Achieve Your Goals Despite the Naysayers

Ever since I was a child I have always liked geography. I can remember sitting in my geography class looking at the big map on the wall thinking “WOW, the world seems SO big!” I guess I had never really taken the time to notice it.

Growing up in a small town, like Mountain Home, Arkansas, its hard to see the world as a big place. I did not have the opportunity to travel much when I was young, so my whole entire world consisted of that little place.

I can remember looking at the map on the wall and thinking, “I can not believe there are 7 billion people in the world. I want to go meet different people. I want to have cool cultural experiences!”

I closed my eyes and imagined beautiful places, like Paris, the city of love, strolling at night by the Eiffel Tower, walking the Great Wall of China or going on a gondola ride through the canals of Venice.

But even more interesting to me was the thought of going on an African Safari…now that’s my kind of adventure! You always see people on TV, traveling to different parts of the world, having exciting adventures and I asked myself:


“If they can do it, why can’t I?

That question stayed in my heart day in and day out through my junior high years and when I turned 15, I made a decision that changed the whole course of my life.

This decision would help me to break away from my small town and take a different path, and that was to graduate one year ahead of my class and move states to attend college.

Graduating early was not a common decision at that time. Not many people knew that the option was available, and those who did told me that I would not be capable of doing it.

However,  I had the goal totally set in my mind and I knew that nothing could hold me back.

With this mission before me, I began to work passionately towards my goal. I gave up my lunch breaks, weekends, time with friends and even some sports in order to study. I was working to achieve two years in one, so I had double the classes, tests and written assignments.

While trying to balance all of my studies and personal life, I had to also think about all of my paperwork for the university and work to find a way to get the financial aid covered. I truly had no idea how I was going to be able to pull it off, or if I would be able to finish my high school classes, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other.

I knew in my heart I had a dream and I was determined to make it become a reality no matter what it took.

During my last year in high school, I spent countless hours in the library, skipping lunch to take tests, parties, movie nights and weekend trips with friends. No one understood why I was sacrificing so much, but I learned a very important lesson:

In life we will have dreams in our heart that might not make sense to the ones around us, no matter how many times we try to get others to understand.

Day in and day out I worked hard towards my goal. There were days that I wanted to give up, but in May 2007, I finally reached my goal: I finished high school a year ahead of my class and got accepted into my first college of choice, Palm Beach Atlantic University.

I will never forget the day of my graduation. I was very proud of my hard work grateful that I did not listen to all the people who had tried to discourage me by telling me that I would not be able to do it.

In that moment I realized that If I would of listened to them, I would not have been there with my diploma in my hands on that proud day.

Interestingly enough, all of those people who discouraged me along the way were all attending my graduation. I felt like standing up and shouting to them all, “I told you I could do it! I’m much stronger than you thought!!”

However, its not just me. We are all stronger than we think and when I tapped into that inner strength, that is when my life truly started to change.

From this experience as a teenage, I have learned a very important lesson:

To achieve our goals we have to be clear about what we want. The goals that we have that are worthwhile are not always easy to obtain, but if with a clear goal and passion in mind, we can do the impossible.


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Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comAchieve Your Goals Despite the Naysayers