Over the years all of us have heard clichés that have to do with increasing our personal and professional potential. We have heard that “cream always rises to the top.” Then there is, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” We have also heard that when we face adversity we need to “rise to the occasion.” All of that seems to be very true. However, what does that look like on a daily basis? How does all that work?
I think it basically all comes down to letting our daily actions do the talking. It is one thing to talk about taking action but it is quite another thing to actually do it. Thomas Edison was once asked by a reporter, “You spent so much time, effort, money, and energy trying to invent the light bulb and you failed over and over again. How do you answer your critics?” Edison did not say a word. He just walked over and turned on a light switch. In other words, he let his actions do the talking in his life. He faced the challenge of turning electricity into light. He was the one who would “rise to the occasion” to see his phenomenal invention become a reality.
The dream or the goals you have in life, in order to better your situation, will always attract critics. However, we should not focus on our critics. If we focus on those who are negative and critical toward us, we will surely fail. Rather, what we need to focus on is developing our own personal skills. Is there an area in life in which you would like to see yourself become better? Then start working on it daily. Remember though, that it is not possible to become an expert in anything overnight. It takes time, effort, discipline, and failure along the way. However, there is a rich reward waiting for all of us if we will simply rise to the occasion in front of us.
Stay focused on the future. Do not focus on the failures of the past. There are things all of us wish we could do over but, those are the very ingredients that go into success. A little girl once asked her mother, “Mommy, why do flowers grow?” The mother, who was a little weary of so many questions from the young child said, “Well, the seed gets tired of being in the dirt and it just wants to grow up and become attractive.” What a great answer! That is what all of us should do. We should all want to get up out of the dirt that we are in and become attractive or better in our own personal life.
Speaking of seeds, remember that the dream in your heart may be bigger than the environment it is in. It may require a different environment for you. If you take an acorn and plant it in a small bucket, once it takes root and begins to grow into an oak tree, it will not be long before the small bucket stifles the tree’s growth. It will have to be moved to a larger environment; otherwise, it will never become the mighty oak tree. It must be transplanted in order to experience its fullest potential. Now, I am not suggesting that you change your environment overnight, but it is a consideration that you must face if you want to reach your fullest potential.
I once packed up a pregnant wife and three small daughters and moved from Atlanta, GA to Dallas, TX to go to graduate school. Was it difficult? Yes! Was it worth it? Oh YES!
I am constantly amazed at how many great people I have met in my life, and they all have one common thread flowing through them. They simply looked at the situation they were in and decided they wanted to make things better. It may have been hard, but anything that is truly worthwhile is hard. It is a simple formula that requires daily dedication and commitment. However, the rewards are well worth it.
In the end, it all boils down to what our high school cheerleaders taught us every time they cheered: Buckle down, buckle down, do it – do it – do it!
Tip: Life is an occasion – rise to it!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm