Although they don’t leave until September I know that Tomorrow is never promised, so I wanted to make sure my girls had this before they went off to school….
Dear Emma and Katie-
Albert Einstein once said that “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” We have imagined this day for so long, it is surreal that it’s finally here. We have done the best we possibly could to teach all that we valued was important, but in case your mind drifts, you lose your way and you’re struggling to find purpose, I hope this helps you to continue on the path. A lifetime of talks, quotes advice and thoughts just in case you forgot any of them.
Don’t settle. The world is full of average and it is your responsibility to use every ounce of the gifts that God has given you. It is your duty not to just exist in this world but to thrive in it and to leave it better than you found it, to make sure the world is forever changed because you came through it, and to leave your mark. It’s often said that the most important thing on a gravestone is not the birth date or the date of one’s death but the dash in between those numbers, it’s the dash that matters. That mark signifies what you did with what you had while you were here on this earth. Make the absolute most of your life.
There are 2 things in this world reasons and results and reasons don’t matter, all that matters are the results. Don’t spend your life blaming people, your economic status, where you were born or what you don’t have for your lot in life. George Bernard Shaw said that “The people that get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.” You may get knocked down 10 times, just be sure you get up 11, that is what will determine your strength to carry on. You will make a lot of mistakes, be sure to fail forward. You can fail at something but to be a failure means you stopped reaching for what you want most. Don’t ever, ever give up.
Live a life of passion. Find what drives you, find what you would do for free because you love it so damn much. I’ve chased success my whole life and I have found in one word what success is, the one metric that has undeniably made me feel like I succeeded in this world is happiness. I’ve struggled with it; not the idea of happiness but finding it, and it has been even more difficult holding on to it. Don’t confuse achievement with fulfillment. Enjoy the amazing material things this life has to offer to entertain you, but deep rooted fulfillment will only be found if you have discovered your passion, your purpose and you lift others up while executing it. Make a life, not just a living.
The dream, your dream, every dream has a price and the bigger the price you’re willing to pay, the dream will pay commensurate rewards. Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything. Don’t let anyone’s opinion of you define your reality. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Persistence and perseverance are the engines that will drive you when you feel as though you have nothing left. Action is the distance between dreams and reality so keep the end in mind and realize your goals. Let your struggle be the story that defines you in this world.
Finally remember this: If the world seems to have turned its back on you, if you feel you have nobody that understands, and you have run out of ways to turn, I will be here always to listen.