I can’t believe it—another semester is about to begin. For many of you, it marks a milestone: continued studies and a new path for the future you choose. I trust it will be the right one. This column will be devoted to some inspirational thoughts, which I have come across during my 40 years of being a college professor. I hope they inspire you to greater success.
There are two mistakes a person can make along the path of life: Not going all the way and not starting. It is important to never be discouraged because you will find that it is often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.
While it may seem daunting at times, make the best use of what is in your power and take the rest as it happens, because successful people are those who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.
You may also want to ask yourself “What is your legacy?” or “What will you do to leave the world a better place?” and “What gifts and talents have you been blessed with?” Once you have discovered your answers, be sure to use them to your fullest potential.
Always remember that everything you’ve been through in your young lives has been preparation for where you are at this moment in time and, more importantly, where you can be tomorrow. Forget all the reasons why it won’t work, and believe the one reason why it will, because to create more positive results in your life, you must replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time.”
This world is your world and it is up to you to shape it or someone else will. The ones who say “you can’t” and “you won’t” are probably the ones who are scared you will.
Be humble and be thankful for what you have—you’ll end up having more. Never focus on what you don’t have because you will never, ever have enough.
Personally, I am still learning that being kind and caring to those around you is more important than being right and growth is a never-ending process, so be specific in your goals because the best goals to set are those that can be measured. Talk to fellow students and especially your professors to get new ideas and options for your future.
As for those goals, set more than one goal at a time—the rationale here is that if you are delayed in a particular area, you can still move ahead in another. It gives you a sense of accomplishment when you reach at least one of your objectives. For example, let’s say you wish to become active in at least three college organizations. Even if you only join one of them and attend regular meetings, you have reached one-third of your goal.
Finally, restate your goals as often as possible. Say them mentally, write them again and repeat them to others. The more you sense their importance to yourself and your personal success, the more easily your goals will be met.
Professor Jack K. Mandel has taught marketing and public relations since 1978 at Nassau Community College. He is the recipient of both the prestigious Outstanding Teacher Award conferred by the New York State Association of two-year colleges and the NCC Dean of Instruction’s Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award.