It’s funny how moments that may be insignificant to the naked eye, can have a profound effect on your life.
As I look back throughout the years, I think of three life-defining moments that have really shaped my life – how I live, work, and lead.
Below are the meaning of the those three life-defining moments and the stories behind them:
1. Only you can change. We have all heard the saying, we want the whole world to change, but we won’t change ourselves. I remember back in my senior year of high school one of my classmates signed my year
back book. She wrote, “Remember no matter where you go, there you are”. And she put a smiley face. She meant it to be humorous, but 24 years later, I will never forget those words.
I actually quote those words every once in awhile. Many times people move away to get away from situations, or they might avoid people to try and prevent problems. But unless you change, your circumstances will not change. You can move to the moon, if there other humans there, you will encounter problems.
2. Set High expectations. One day, during my college days, I had to meet with my academic advisor. I sat down waiting to be called into his office. I looked up and I noticed that he had a regular 8×11 sheet of white printer paper taped to his door. It read, “The problem isn’t that we aim high and we miss, but that we aim too low and we hit”.
That piece of paper with those words really helped shaped my standards. I think of those words when I don’t feel like doing my best. It’s OK to set high standards for ourselves and others. We will never really know what we can do unless we challenge ourselves to do more than what we are used to. To do better than what we are used to.
3. No one is to blame for your circumstances. As a freshman in college all students had to take a mandatory class called, Educational Foundations. During one of the classes there was a guest speaker. The guest speaker was very dark-skinned man of either Pakistani or Indian descent.
I remember the speaker addressing the class, particularly minorities: blacks, and Hispanic like me. He said, “white people owe you nothing, and if they do, they ain’t paying up.” This was around the time of the Rodney King incident and the subsequent LA Riots. So it was a time where race relations were at a pretty low point.
I, for one have never been one two blame anyone for my circumstances. But I thank that speaker for reminding me to never blame someone else for the way our lives turn out. We have to be accountable and overcome all obstacles and not play the role of victim.
What have been some of your life-defining moments?