Anyone who really knows me understands I am the epitome of a true nerd, scholar at heart, and intellectual, or at least I try to be. Throughout college I spent hours toiling over assignments and papers, and as an English major I had plenty. But I always had this great sense of accomplishment after I stayed up all night and spat an A worthy paper.
However, as a graduate and developing professional and even a budding entrepreneur I realized how much time I wasted in college. Every all-nighter, although exciting and now great memories, doesn’t come close to the real all-nighters that have become a constant in my “adult” life.
I have a close friend that always laughs at me about how I like to sleep. Now although my love for sleep is caused by days filled with hard work, although he would argue otherwise, it has recently been trumped by my desire to excel in life. I remember the first time he said this quote to me I was surprised because it was so fitting for the conversation but more importantly it described my exact situation.
“The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but they while their companions slept they were toiling upwards in the night”- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
He made me realized that apart of being better, I have to challenge myself to push past my norms, reach higher and think deeper. If we want to achieve success in this life we have to be willing to sacrifice some pleasures temporarily. We have to be willing to have some delirious days and a few sleepless nights in order achieve the heights necessary to fulfill our individuals purpose in life. Even with developing a blog; there is so much content out there. I constantly think of ways to standout or be unique. I always think to myself, why should someone take five minutes out of their day to come and read what I have to say? Or with my business, how can I market myself effectively? Why should someone let me design their work as opposed to the thousands of other people doing the exact same thing? I realized what sets me apart, as clique as it sounds, is my outlook on life based on my life experiences and their influence on my creative intelligence and the way I present ideas to world. So here are some things I have learned during my many nights toiling upwards:
1. Hustle is a must- you can’t be lazy, lazy people rarely find success.
2. Do your research
3. Know what you’re bringing to table
4. Spend as much time as you in can developing whatever it is you do because there are at least 100,000 people out there trying to the exact same thing you’re doing, but just know NO ONE ELSE, can do it quite like you.
BUT these thoughts and ideas can’t develop during my 7:30-3:00 pm day teaching or in the evenings when I am studying for exams or preparing for church services. Anytime I want to get lazy my friends borrowed words come back to my “Heights of great men,” that are always followed by a snarky whistle, keep me moving forward and working towards becoming the best version of myself. For each person that means different things at each stage of their life. However, if you stay focused, learn from your mistake, and remain consistent, success is not far from your reach.
Achieving success in the todays world is more challenging than any other time in history however, its more accessible because of the technology and innovation available. People just have to be willing to work really hard to get what they want, and that’s nothing new.
MY Directive: Do your best and treat every opportunity like its your big break.