42. Renew

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” ~Albert Einstein

I’m in the middle of what feels like the most high-stress, high-pressure, but at the same time, most hopeful season of life. Everything is so uncertain and there are so many things happening that could potentially be major positive changes for me and my family. I’m also taking part in a very powerful mentor program offered by my church, called Re:new, and it could not have come a better time in my life. I’ll get into more of what I’m learning through this process and relationship in the coming weeks, but a big discovery I’ve made lately has been related to my mindset.

For the first time in twenty years, since I discovered my love for computers and technology, I’ve had a light-switch moment in the first couple of months of 2018 where very little about the Information Technology world excites me. I’m currently past the halfway point of earning my long-overdue college degree, an Associates in Networking, and I’ve never made it this far in previous attempts at school over the past 13 years. I value the education and all, but it has me thinking about a much bigger picture.

I guess you could say I created the biggest problem of my life back in 2006 when my second semester at East Central Technical College (now Wiregrass Georgia Technical College), in my hometown, went up in flames and I made the hasty decision that “college just isn’t for me,” and I never looked back. Several years later, I enrolled as an adult student at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, at the age of 24. I don’t remember how many classes I started with, but I know that I took a public speaking course and passed it somehow. At the end of that semester, however, I became convinced that my part-time job with its growing responsibilities, along with my amazing dating relationship with Hannah, were the priorities I wanted to focus on and that continuing school would be too much for me to handle.

Quitting Before You Start

With that, I did not register for the following semester and went about my life. That was 2010, and in 2017 I made my third attempt and enrolled full-time as a student at Chattahoochee Technical College. Fifteen months and a change in major later, here I am, and, as I said earlier, I suddenly feel like my purpose in life has been so out of focus until now. I spent two decades of my life chasing the notion that I belonged in the IT world. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology still, but an underlying passion that I never expected to be something so significant has finally evolved into “what I want to do when I grow up.”

For all those years I spent trying different things to continue moving my life forward, including the occasional attempt at a degree, I had eventually came to the realization that I have been stuck in the same way of thinking about my life as I did when I was fresh out of high school. But here’s where it gets a little more strategic: it’s not enough to look up one day, after many years, and change your way of thinking in such a way to get you through the next set of years. Mindset is an evolving thing, where you have to constantly be learning from and taking action on the things that you encounter in life, so as to avoid being trapped in a vicious cycle of minimal progress.

As Long As You’re Growing

In everything you set out to accomplish in your life, just remember that each experience can leave you better as a person than you were before you started. Don’t do things in life without first considering what, by doing that thing, could you stand to gain in the end that will allow you to be better equipped to handle anything life throws at you in the future?

Thanks for being here with me and I’ll talk to you next Monday on the Trials & Triumph podcast, where I will be talking a little bit more about mindset!


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