The other day I was speaking with a board member of my charity about selling our vision to potential donors and our programs to schools and he interjected the conversation with the question, why Andy? Why do you do what you do?
After some thought I finally figured out why. More importantly, I realized that my why is driven by the way I lived life as a youth and even into my mid 20’s. I also realized that a ton of our youth, and adults to, are living life in the same way as I did.
The life I lived, and the life that so many of our youth are living today, was a life driven in cruise control with no control of where I was headed and at what speed. I was completely oblivious to the direction I was headed and the speed I was traveling in. All I knew, or thought I knew, was, I was going somewhere.
As I spend time working with students in the classroom and athletes on the field, as well as observing my peers, it has become very obvious to me that many of them are on cruise control. They have no idea where they are going. They just show up and follow orders and directions and go where the wind blows them. Worst of all, a lot of the orders and directions they are getting are coming from YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, and worse from other people on cruise control.
Many of them say they have dreams and goals but have no idea what the road map is to bring them to a reality. They just think that by showing up and working hard, if they do that, will get them where they want to be.
I will admit, I was one of those athletes and young adults. I had dreams of playing major league baseball but had no idea what that road map looked like. I was on cruise control going where the wind blew me with no sense of direction, just as many of our youth do today. One day I was headed in one direction (up) – towards living my dream – the next day I was headed in the total opposite direction (down)- sitting in handcuffs, simply because I had no control over where I was headed, I was just cruising.
It’s time we all take control and switch to auto pilot. It’s time to start plugging in all the coordinates and fly straight to where we want to go. It’s time we start educating and empowering our youth to take control of their lives. It’s time we show them how to do that by being honest with them, teaching them to embrace failure and take risks, not to be afraid or timid and to show them how important it is to focus on their dreams and let nothing stop them.
If you’re and adult, it’s time for you to let go of fear and your past. It’s time push aside people who are just cruising thru life. It’s time to start controlling the information that you put in your brain and think about. It’s time to let your true identity show by controlling your own destiny.
Think about it, even a dead fish can make it down stream, by just floating.
So what I found through my conversation with my board member is this – I do what I do to empower our youth to give them a sense of control over their life.
Go out and start controlling your life. Control where your headed and the speed at which your moving. And move fast because your future will be here in 24 short hours.
DON’T BE A DEAD FISH!