Can You Really be Anything You Set Your Mind To?

Joseph Meyer

I often think of my life, my life choices past, present and future like most of us. Time seems to slip away so quickly as I reflect on the time right after completing high school which was about twenty-two years ago. Since then, my life has changed so drastically but certain parts have remained undoubtedly the same which in my opinion is not always a good thing. I am of course a different man then I was back then like most of us who have years of growth.  I can always remember even today when we as people are told you can be anything you set your mind to.

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My Beliefs Have a Beginning 

Personally, I don’t think I have ever believed that and maybe that is just something personally I believe due to my own personal background in frankly never truly believing in my own abilities. You see from the young age of five I had a family member who would feed me a regular dose of how worthless I was and how I would never amount to anything in life and to a certain degree maybe I have allowed that to come true. I do believe that we all have the ability to change, redeem and rid those poor qualities of ourselves and start anew something I have worked to do most of my life.

For some reading this you may say well that is you not me, I know I can accomplish anything, I believe in my abilities and if that’s true good for you. I know I am not alone as I know that each of us has our own gifts and abilities who truly separate us from each other. Each of us are born with abilities some have the incredible ability to process math, some are talented with the gift of singing. I guess I can say my gifts include having a human connection to how I work with people, my empathy and my love of teaching. Being an instructor for the last ten years I come across all different types of students from ages, backgrounds, races and ethnicities which allows me to peak into their lives and see and hear what they believe about their lives and careers.

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An Instructor Perspective

Most of my students are filled with aspirations, excitement and looking forward to the future, which is very encouraging to see, but deep down after getting to know many of them I feel their aspirations and goals should be stronger but deep down I don’t their lives or if in fact what they are learning is truly what they want to do with their lives or just a means to help them financially.  The students I tend to work with are not the traditional college student who go to school for years more like twelve months or less for a certificate program.

I am come off as being a bit bitter the way my life has turned out and I can say there has truly been beauty and despair in my life of struggle. I have worked to move up in the world, but in my opinion the world hasn’t truly allowed me while others move along. Have I made some poor choices in life I would say I have but nothing I was unable to repair, such as a loss of job. I do feel that I have been unfocused at times something I do encourage my students not to do too much as it is a time waster and we all should be using our time wisely where many of us don’t realize it until its too late.

Back to the topic at hand can one be anything and do anything they put their mind too, I feel you can not due to fact that we can wish to be something and have the drive to we may be missing inherent gifts to accomplish that goal. For instance if I said I want to be a rocket scientist or a surgeon but have a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of science and math can I truly aspire to be one, I think not. I don’t say this to shut down ones dreams but to say that we all need to be realistic of our abilities despite our drive doesn’t always cut it to be or do what we want. Lastly I think it also greatly depends on those arounds us, family, friends and those who support us.  I guess I never had anyone like that in my life, yes I had a mom and dad but deep down they were too busy trying to support the family financially put food on the table to take the time to tell me what they saw in me, something I will not do with my own child.

Dreams and Hopes are Still Important

If that dream is so big and your heart thinks of nothing else but accomplishing what is in your heart then I say go for it and see for yourself, you may soon discover I am right, but I hope I am wrong in this case. Part of the problem today is we as children are feed that line of being whatever we set our hearts and minds too is possible but what they forget to tell you is that there are other factors in place such as people , parents, teachers, managers, supervisors and the world. Thinking about this I think about what we have control over in this life often referred to as Locus of Control, both internally and external. There are factors we feel we have control over and we do and then there are factors we have no control over.

Looking at back at my own career, I put my best foot forward in work towards success but often times we have to depend on others to help us get where we want to go, I am sorry to say I have not had too many willing to help me succeed. I will not for one say I created my own success I have not. I have had to fight for my career, my livelihood and my dreams many did not come through or haven’t as of yet but I continue to press on no matter what.

Recognizing our Potential

If you are asking yourself what my purpose of writing was this today it was simply to state we all must realize our potential, strengths and weakness and choose our dreams accordingly. When we hear you can be anything if we set our mind to it ask those who say that if they are true witness and if they are great, but if they are not know that they nor you have complete control to your dreams. I do wish all of us accomplish what our hearts desire and reach our dreams but let’s stop giving a false sense of hope because in the end its not your life its theirs who you tell this too. Although it sounds nice let’s use words with meaning not catchphrases to move the needle in our life.

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