Connect With Your Students By Celebrating Community

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A purpose of all schools should be to ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed academically. I am not simply referring to students excelling on standardized tests either. Success academically should also be about how well students are able to analyze and apply the information learned in class to their lives because the greatest purpose of education is to prepare students for life.

How then do we get students involved and essentially engaged in our classrooms?

Connecting with them!

At times, it is easier said than done, but meaningful connections between students and teachers are essential in making sure students stay engaged in class.

After all, my mantra is, “You can’t teach them, if you don’t reach them.”

A way for you to connect with your students is to promote and celebrate community on a consistent basis in your classroom, and not only at a one-day event on your campus. You can’t always dictate what gets acknowledged school-wide. But you can choose what gets celebrated in your class.

Students come from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and celebrate numerous cultural norms that you may or may not be familiar with. Therefore, when you celebrate community, you honor the diversity that exists in your classroom.

Here are some ways to consistently celebrate community:

  1. If you have students from different ethnic groups in your class, have them teach the class how they say “hello” in their native language, and then practice saying it together.

  2. Provide students a platform within your class activities and assignments to share aspects of their culture and showcase what makes them different.

  3. Bring in books and other types of media like music and films that showcase diversity and are created by authors and artists from different backgrounds.

  4. Create a wall of achievement where students can list their accomplishments weekly or daily throughout the school year.

Good teachers promote community at the beginning of a school year, but great teachers take steps to celebrate community all-year round. Let’s go be GREAT!

Persist. Never Quit.

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As educators, we have goals for our schools, students and ourselves. Having a goal costs us nothing, but seeing the goal to completion will always cost something. How then do we accomplish our goal knowing there is a price we must pay for wanting to accomplish something worthwhile? Persistence.

Persistence is determination that refuses to be sidetracked.
 
Persistence is constant endurance.
 
Persist. Endure. Two verbs that are essential for every educator who wants to positively impact their students. Teaching is not easy. Low pay. Unruly students. Countless hours of grading and planning. Incompetent supervisors. Indifferent parents. All these and more challenges are to be expected in education. So, if this is what the game entails, how can you ensure that you come out victorious in the end? Again, persistence.

You have to be determined to accomplish your goals even in the midst of trials.
 
You have to endure the weariness and sometimes mundane tasks that come with being an educator.
 
You must persist even if your work does not seem to be making a difference.

Truth is, your work can make a great impact. Every day that you give a 100% effort to your school and students makes a difference. Every time that you shake off negativity, remember why you chose the field of education, and plow forward will help you in leaving a positive imprint. You may not always see the end result of your work, but just because you don’t see it, that doesn’t mean what you do is insignificant.

If a teacher wouldn’t have told a student, who only saw himself as “educable mentally retarded,” that someone else’s opinion of him did not have to become his reality, the world may have never had one of its most preeminent motivational speakers in Les Brown.
 
If a teacher wouldn’t have helped a young girl, who experienced physical and emotional abuse, find her own voice, the world might have never known the powerful poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
 
If a teacher wouldn’t have helped a shy, nerdy boy, named Bill Gates, find his own strengths and encourage his curiosity for learning, we may have not been able to experience Microsoft and all its benefits.

Being an educator can be tough, but my hope is that your mission to positively impact the lives of those you serve be stronger than any obstacle you face.

Persist. Never quit. Your school needs your gifts, ideas and talents. Your school needs you.

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Posted on October 24, 2018 and filed under Blogs, Education.

End of Year Perspective

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As we near the end of 2017, I’m sure many of you are counting down to the New Year. For many, a new year symbolizes a fresh start. For others, a new year represents another chance to do things differently.

Scroll through social media and you’ll find some posts filled with anticipation: “2018 Will Be My Best Year Ever!,” and other posts loaded with regret: “This year has been awful! I can’t wait for this year to end!”

I don’t know where you fall on that spectrum. However, I do know that waiting for a new year to do things differently won’t change a thing. Just like waiting for Christmas Break, won’t solve all your problems. Even the gift you hope to receive from your significant other won’t do the trick. 

Why? Because change begins with you, and happiness does too.

We overlook the many blessings of yesterday and today waiting and wishing for a better tomorrow.  I understand the concept of hope. However, I also comprehend the power of perspective.

Could things be better? Definitely!

Are their choices that I regret making? No doubt!

Yet, I know that if I exert all my energy on not being where I want to be, and not having what I want, I will fail to realize the great things I do have. 

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.
— Alphonse Karr

Perspective is our approach to the things that we experience in life.  My hope for you is that you don’t forsake the good because you chose to focus only on the bad.

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Be The Best You Can

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Congratulations! You’ve made it to Thanksgiving Break!

