One leg at a time
When I was in college there were many times that I was about to give up. I had tried many different ways to learn and take tests with success. After a few years of this the University of Toledo told me, college may not be for you. They sent me a letter indicating that my GPA had slipped so far that I was now on academic probation. There was really nothing academic about it. It was real.
A few days later, I went to see my brother Dave for some advice. He usually had a lot of wisdom in the area of academics. He was degreed in electronics and worked, as an engineer at SSOE, in Toledo. He was the most educated of all of my siblings and had experiences that could be similar to my future path.
However, on this one particular evening he had showed me some proper study habits and incentives to change my frame of mind. His nice home and happy family gave me the impression that this life could just as easily be mine. While I drove back to my apartment near the Medical College of Ohio I had plenty of time to think. Once at my destination I went upstairs and called my brother. This was from a phone with a cord stuck in the wall – it was, after all,1988. Cell phones didn’t exist in my world. There was no texting and very people had their own computer. It probably wasn’t until 1994 that I had my own email address.
…this is what is known as a grammatical tangent…
When I got to my room I called Dave and told him that the other students in my class had nothing that I didn’t have. They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like I do.
That February I took a part time job at UPS in Maumee, OH. In the summer I moved back home to live with mom and dad where I would stay for the remainder of my college career. (yes, there are still times where my dad thought I may draw social security while still in college) This job meant working from 10:00 at night until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. The work was hard and expectations were high. It was a great workout, but that was before I had even thought about having a workout. When I had an 8:00 AM class, instead of going back to mom and dad’s, I would drive to campus and sleep in my car or at a friends fraternity house. I was not a frat boy, but the Pi Kappa Alphas never saw me, (I wonder what ever happened to Scott Lynch?). During the summers I took one or two classes and made it through the rest of my classes.
There are many times during our lives when we just have to bear down, work hard and get through it. We’re hardly ever aware of how long it will take. Or even if we’ll get through it at all. It doesn’t matter. You just have to continue to do your best. Sometimes even better than your best. That’s how you will improve. Stretch yourself to meet your goals.
I would encourage you to reflect on similar instances in your own life. How did you handle it? One leg at a time?