8 Count of Knowledge Nuggets

With the dawn of a new semester of academia at our doorsteps I figured it would only be fitting to throw out some breadcrumbs of knowledge to you all. The piece that follows is my final piece I wrote for my high school newspaper in the editorial column I started there (Cam’s Couch). I find that reflecting on the past and your personal behaviors in those situation is a task we all must master to constantly become better versions of ourselves. The aspects of life I talk about here are breadcrumb I picked up and now leave behind for you all.

Hansel and Gretel sprinkle the breadcrumbs to find their way back to safety in the old fairy tale that used to be read to us as little children sitting in a circle.  Our eyes were wide open as anticipation grew for each word rolling off the teacher’s tongue. These are my breadcrumbs that I am leaving for you while also bringing tiny bits of that kindergarten magic back to life. I’ve walked this path before so eat up kids.

So, before I get off the couch, I want to tell you what you need to hear, even though it might not be want you want to hear.  These are eight lessons that I wish I would have learned sooner –you know, before I became a Sooner.

1.  Seize the moment.  Cherish your time at PCA (Prestonwood Christian Academy Plano, TX) without a worry in the world. Life only gets more stressful, so enjoy these times when everything is taken care of for you.

2. Don’t sweat the little things. Keep the big picture in mind. Do your best to stay focused on your goals. Goals are what keep us pushing through the hard times….and it is sweet when you achieve them!

3. Not everything in life is worth fighting for.  Choose your battles carefully. Knowing how to pick your battles will save you loads of energy and help you avoid a lot of unnecessary stress.

4. Surround yourself with people smarter than you are. In this dog-eat-dog world we always have to look for ways to make us ourselves better. One of the easiest ways is to absorb wisdom from those around. As American novelist, Leo Rosten said, “Why did God give me two ears and one mouth? So that I will hear more and talk less.”  This includes listening to your parents. Yeah, I know you did not want to hear that, but they are always going to want what is good for you.  So, listen to their wisdom and also listen to and learn from their mistakes. Ask them to share their mistakes and lessons.  After all, they are only human.

5.  After first impressions, take a second look.  “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is a phrase we frequently hear but seldom apply.  For the seniors, we are about to make new first impressions going into college. For some of us this will be the first time in a very long time to make a new impression because we might have been stuck with the image people have of us since the 2nd grade.  Our first impression might not always go as we wish, so if we want to receive a second chance we must give a second look to others.

6. Stay active – mentally and physically. Keep your mind from going to mush by engaging in stimulating conversation or reading a good book that challenges you. Go for a morning jog or to the gym to keep the body God gave you in shape…. it’s the only one we get! Play a sport that can last a lifetime, like basketball, soccer, tennis and golf.  These sports also allow us to meet new people and make good business.

7. Embrace the hard times.  Confidently embrace difficulties knowing that you have surrounded yourself with faith, friends and family that will get you through it. The hard times can’t go on forever so, in the back of your cluttered mind, keep telling yourself that it will get better soon.

8. Finish what you start. Integrity is one of the few things we cannot put a price on.  Do what you say you will do when you said you will do it.  When you give someone your word that you will do something, make sure you do it.  It won’t always be easy or convenient, but neither is living a life of integrity.  It sounds so simple but by simply keeping your word you can set yourself apart because then others can count on you.

I’ve dropped the crumbs all the way to the stage stairs, now all you have to do from here is walk your way across is grab your diploma.

Okay, now I’m off the couch. Kindergarden GraduationMy Boys and I right after our High School Graduation

My Final Couch Column May 2012

One Comment on “8 Count of Knowledge Nuggets

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