Yes, the students are rowdier than ever, parents still aren’t cooperating, and your administrators keep piling up paperwork on you, but you’re still going. You haven’t quit. Although, you’ve probably thought about it once, twice, or fifteen times. But you’re still here and if you’re really all about the students, you still want what’s best for them.

So, how do you make the best of the remaining school year? What is a best practice that you can use to engage your students in the learning process so that they become the best students they are capable of becoming?

Involve them! Sounds so simple, and it is!

Real learning is not what you do in the classroom, but rather it is the takeaways and knowledge your students conclude from your lessons. Involving your students by creating lessons and activities that are relevant to them will cause them to be engaged. Remember, if students can’t relate to the content, why would you expect them to be interested in it?

Think about yourself. If you’re not interested in something, you don’t spend time on it. Our students are the same way. Realize then that you have the power to craft lessons and create a classroom environment that will cultivate student participation. If something hasn’t been working, you don’t have to keep doing it.  You can:

Take risks.

Try something different.

Act on your ideas.

But don’t forget that your connection with your students is vitally important. A great lesson and idea without a student/teacher connection accomplishes little.

Creating a positive connection with students who have different norms and values may be hard. Designing lessons and finding articles for your lessons that are relevant to your students may take time, and we already know how much little time we have.

Teaching isn’t easy. That’s not fake or breaking news. However, teaching gets a bit more difficult when you truly want to make a difference in the lives of your students. Especially, when it seems there are countless challenges and obstacles standing in your way.

As educators, it’s great that we want our students to do better and improve, but the best way for them to improve will always be when we first improve ourselves. When we learn, study and adjust, we become better for our students and in turn, they become better as well.

This advice can be applied to any organization you’re a part of: If you want to improve your team, school, church, family; improve yourself.

It’s not about trying to be better than anybody else. It is about never ceasing to be the best you can be.

The best you can be. You owe it to you and you owe it to the people you lead and serve.

Posted on November 17, 2017 .

You Have The Power!

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Poverty stricken homes.
Violent neighborhoods
Teenage pregnancies.
High dropout rates.
A community without hope.

Do any of the above descriptors resonate with you in relation to the students you teach? As educators embark, or in some cases, continue with the first weeks of a new school year, two types of emotions are usually invoked. One is of excitement, while the other is that of indifference.

Excitement because a brand-new school year brings new opportunities for teachers to make a difference in the lives of students. Additionally, for some, there’s the thrill of implementing that new classroom decorating theme found on Pinterest. You know who you are!

However, for others, there’s indifference. A lack of interest and concern. Simply, an “I don’t care” attitude. There are myriad reasons for this feeling, some of which may include; heavy workloads and demands that seem to increase each academic year, lack of parent involvement, and challenging student behavior.

I don’t know where you stand. My guess because you are reading this is that you want what’s best for students, and although you know the school year will have its shares of ups and downs, you are committed to a cause that’s bigger than you. For you, the statement, “It’s about doing what’s best for the kids,” really is genuine.

Recently, I watched a video which highlighted the impact made by Dr. Tiffany Anderson in the Jennings School District. You can watch the 6-minute clip below. I want to emphasize on this statement from Dr. Anderson:

“Zip code should not determine the quality of education.”

Your students may not be raised in safe and loving homes that assert the importance of education, both inside and outside of school. Their reality could be going home to grim and dreary neighborhoods. Therefore, some of them will enter your schools with anxiety, anger, and apathy. You can’t control that.

What you can control is the quality of education that you provide them during the hours of the day that they are with you.

What you can do is exalt their minds and open them up to endless opportunities.

What you can take charge of is raising the expectations you have for them.  

Their social class, parents’ level of education, or race/ethnicity should not determine the level of expectations you have for them.

All students are capable of excelling in life. Some students just need that person who is willing to help them discover their hidden potential and show them the strength that lies within them.

You have the power to make a positive impact. Regardless of trials and challenges that you will face this school year, you can make a difference!

Believing in you,
A.C.

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Teacher Appreciation 2017

We are human turnstiles. People come into and out of our lives virtually every day, but only a select few remain with us for an extended period of time. And only a certain number will truly impact our lives.

As human beings, we can endure the lack of many things. But loneliness, the absence of connections with other people, can be extremely difficult to bear.

See, we were created for relationships. Our interactions with others teach, shape and guide us. We need other people in our lives because no matter how passionate we may be about our own personal goals and aspirations, there will come moments when our enthusiasm begins to dwindle, when we get tired, and when we stop dreaming.

There will be times when it will be absolutely necessary for us to have people encourage us and rekindle the fire within us. These individuals who do so are our true heroes and those we can count on through thick and thin knowing that they stand with us and join in our struggles so we do not have to fight alone.

