object of their envy has or had it “easy.” More often than not, the people who are jealous of others, including the ones jealous of me, want what we have for themselves. Furthermore, they do not realize how much effort it took for us to get this far. It took me literally years to be able to get a full-time job. However, with the support of my mentor J, God’s perfect timing, and the will to work hard every day at whatever job I was in at the time, I was finally able to be full-time. If you want to accomplish your dreams, it will take hard work and determination as well. Sure, we all have certain abilities and talents that make certain things easier for us than others. However, someone once said that there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. There are no shortcuts to accomplish your dreams either. It will take time and hard work, but it will be so worth it in the end!
- Be patient, and don’t give up.—The more significant your dream or dreams, often, the longer it will take for you to realize the dream or dreams. However, do not give up! Be patient and persevere, even when you have some setbacks. For example, some of you may know that I have battled depression for years, and one of my unconscious goals was to find joy in my life. During the height of my depression, I just wanted to give up completely on my life, and end it all. However, someone or something in me (probably, I believe, God in me) urged me on. I listened to that voice inside me. Consequently, for the past year or so, I have had significantly fewer depressive episodes than I have ever had in my life! For the first time in my life, I feel a sense of sustained joy. For another instance, it took several months for my previous job, and several months from when I started to look for another opportunity, to find my current job. Before I found my current job, I was interviewed at a bookstore. I had really wanted to work at a bookstore, because I love to read. However, I found out quickly at the interview that I wasn’t a good fit for their company. Yes, I did get discouraged, but I didn’t give up looking for a job, and several weeks later I got an interview at my current job. The rest is history.
My mentor J has taught me many things about not giving up on my dreams, but the most important things she has taught me are:
- Do not listen to the naysayers. Do not let what they say to you influence your heart or actions.
- Be willing to work hard to accomplish your dreams.
- Be patient, and don’t give up on your dreams.
If you seem to have insurmountable obstacles in the way of accomplishing your God-given dreams, even if it is as simple as wanting to have joy in your life, start by telling yourself that it is not hopeless for you as long as you are alive. Also, don’t listen to the people that tear you or your dreams down. Take that first step towards your dream today, even if it is a little step. It will make all the difference. Because I believe that you can do it. You can!