Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Intimidated by 8th graders?

This morning I am writing the first half of this blog before I have to give a short speech to a class of 8th graders. I signed up to be a speaker for the Texas Scholars program. Business people from around the area go in to 8th grade classrooms and talk to them about the options they have when registering for high school courses. We're there to encourage them to take the recommended or distinguished courses that prepare them for post-high school education.

I'm amazed at how nervous I get before these things. I mean really what could go wrong. Even if they don't connect with me, I'm only going to be there for 40 minutes. But today the thoughts in my head are a little critical of me. What am I really afraid of? Are 8th graders intimidating me?

Well, I'm off to school - oh, maybe that's it. Maybe I don't like going to school any more. Yea, I hated 8th grade and high school. They say it's the best years of your life, but "they" also lie. More when I return...

Well, I survived and I think it actually went quite well. Isn't it funny how often we get caught up in the "what if" traps.

We attempt to plan and predict how things are going to go. We probably spend endless hours trying to make it just 'right'. The reality is that no one can ever hope to know all the challenges in advance, let alone figure out all of the solutions.

Most people (yes, me included) worry about things that never even come to pass. Or, if they do come to pass, they end up not being nearly as bad as our mind had envisioned. Even better, some of the most ominous circumstances often turn out to be nothing more than disguises for great opportunities.

When we stop to think about it, how often is the only obstacle to our success the stuff that we imagine or think up. We talk ourselves out of things that could be so enjoyable, so rewarding to us.

What have you recently talked yourself out of? What is it that you're afraid of? Do you catastrophize small challenges into enormous road blocks?

When you begin to realize that the only thing that is holding you back is your very own thoughts, you will be on the path to greatness. Mastering your own thoughts is the key to your success.

Napoleon Hill once said, "You are searching for the magic key that will unlock the door to the source of power; and yet you have the key in your own hands, and you may use it the moment you learn to control your thoughts."

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