The irony is that we are not always appreciative of the countless sacrifices and unconditional love that these people bestow upon us. Our forgetfulness is not intentional, but it definitely is good to be reminded that we are appreciated.

Perhaps as a teacher, you are the hero I have described. The one who helps students find peace in troubling times, and bolsters their faith when doubts and insecurities fall upon them. However, you may not always receive any acknowledgment or recognition.

So, today, allow me to express my appreciation to you for:

  • Helping students believe in themselves, when they could not see anything in them worth believing in.

  • Seeing potential and greatness in students, when parts of society see helpless and hopeless individuals.

  • The many acts of kindness that you do for students, not to be recognized, but simply because you deeply care about them.

  • The many hours you spend planning, preparing and coming up with creative ways to reach and teach your students.

  • Simply being there for students when others choose to walk away.

You are making a difference!

Thank you for your impact!

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Success and Happiness...It's Possible!

Today, April 11th is a special day! It is a special day because it is my daughter’s birthday. However, it’s also a special day because I hold a pen in my hand, which simply means I get to write the story of my life. This simple fact is a privilege that I don’t ever want to take for granted.

You hold that pen in your hand too. Maybe this concept is hard for you to grasp, but understand this; you are not a puppet being pulled by strings. The things that you want in life: peace of mind, success, happiness, are all possible, and it is your thoughts and actions that create that reality.

So again, you hold the pen and you get to write how you want the story of your life to be.  In fact, you decide how you want this specific day to be.

For example, a similar thing can happen to two different people today. However, one person may see it as a blessing, and the other may see it as a curse. Perspective is everything, and you get to choose how to view every situation you encounter in life.

This is why knowing that you are the author of your life is important because the life you are living today in whatever area you find yourself in (as a organizational leader, student, parent, entrepreneur, etc.) is building your legacy.

What kind of legacy are you forming? A legacy that gives up when situations don’t turn out the way you envisioned them to? Or a legacy of persistence because your mission and purpose are clear, and therefore you are not swayed by life’s challenges?

Just how significant your legacy will be is determined by how you live your life, and by what you leave behind once you are no longer a part of an organization, community, and this earth.  So once you’re gone, will you be remembered as someone who added value or someone who drained the energy?

Again, you hold the pen. Make today and the rest of your life a great story!

Posted on April 11, 2017 .

Do What The Great Ones Do

As a speaker and writer, I do my best to learn what makes the “great ones”—orators and authors of the world renown—great. I study their speaking and writing styles, their word choices and use of language, their presentation skills and means of grabbing and maintaining the attention of their audiences. More than anything else, however, I study their lives, specifically the obstacles and trials these men and women had to overcome on their paths to success. What I glean from my examinations I integrate into my own life because, if there is one common thread of human character that links the past, present, and future, it is our ability to persevere.

JK Rowling's most famous book series.

JK Rowling's most famous book series.

As evidence of this, consider the example of a poor, single mother who once lived on welfare. Divorced and jobless, she had been diagnosed with depression and had even contemplated suicide. Then, while taking a train trip one day, she had an idea for a novel. She worked on her book in local cafes while her baby took naps in the stroller. Once her manuscript was finished, she submitted it for publication; it was rejected countless of times before a publishing house finally accepted it. This woman’s birth name was Joanne Murray, but today people the world over know her as JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.

In a commencement speech at Harvard, Rowling mentioned something about failure that I believe is very relevant for us to truly understand and grasp what perseverance means.

She said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Rowling did not allow her difficulties to keep her mired in poverty, but rather endured them and, as a result, became the world’s first female billionaire author. She is literally living the “rags to riches” fairy tale, all because she chose to persevere rather than surrender.

Struggles in life are unavoidable. As surely as the sun will rise, they will come. Some may batter us so badly that we will want to give up on everything we have planned, but that does not mean we must allow them to steal our hope. We can instead choose to see our trials simply as steps we must take along the path to greatness.

Remember this: You always have a choice; persevere or surrender? The great ones; leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, students, artists, etc. know that greatness comes because they choose not to give up on their mission. 

What will you choose today?

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Be Extraordinary!

I’m thinking of doing this…

I’m planning to do that…

Tomorrow, I will…

Next month, I might…

Ordinary people think about taking action and claiming brighter futures but go no further; extraordinary people go the extra mile and actually act upon those thoughts. Which type of person are you?

Do you have things you want to accomplish in your life? Do you have aspirations you know will take time and energy to see fulfilled? Do you have dreams you long to see come true? None of these things will happen on their own.

A new month is upon us. The average person will waste the hours and minutes they will be given. They’ll be content being ordinary. However, you were not destined to be average or ordinary. You were created to be extraordinary.

