Life’s obviously a series of highs and lows, but I always try my best to maintain a positive attitude through it all. Due to a multitude of circumstances over the past week or so, I had been feeling a little downhearted to say the least.
I’m not one who likes to openly talk about challenges, tough times and difficulties, since I feel like they’re better left unsaid. I was one of the kids who actually listened when my mom told me “that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” This week was pretty rough though. I won’t go into too many details, but I just wanted to share a brief story.
After sleeping just a couple hours the night before, taking my last final and grading forty papers and forty final exams, I decided to join Molly and some friends of ours for trivia at Grandview Café. It was a really fun time and we even got second place this week. Woot! Halfway through though, I turned and noticed that there were a bunch of books on the bookshelf behind my head. I reached for one and it was Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul. I got through a couple of the excerpts in between answering trivia questions, only around 40 pages worth. I had never read anything from the “Chicken Soup” series but it was all that I could do though to hold back tears at the end of each story.
It’s funny, but that book was exactly what I needed today. Earlier in the day, I had been feeling unsure of my abilities as a teacher, apprehensive about the future, frustrated at some of my colleagues, downtrodden from my finance final and a little sad about the MBA program coming to a close soon. After reading a couple short stories I felt back to my usual self, ready to teach 80 new students next quarter, upbeat about my future opportunities, more connected to others, eager to finish out the MBA program strong, and grateful for all my blessings. All the answers to our problems are right before us, often times closer than we think.
What’s also funny to me though is that by this point, I’ve probably already lost a good number of you. The ones who are saying something along the likes of “who cares” or “OMG, Mike is the most annoying dude ever. If he talks about his feelings again I’m going to puke.”
I’m fine with that.
I realize that I’m flawed and imperfect and that I still have so much to learn as we are forever students of life. But I’m not going to stop reaching out for opportunities to challenge myself, opportunities to lead, opportunities to present, and opportunities to teach. I’m not going to stop smiling, laughing, playing, learning and loving. And I’m definitely not going to let the opinions of a few salty people keep me from living this awesome life that I get to live every day (Note: See before-mentioned “awesome life.” You have one too).
If you find yourself always complaining, criticizing, arguing and disapproving, then realize that the only person that you’re hurting is yourself.
“The greatest fear in the world is the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion.”