Here’s this: I really shouldn’t be here. By almost any logic, a degree from Belmont University was never in the cards for me. And I don’t mean for this to be a “Hey, look! I did something awesome and proved a bunch of people wrong and I want the world to know!” kind of post. That’s not really my style. But not a day goes by that I don’t reflect on my transition here and thank the Lord for one person who encouraged me to do the unthinkable. It could’ve been anybody; but in this particular case, it was my father who picked up the phone and gave me the push I didn’t even know I was looking for. And the rest (as they say) is history.
My point in writing this is to draw attention to one crucial detail: all it took was one person to encourage me to break the mold. That’s it. A money tree never fell from the sky, an angel never showed up in a dream to show me the future, there was no real reason why I couldn’t finish undergrad at a state school. And yet, here I am. It’s a humbling thought, really.
I believe that all of us are capable of breaking the mold to reach our potential. I also believe that 99% of the time, breaking the mold is required to reach our full potential. I see it all the time. Where I’m from, a gently condescending “bless her heart” almost always precedes a ridiculous accomplishment no one saw coming. It’s like swimming upstream to reach a beautiful waterfall while everyone else swims downstream looking for a tiny fountain.
There is power in encouragement; and the act of encouragement doesn’t have to be much. If my dad had never called me that day, I wouldn’t have moved to Music City to chase my dream of doing entertainment PR. I wouldn’t have met an amazing community of people who have the same passions and goals as I do. I wouldn’t have been able to network professionally as a junior in college. But most importantly, I wouldn’t have the ability to take the encouragement I receive and pass it to someone else.
It’s only by being poured into that we can pour into others. What an incredibly inspiring cycle, right? Take some time to think about the people who encourage you and see if you can replicate it for someone else. It could be tomorrow or next week or three years from now, but I bet it’ll end in a really cool way. In the meantime, be conscious of the people who encourage you. Let them know you’re thankful for it, if you think about it. I often get too wrapped up in my hectic schedule and forget, but it’s still something I try to do daily. I’ve learned it forces you to slow down and be thankful for things like food, breath, sleep and friends.
Just some food for thought. Perspective, y’all. There’s an art to it.