When Procrastination Is Good

If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.
When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in
the field ofyour bliss, and they open the doors to you.  I say,
follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open
where you didn’t know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t
have opened for anyone else.

-Joseph Campbell

I assessed the pros and cons of my decision.  Before making the critical determination, I carefully scrutinized the advantages, the disadvantages, the expected and unexpected, and everything in between.  I made a choice, but emotionally my heart uttered that I was mistaken.

The tug of war between logic and emotion is a compelling and dynamic relationship.  Logic has its validity but so does emotion.  Sometimes I think feelings are underrated. Some research suggests that “individuals who experienced more intense feelings achieved higher decision-making performance.”  Hmm..

You’re probably wondering what I’m rambling about and where am I going with this.

Whelp, I’ll tell you exactly what this post is all about…  My chatter is about grad school.  To take the next class or not.

The last semester was no doubt the most challenging ever. Working full-time, caring for the home, partaking in our son’s activities, and being present in our marriage was laborious.

During the eight-week course, I second-guessed myself daily.  Self-sabotage!!   Did I belong in the class? Did I have what it took to pass the class?  Was I smart enough? Suffocating in doubt and uncertainty, I agonized but pushed through it.  The final exam was the breaking point.  I thought… no, I knew for certain that I’d bomb the course, but I did not. I received a 90 on my final and passed the course with a B-.  Whew!!

In the fall, I registered for the Spring 2017 semester but later realized that due to unexpected events, I should probably drop the course(s) until summer ’17.  I was trying to think realistically about handling a heavy workload.

I prolonged dropping the course until the final day of drop/add. Who’d believe that procrastination can be good?

On the final day to drop without a financial obligation, I logged in to my school’s site, pulled up the classes, placed an “X” in the boxes, and reached to set my pinky on the enter button and froze.

I couldn’t bring myself to finish the withdrawl and press the enter button.

Questioning myself again, I pondered, will this class be as challenging and time-consuming?  With new undertakings, will I have too much on my plate? I still could not bring myself to drop any of the classes.  I texted four people who are close to me.  Three of the four, including my husband responded.  Their feedback helped.

I have momentum and drive; it is not the time to ease off the gas and delay progress.

My hunger and thirst for this program make my heart flutter. Simply talking about the program sends goose bumps along my arms.

The work is demanding and challenging, but that’s where the growth emerges.  Finally, I’ve become quite comfortable with the sentiment of feeling uncomfortable.  In strength training, you lift to failure; then you lift again.  It is only through the discomfort of breaking down (tearing) the muscles and feeling sore, along with proper nutrition that we become stronger and develop muscle growth.

On the other side of this struggle awaits unexplored ventures and unknown opportunities.

Because I procrastinated, I did NOT drop my spring classes!!  Hallelujah!!

This post is a friendly reminder for me and for you to stay encouraged in whatever it is we set out to do.  Self-doubt is normal but pushing through the doubt is the exception.  Many people succumb to fear and to doubt and give up on their dreams.  They spend their life wondering, what if?  Please don’t give up. Keep pushing and keep it moving. Failure means success and beats the what if’s any day.  I’m delighted that I procrastinate!  I know that I made the best decision as I continue to follow my bliss. 🙂

Here’s to a new semester, to new challenges,  and to new opportunities in 2017! By the way, if you like what you’ve read here, please subscribe to Lexa’s Journal. Thank you!

Happy New Year!

Smooches!

 

 

Dream snatchers beware!

dreams and wishes. 62/365

This is the time of year when I regularly engage in reflective conversations with graduating seniors.  I consider the discussions with these young adults to be an honor.  Why?  Because if you have any experience with teenagers—as a parent, a teacher, a coach, an advisor, or anything else, you know that they can been restrained in articulating their inner thoughts. When they want to talk, listen. 

Remove your parenting hat for a moment. Please.

