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Get focused, work hard, aim high

PaulaBy Paula Bowers-Sanchez

Get focused. I was reading a book about having focus in our lives. In the first few pages, it talks about how our habits will determine our future. If we are in the habit of making bad choices or bad decisions, then we should expect bad outcomes. I believe our lives are guided by each and every decision we make. I also believe it’s all about how we respond and react to situations.

But there is always an opportunity to make a positive decision that will result in a positive outcome.

I started thinking about this and came to the realization that there is a direct correlation between the way I handle certain situations and the direction of my life. I started thinking about major decisions I have made throughout my life and how those decisions have guided me through this path I am on.

Starting back in high school when I was faced with the decision to either buckle down and go to summer school, night school and also attend a full day of school to graduate “on time” with my friends or make it up after graduation, I decided that graduating with my friends was what I needed to do. I was in school pretty much 24 hours a day, but I graduated on time with my class.

I believe that was a positive decision resulting in a positive outcome.

Then, when it came time to decide if I would attend University of Miami or New York University (NYU), I was faced with another decision. It was definitely a game-changing choice, but I decided to go to NYU. Believe me, it opened a whole new world to a girl from the rez. That was the first time I was truly “on my own,” so it forced me to be disciplined and responsible for my actions. I found that, in order to succeed, I had to do what was expected and nothing less. I believe this positive decision absolutely had a profound effect on which direction my life would go.

I faced yet another major decision when I decided to go for my master’s degree. Again, using that same commitment and determination that had guided me thus far, and the familiar hard work and long hours, I received my degree. This decision served to solidify my way of thinking: I knew that anything was possible once I made the commitment and mustered up the courage and diligence to see it through.

Bottom line is we are the masters of our own destiny. If we maintain focus and strive for more, then we can’t help but achieve more. It isn’t enough to just sit back and wish this or that would happen; we have to make it happen. I’ve said this many times: You are the only one who puts limits on yourself.

Don’t live your life with self-doubt. Successful people don’t just wake up one day and they have made it to the top. They had to have the vision. They had to proactively pursue their goal, all the while maintaining a high level of self-discipline and determination. They had to develop and implement the qualities of success.

We Seminoles all have those qualities. They are inside each and every one of us, man and woman. We are, after all, the Unconquered. We have that blood running through us.

So aim high!

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