“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” Henry Ford
This post’s title and inspiration is from “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” by one of my favorite bands, The Avett Brothers. If you aren’t familiar with their music, I highly recommend it. Not only are they amazing musicians with a great range, their songwriting is amazing. I’ve been a fan for a couple years now and saw them live at Bonnaroo in 2008. If you ever have the chance to see them live, do it. Their live show is fantastic. (The video is just the cover art from the album this song is off of, “I and Love and You” with the song.)
The song is about going after your dreams and staying motivated even though you may have doubts. This is incredibly motivating for me, and learning how to motivate myself and become more disciplined is something I’ve had a crash course in over the past 2 1/2 weeks or so since I started the MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) program. So far I’ve had to work a lot harder and have more focus than I have ever had to have before in school. Even last semester when I was finishing up my undergrad (English Lit), I slacked off a lot. There’s no room for that now. But the exciting thing about what I’m doing now is that even though the workload is overwhelming at times, I’m incredibly passionate about learning to become a great teacher. Everything we read about and discuss is fascinating to me and I leave class every day feeling really alive and excited about what’s to come in my career.
Aristotle wisely said that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” I love this quote because it reminds me that every day the little choices I make do matter, that they add up to be big picture. I want to become a great teacher, so I must make a habit of being dedicated to my school work. I want to be healthy, so that means dragging myself out of bed in the mornings to go to the gym even though I’d rather sleep or watch television. I want to be a good daughter, friend, and girlfriend, so that means making a habit of giving time and love to the people I care about. If I want to to be excellent in an area, I must be consistently excellent.
I went to a leadership awards banquet with my boyfriend (who is a constant inspiration to me to be consistently excellent and motivated), and the keynote speaker was not much older than we are. His message was that it’s extremely important to figure out your big “Why,” as in why you have chosen your path and what your big goals in life are. He said that if you keep your “Why” in mind, it makes making the little decisions easy because they all contribute to achieving your goals.
“Decide what to be and go be it.” The line seems so simple, and some may argue that life is so much more complicated than that. But is it, really? At this point, to me, it doesn’t seem so to be. We are the only ones who are powerful enough to make our dreams a reality, and the only way to do that is to make decisions that support that every day. Go ahead and be what you want to be: you are what you repeatedly do.