BY KATHY MCDONALD
This weekend has truly been edifying for me and I would like to share some of the messages that resonated with me. I just wish that more parents from the community had the privilege to be present when these powerful messages were being delivered. I attend the United Achiever’s Club Parent Symposium, The Holy Remnant Apostolic Church Music in the House, as well as The Congress of Black Women Mississauga and Area Scholarship Awards and Dinner. (For the record we have some incredible, talented, bright and goal oriented young people in our community) WOW. I was so excited about all the information that I had accessed that I feel compelled to share. Hopefully by the end of this article you will be on your way to being a better student or a better parent by understanding how: not procrastinating, self-improvement and developing a growth mind set can lead to a better you.
It was an honor to have a front row seat and hear Noel Waldron the president of My Dreams Work break down the how to and the why of procrastination. In simple layman terms procrastination is a thief. It robs us of what can potentially be fulfilling and positively enhance our life. The root of procrastination is FEAR. I witnessed him coach people who were procrastinating about important life changing opportunities. The end result is the fear of criticism and rejection, even the fear of success held people back from taking the next step to realizing a dream. Mr. Waldron made a life altering statement for me “The result is not the cause it is the effect”. So the lifestyle we live is the result of our choices. The education we have can alter the result and the choices we make. So it is important to get educated, to get financially literate and to get proactive in living a deliberate life.
Do not wait another day to make the change. Today is as good a time as any. Start making the necessary steps and investments to effect the change you want to see. In the area of education, make the deposit today. First realize as Ms. Thando Hyman suggests we need to model the three habits of successful people: discipline, routine and structure. When you examine the habits of most successful people they are committed and disciplined to their cause or idea. There is just no way around it. Michael Jordan was fastidious when it came to practicing basketball. He came early and left late. So if we truly want to excel at mathematics or sciences we simply have to practice. When you realistically look at the odds of making it in the NBA versus getting a solid education I would not but all my eggs into the former basket. The bottom line is that an education will never decay and can never be taken away from you. I am by no means saying to students do not aspire to play in the NBA. What I am saying is make sure you get your education also. Developing a routine is crucial. If we journey through life in a haphazard manner we will get ad hoc results. Invariably we will forget or forego remarkable opportunities. It is easier to accomplish our goals when we have structure. An established routine which is purposeful should include provision for fitness, mental health, spiritual growth and academia.
Resiliency is a must because as Tyler Perry once said “Never lose sight of your goal”. He was homeless, faced rejection numerous times and took seven years before he was an “overnight success”. Basically just hang in there. Far too many times we alter our dreams or just plain old quit. We need to have realistic expectations. The so called overnight success that we often fantasize about was actually years in the making.
Rose Streete delivered a heart wrenching awe-inspiring message that every female needs to hear. If a little Black girl from Hog Town can go from being divorced, unemployed and homeless (all basically at the same time), to receiving the peace medallion and being an agent for change; someone that is recognized for her role in community building and making one of the roughest neighborhoods in Peel become a desirable community then what is stopping us from fulfilling our purpose on earth. Ms. Streete is resiliency personified. She is proof that one’s station in life does not determine one’s outcome. She spoke about the importance of community building. I say an Amen to that. I am also a firm believer in community building. I know my children will be okay but they need people to marry. So if only for this selfish reason we need to build up our community.
The last absolutely profound piece of advice I received this weekend was: Improve yourself so that you can be better role models for your children. As a lifelong learner I am always searching for ways to improve myself, improve my family and improve my community. We must never grow complacent. As Justice McLeod often says “This is not the season for accolades”. There is a lot of work still left to do. So to the achievers out there, kudos later. Get busy “more wok deh yah” There is more work to be done. To the underachievers, enough with the procrastination, enough with the fear…. just do it. What is your fear? Is it that you are greater that your imagination?
As an agent of change, there are pitfalls being a change maker but the pitfall of doing nothing is way more dangerous. Remember one’s station in life does not determine your outcome. Armed with a good education, discipline, structure and a tenacious spirit coupled with a routine; the sky is the limit. Dream big and work twice as hard to make your dream a reality. Don’t live in an unfulfilled world full of compromise and complacency. Be a trailblazer, an agent for change. So Walk Good, Belle Marché.