Goals: Double Effort

Ever since I was young I can remember loving geography. I can remember sitting in my geography class and looking at the big map on the wall and thinking “WOW,  the world seems so big!”  I guess I never really paid much attention to it.

When you’re from a small town like Mountain Home, Arkansas and you’re young, it’s hard to see the world as a really big place.   I never had the opportunity to travel very much so all I really saw what was inside of my bubble.

So there I was looking at this map and thinking,

“I can’t believe that there are 7 billion people on this planet.  I want to go meet some of these people. I want to connect I want to go experience different cultures!”

I closed my eyes and imagined cool places, like Paris, the city of love, to see the Eiffel Tower,  or something cool like the Great Wall of China. However, even cooler to me was thought of going to Africa and going on an African safari. I always saw these people running around on TV having these really cool experiences that going on never can Safari and I asked myself “If they can do it, why can I do it?”

I carried this question in my heart in my junior high days and when I turned 15 years old I made a decision that changed the course of my life: graduate early. 

Graduating early was not a decision that was common when I was that age. In fact, everyone around me told me that it was not possible to do, however I had it very clear in my mind that I wanted to do it. After making this decision and I was working towards my goal I had to work double as hard in everything I did: double classes, homework, exams etc..

On top of that I had to learn how to fill out all my college documents in order to get accepted into the university of my choice, find money to get my univeristy paid for and the worst part of it was that nothing was certain. I had no idea if I was going to be able to finish all my classes in order to graduate, or if I was going to get accepted into the college that I applied to or a fixed plan on how I was going to get all of it paid for.

However, I knew in my heart that I had a big dream and I was going to make that dream become a reality to matter what it took.

In that year I spent hours in the library, taking every chance that I could to study, finish my homework and take exams. I gave up lunch breaks and weekends out with my friends in order to study.  No one could understand why I was sacrificing so much to reach my goal, and I learned a very important lesson in that time:

In life we will have dreams and goals in our heart that won’t make sense to the people around us, even our best friends or our family, no matter how many times we try to explain it to them.

Day after day I worked hard I kept my eyes focused on path and after lots of dedication, sacrifice and hard work, I reached my goal: I graduated one year ahead of my high school class and I got accepted into my first school of choice, Palm Beach Atlantic University. I will never forget the day of my graduation. I was so proud of my hard work and happy at the fact that I had not listened to all the people around me that told me that I would not be able to do it.

If I would of listened to them, I would not of been standing there that day proudly with my diploma in my hands.

The funny thing about it is that all of those people that told me that it would not be possible were all attending my graduation. I don’t know if you have ever had a situation in your life where someone told you that you would not be able to do something, and then you did, but it’s an amazing feeling. However, sometimes you just want to look at those people and scream and say,

“I TOLD you so! I am so much stronger than you ever thought that I was!”

However, it’s not just me. Its all of us. We are all so much stronger than we think we are. When I truly realized that for the first time was when my life completely changed.

In that period of my life I learned many lessons that I still apply to this day: to achieve our dreams we must have a clear idea on what it is that we truly want and and realize that it may not make sense to the people around us, but if we are dedicated and are willing to put forth the effort, we can do anything we set our mind to.

Don’t forget to also read:

Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comGoals: Double Effort