Who you are and your life depends on your past, your community, your neighborhood, your childhood, your parents, etc. This can be summarized by calling it your “circumstances” or your situation. This can sometimes weigh heavily on you if your circumstances are not ideal or are challenging. The good thing is that your circumstances don’t always determine who you are in the future.
You are not your circumstances. Circumstances can be a factor in what you become, but YOU are ultimately the main factor in what you become. You cannot change the past or your current circumstances, but you and you alone can change your future by making the right decisions, and putting yourself in the right circumstances. Don’t dwell on your past, learn from it. It is important to learn from your past and any mistakes that were made. It’s easy to think about your current circumstances if you made mistakes to get there. Think about how you got there and commit to not make that same mistake again and move on. The past is in the past so take advantage of today to create a better future for yourself.
Think about it. How do you feel about your current situation? Can you make a change today to create a better tomorrow?
Don’t try control what happens to you, control your reactions. People sometimes say that bad things happen to good people. That is so untrue because bad things happen to EVERYONE. Life isn’t fair and everyone is dealt a bad hand sometimes. Some kids are poor. Some kids don’t have two parents. Some kids don’t have any parents. Some kids have a disability. One day can be beautiful and everything goes perfectly. The next day everything can go totally wrong. A lot of what happens to us is out of our control. It’s easy to complain and get upset, but we really can’t do much about some things that happen.
So what can you do? How do people get over those bad days and those circumstances they are in? Instead of “reacting” to their circumstances, they “act” on them. Most successful people are good at taking charge and immediately take action or control of their situation. A kid who is poor will decide that he or she will do what it takes to go to college and become a doctor. They may use their past circumstances and motivation to drive them to overcome. Take control of your future by acting right now in the present. Small positive steps today can have a huge impact on your future.
Think about it. What can you do today to create a better future?
Don’t blame, take control. It is so easy to blame other people when things do not work out or when problems happen. It’s even easier to blame others when they did something to cause the situation. When you stop blaming and realize that you are in control of what happens next, you take back the control and power. People who are successful take responsibility for who and where they are in their life. If they want to make a change, they don’t waste time blaming anyone. They immediately take action and they leave the past in the past. Blaming is our way of making ourselves feel better and, in the end, prevents us from taking action.
So the next time you find yourself blaming your teacher for your grades, look back at your study habits. Did you do all that you could have done to achieve better grades (tutor, study group, staying after class for help, etc.)? If not, then commit to doing more next time so that you will not end up in the same situation. If you find yourself blaming your friends for circumstance you are in, then it’s time for new friends. You have the power as soon as you stop blaming.
Think about it. When was the last time you blamed someone for something that happened to you?
“Someday” will never come. “Someday I will...” People use that phrase all of the time. Guess what? Someday never comes because they are too busy thinking and dreaming about “someday.” Someday is not a day and it does not exist. There is only today and you can plan for tomorrow.
The best time to plan for tomorrow is right now. If you don’t take action today then you are selling yourself short. There are only a limited amount of “todays.” When you are 13-17 years old that is hard to understand because you feel that you have your whole life ahead of you. You think that you have plenty of time to plan on being successful when you are older. Those that are successful planned and took action when they were younger. Success doesn’t wait, you have to go get it. You have the skill and confidence, and time so nothing is stopping you. Take advantage of today and start building for your tomorrow.
Think about it. What is your “someday” and what are you doing to get there?
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michael Bond is the owner of Ahwatukee-based 1st Place Tutoring. His company assists students in grades K-12 with math, reading and science, and has SAT/ACT test preparation classes for high school students. Reach him at (602) 751-3594, firstname.lastname@example.org.