Teens want to be spoken to—not down to. “Mrs. Cain, I always enjoyed talking to you because our conversations were cool!  You talked to me like I was an adult.”  TJ, a former student, said this to me on many occasions.

My conversations with these young adults are revealing and insightful. The lessons exchanged between me and the students are unending.

A common dilemma for students is, choosing a career path… and with their parent/guardian’s blessing.  If choosing the career path isn’t difficult enough, obtaining their parent/guardian’s blessing is often the greater hurdle of the two.

Today’s conversation involved a respectful student who will receive her high school diploma in two and half weeks.  For over a year, she talked to me and others about pursuing a career in the culinary arts.

I asked if she had followed through on an educational and apprenticeship program (affiliated whit a local community college) that I recommended to her.  As she fumbled over her words, head down, eyes lowered, in a slight whisper, she replied, “Well, my mom said that she doesn’t see me doing culinary arts.  She says that I should go to college and study business.”

My chest rises as I take a notable deep breath.  I loudly exhale.  Wow!  I am deeply saddened and emotionally moved.  I wanted to walk over to her, give her tight hug and say,

 “To hell with what your mother wants!  This is your dream!  Run!  Don’t let her steal your dreams.

Reality check!!!!  I can’t say that!

“Listen KI, while I appreciate the fact that your mother loves you and wants the best for you. I also appreciate that you respect your mom, however, you have to live your dreams for you…not your mom’s dreams for you.”

I am so sick and tired of hearing this same comment from teens.   Parents!  Chill out!  Live your own dreams!  Don’t snatch your kids’ dreams faway from them!

These young adults are being placed in a very difficult position.  They respect and love you as their parent/guardian—they don’t want to disappoint you. Many don’t know how to or are petrified to tell you that their dream for themselves differ from yours. 

Yeah I know– we are smarter, wiser, more experienced, blah, blah, blah….   

Did you know that there’s a college dropouts hall of fame list? The assorted list includes such successes as Mark Zuckerberg, Jay-Z, William Shakespeare, Russell Simmons, Troy Aikman (my all-time favorite quarterback), Jane Austin, Kathy Ireland, Mario Andretti, Louis Armstrong, Ben Affleck, Will Smith, Frank Sinatra, and founder of whole foods, John Mackay.

I mention the hall of fame website to reinforce my point that the route to achieving success, (a highly debatable and vague word) varies for most.   

I do not promote skipping college, dropping out of high school, nor discontinuing ones education. I am comitted to being a life-long learner and encourage students to do the same.

I promote what is best for each individual student. With the increasing debt accrued by college students, it is vital that students who attend college really want to attend.

I don’t claim to know any child better than thier parent.  As a matter of fact, there are times when I am perplexed by my own kids.  

With respect to career advice, I try to guide students individually and avoid the cookie cutter approach; it doesn’t work.

Regardless of our perception of how outlandish a child’s dream is, their dream deserves to be heard and respected.  If our dreamers are hardworking and willing and ready to make the necessary commitments and sacrifices, then, we are obligated to help them in finding the path most realistic and suitable for them.

Have you ever been laughed at for an idea?  Has someone ever told you that your idea was dumb, stupid, or unrealistic?   When dream snatchers intrudes on one’s dreams, they hurt feelings.  The act is like throwing a gallon of water on a lit match.  The water overpowers and suffocates the flame.  We must be careful to avoid asphyxiating the dreams of our youth.  

If you are a parent or have influence over a young adult through other means, I urge you to encourage and to help to stretch the dreams of our future leaders.  

Today we enjoy the luxury of computers , cell phones and more. They perform functions that many of us never dreamed of.  The fact:  someone else envisioned and stretched an idea far beyond its conception and for that we should all be grateful.  

“Press On!”
– The late Rev. Robert L. Cain

 Sites worth a  peek:

http://collegedropoutshalloffame.com/

http://www.ztcollege.com/ (Zero Tuition College)