During a pandemic, it’s very easy to give up. There is a buffet of factors to choose from to justify that opinion.
The economy is faulty, folks are losing their livelihoods, our brothers and sisters around the world are sick or dying, news cycles remind us daily of who is infected and where, we are reminded that going outside is outside of the agreeable social norms—and there isn’t any toilet paper on a shelf in the country!
You can choose any of these factors and decide to give up...to curl up into a ball and decide that life is just too hard, too difficult and too challenging. You can take a hiatus from all of the responsibilities and goals that you’ve ever thought that you can achieve. That’s what I thought, too.
Then it happened, my university made probably the most challenging situation look routine.
UAT is a lot of things—quirky, cool, fun, smart and agile. When all of our classes went virtual, I didn’t even notice any difference because the style of the graduate classes is already built in such a flexible format. In the classroom, instead of avoiding the topic, our professor integrated the ideas in the classroom. For instance, the term “agile” is all fun and games until you actually are forced into a situation that makes you live up to that name. UAT truly fits the bill.
During my graduate class, Managing People in a Technology Environment with Provost Dr. David Bolman, we spent a good chunk of the classroom checking in on how everyone is doing and how this situation is applicable to the theoretical topics that we discussed. It was fun, interactive and agile, and I truly felt like I was in the right place.
When I was younger, I didn’t fit it in. I used words beyond my grade level because I stayed up all night studying the dictionary. I read words I couldn’t pronounce and beyond my maturity. One word stuck with me through the years: success.
Success is a common word, but what I found uncommon was the difference in each of its connotations.
1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
2. The attainment of popularity or profit.
3. A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains a prosperity.
Re-read number 3, and then think about all of the things that you’ve ever wanted in this world. Maybe a lollipop from the store as a child, a teenage crush to like you back in high school, or a stable life as an adult. Now, think about how to achieve your results. It’s going to be tough. But you should give up? No.
My definition of success is never giving up on your right to achieve everything that you desire. Giving up never leads to success. Stay and fight for as long as you need to, and you will arrive at an inner success that you can’t explain. You can become number 3.
It’s easier said than done, but sometimes hearing it over and over again helps. When I was younger, I said that one day I would write, produce, record and arrange a song that I would listen to that would motivate me when I couldn’t find motivation—that would lift me up even when I couldn’t lift myself. I said that I would name that song “Success” and no matter what phase of life I was in I would cherish where I was, right then. So I made that song.
If you want to give up, you don’t need my help to do that. But if you don’t, give my song a listen, take out a notebook and write down all the things that you want to do and how you need to do it. You will get there. I got there—trust me. The only thing between you and living the life that you deserve is you. Move out of your own way, help yourself out, and go take your success.
Listen to Success at https://open.spotify.com/album/32cLc7SHofw50ZLPM4F268.