An Open Letter to All Students

I get it. Life is difficult. The pressure to be the brightest, prettiest, and coolest is overwhelming. You want to fit in so bad that you will do just about anything. Nobody gets you, and everybody tells you to “shake it off.” “Get over it.” “Stop thinking that.” You hear these phrases constantly, but nobody understands. You look around and you think everybody has life figured out. Why couldn’t I just be them? Why can’t I have what they have? Well, I’m here to tell you to “stop thinking that.”

Please read on. You won’t regret it.

Look, the world is difficult to navigate. I’m a school superintendent, husband, and father. I’m also a blogger and motivational speaker. I have a difficult time navigating the world. I write to inspire, but often times I can’t even inspire myself.

But I’ve learned that I’m really good at getting through the bad days. How do I know this? I’m still here. There hasn’t been one day that hasn’t knocked me out of this world. I’m batting 1.000, and you are too. Let’s start here.

I can, I will, no worries, no fear. Say this and say it often. Let this be your go to phrase. If you are about to do something out of your comfort zone, say this phrase. If you have reached rock bottom and you feel like you have nothing left to offer this world, say this phrase. When you are being picked on, say this phrase. When you feel like you’ve made an irreversible mistake, say this phrase.

You have to be your biggest supporter. You have to be your number one fan. You have to understand that you are you for a reason. This quickly reminds me of a shirt that I had when I was like five or something. It was a blue t-shirt that read this on the front. “I’m o.k., because God doesn’t make junk.This applies here. Simply put, You are here for a reason and you are the furthest thing from junk.

With this in mind, you must now believe there is purpose to your life. There is no way not to believe that. You are you and there is nobody else like you. Think about that for a second; how remarkable? You are one of one. You were put here to make an impact. How big or how small remains to be seen, but no kidding; you are here to make an impact.

To do this, find your passion. My passion was basketball. It got me through school. I was picked on just about every day. Some people may have saw this, and some may not have. I was bullied (by the correct definition of the word.) I was picked on repeatedly and it was unwelcomed. I know what rock-bottom feels like. But my passion was basketball. Shooting a basketball was a release for me. Any tension, stress, or anxiety could be controlled with a basketball. Odd, you might think? Of course, but it worked.

What is your passion? It can be anything. You might love to write. Maybe you love animals. Possibly you love to sing or love to draw. Whatever this passion is; find it. Your passion is your purpose, and when you have purpose you can change the world. Yes, you can change the world.

Here is how my passion has led me. My passion for basketball led me to want to be a coach. This brought me to the world of education. Teaching led me to a degree in administration, and now here I am today as a school superintendent. My passion has led me to something completely different than basketball. Your passion may do the same.

No matter how bad things may get for you, nobody gets to define you or your passion. Never, and I mean never, let the perceptions of others become your definition of you. Your flesh, income, family situation, friends, teachers, test scores, and zillion other things that you think define you; don’t. You get to define you.

So with that “shake it off,” it’s time to find your passion. It’s time to make your impact on the world. You are batting 1.000 getting through the bad days. You are going to be absolutely o.k. How do I know this you ask? It’s simple; God doesn’t make junk.

Remember this. Everybody has a story. People might look at me like I have all the answers. I’ve got life figured out. I have a great job and a great family. But I’ve been to rock bottom. I suffer from anxiety. I struggle to navigate life. I’m not a perfect father, nor a perfect husband. I don’t have this superintendency stuff figured out either. I’m a learner, and I’ve had to unlearn many things. My passion for basketball has led me to where I am today. Hopefully making an impact, and certainly being impacted by all of you. But one thing is for certain, I’m defining myself every single day, and you must do the same.

Have a great time being you. You are awesome.

If you want to be inspired but never defined follow my Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter.

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