award-winning educator, mental health advocate, social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, author/writer, program executive, and radio host
© 2013 - 2015: Beyond SPRH, LLC / Email: info (at) slyoung.com / All rights reserved
In November 2011, I wrote the following self-talk, “You’re wasting time doing foolish things and not being the individual that you should be.” This was written after a realization that I was spending too much time partying, not focusing, and most importantly not caring about anything that was significant personally to me. Then, I wrote the following quote, “Change who you are by determining who or what you want to be.” Both of these internal dialogues were part of my journey to move
past my own limitations, discover my purpose, and to take actions to make my dreams come true --- even though I didn’t and couldn’t imagine the experiences that resulted based on taking these initial steps toward my own personal enlightenment.
The real change started in May 2012 after I chose to leave most of my foolish antics behind and decided to write my first book. For years, I told myself and others that I would write a book, which I and others questioned whether this would ever happen. The difference for me is that I always knew that I would do it, but sometimes it takes a little while to begin the process toward a goal. This is the reason that I wrote, “The time to accomplish a task isn’t always the time allocated, but instead the time the mind is dedicated.” This quote is a powerful reason that I have accomplished so much in a little over a year because I’ve learned to master this premise. Instead of doing something of significance to me because I have time to do it, I now only do it at a time that I am focused and dedicated to a task.
After I completed Part I and II of the “It’s a Crazy World...Learn From It” inspirational quotes series, I heard a voice speak to me while I took a shower. An important issue was that there wasn’t anyone else in the bathroom with me. The voice was very strong and the message was very clear. However, the voice sounded like it was a whisper on the wind that came from miles and miles away. After I got dressed, I told someone in the house, “I don’t know what just happened but something visited me.” I went on to advise that whatever visited me was not bad; it was very good. Shortly after I conveyed this message, tears rolled down my face like a sudden flash-flood. A little while later, my experience was shared with my sister while the tears rapidly rolled down my face again.
Throughout the rest of that day, I thought about this experience and especially the mysterious voice that spoke to me. Then, the next day while I brushed my teeth, I abruptly stopped and realized that the voice I heard was in response to a question I asked a day earlier. The previous day I had thoughts about my life and my purpose. It was at this point that I asked God, “What is the purpose of my life?”
During that moment in the shower, God said to me, “You went away; I’ve always been here”, along with a message about my future which will not be disclosed in this piece. This experience with God changed me; it really changed me.
The first part of my process toward enlightenment was that I realized that I needed to change. Later, I understood that I needed to determine who or what I wanted to be before I could change the individual that I was at that time. Once I decided to remove my own barriers and begin to write, my writing experiences allowed me to enter the next phase of my journey. None
of this would be possible if I was afraid to take the first step due to my own self-doubts, others’ opinions, discounting the value of my efforts even if the outcome would not be as expected, and other unnecessary noise. Without any of these actions, my journey would not have started, my books would not be written, I would not have helped countless others, and my personal experience with and confirmation about God’s existence would not have occurred.
My personal beliefs drove me to do much more than I ever thought was possible, to experience things that I never knew I was capable, and to allow my vulnerabilities to be shared to uplift others that are having or have had similar experiences. My blind-faith was not a reckless adventure toward an unknown journey; instead, my blind-faith was a calculated consideration about something I believed and decided to move forward on without an understanding about the potential outcome(s).
My commentary about God is not to try to convince anyone to believe in any type of higher power, but my experience with God is shared because this was a major catalyst in my ability to pursue my dreams, to make a difference for others, and to challenge my dedication to my own beliefs.
Approximately eighteen (18) months prior to writing this piece in November 2013, I could not have considered the possibility that I would have:
* written six (6) books and almost finished another;
* started an educational non-profit;
* spoke to numerous at-risk students;
* taught inmates about business and life;
* written numerous articles for my blog;
* and much more.
All of these accomplishments started with my roadmap to success, which is to:
* Dream (of possibilities)
* Desire (to do more)
* Determination (fueled by belief)
* Drive (to get through the tough times)
* Decisiveness (to make decisions)
* Dedication (to achieve the dream)
The long-term outcome of your efforts and journey are not known, but “Don’t be a blip on life’s radar; be a mile marker.” Follow your beliefs, desires, and dreams to achieve positive goals --- even if you don’t understand the potential outcome(s) of your actions today.