If you have desires that still remain unrealized, you cannot allow fear, doubt, or laziness to steal even one more second from you. Instead, set your goals, determine the steps you will need to take in order to reach them, and get to work.

Time is the only thing of value that we really own.
Treat it like the gift that it is.

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Keep Standing!

Challenges exist for a reason...
and that reason is not to keep you from what you want to achieve. They exist to reveal how much you want something, to determine whether or not you want it badly enough to endure whatever it takes to earn it.

I understand that this will not be easy. I have certainly had days when I woke up and, even though the sun had risen and shone through my window, I could not see it because the shadow cast by the difficulties I was facing loomed far too largely.

In those moments, life seemed bleak, and my vision for the future was blurred.  Amidst those temporary lapses, however, my belief that the grandest things lay just on the other side of my tribulations, urged me to hold on...to stand by my purpose.

What great things will you accomplish if you just hold on tight to your dreams?
Whose life will you impact today if you truly grasp the great opportunity that is in front of you?
How will you impact those around you knowing that you are here for a greater purpose? 

Don't let your mission in life be derailed by failure, criticism or discouragement.
Stand by your purpose.

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The Biggest Failure

            January 31, 2017 marked exactly three years since I took one of the biggest leaps of faith ever in my life. With that one decision, I let go of stability, comfort, and the only career path I had known for thirteen years. I chose to walk away when many people and even myself knew that there were many more years left for me to impact the lives of students, lead teachers, and move up the educational ladder. However, in my heart, I knew there was more for me.

            Some say ambition can be lethal because it causes people to dream big, take risks, and be different from the status quo. I can agree with that assessment, but for me, ambition is more.

            Ambition is tied to a person’s passion.

            You know that desire that wakes you up in the morning ready to take on the world. Passion; that fire that can’t be quenched by mediocrity and simply living life going through the motions.

            There are many people who live life simply going through the motions, and it’s a shame, because is that truly living? Many people entered the New Year a month ago with the expectation that 2017 would be better. Why? Was it simply because we ushered in a new year and closed the book on 2016?

            A new year means nothing if you enter it with the same mentality. What is a new year going to do for you if you still think the same way and in turn act the same way? Our beliefs determine our actions. Therefore,

            If you believe your life can’t get better, it won’t.

            If you believe you can’t make a difference, you won’t.

            If you believe your students can’t learn, they won’t…and it’s not because they are incapable of doing so. Rather, it is because your negative belief in them keeps you from giving your best. You can’t control them, but you can control you. But, again, why would we give our best when nothing good is going to come out of it, right?

            I don’t want to fail, so why try?

            I don’t want to look stupid, so why give it a shot?

            I don’t want to be laughed at, so why risk?

            I must admit that I have wrestled with the same thoughts. It hasn’t been easy for me going from getting a steady paycheck to making sure I close a deal to make certain I have the necessary means to provide for my family. I don’t say that for you to feel sorry for me. I say that because I know what it is to enter a new year thinking that a new year itself is going to make things different. It doesn’t. You make things different.

            As I finished 2016, I finished it with the mindset that I will get continue to get better. I will continue to risk, dream big, work hard, and try. Why? Because my ambition, my passion drives me to make a difference. Therefore, I will continue committed to that path.

Some of the Plano Senior High School students.

Some of the Plano Senior High School students.

            See, if I had given up and not tried, I would have never had the fortune to serve the youth and youth leaders of the Western Shoshone tribe in Nevada.

            I would have never had the chance to serve the educators of Pearsall ISD and challenge them to see the greatness not only in their students, but also in themselves, because they truly matter.

            I would have never had the opportunity to serve 200 plus students at Plano High School by sharing my heart, and hearing their cries and needs for hope in a future that sometimes seems uncertain to them.

            You can make a difference today right where you are at in your job, your community, and family. Stop worrying about whether it's going to fail or not.

Do the best you with what you are given and share the light inside of you.

            If you fail, you get back up. Some would say that I’ve failed since I left my position as a school administrator because I don’t have the leadership title anymore, the income I used to have, I’m not on T.V., and social media doesn’t really know who I am yet. But that’s far from the truth because the biggest failure in life is knowing there is a longing inside of you, but never having the courage to pursue it.

The biggest failure in life is simply not trying.

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Win Their Trust

Some of you are a couple of weeks into another school year. Has the excitement of a new school year already vanished? Are you counting down the days to Thanksgiving break?

Perhaps the answer to the above questions is a resounding “Yes.” If that’s the case, is it fair for me to assume that the reason why you may be feeling a bit dejected is because the students have switched gears on you?

No longer are they the sweet, quiet kids. Now, they are testing you and your limits. Now, the lesson you worked hours and hours on during the weekend creates little to zero engagement with them. To top that off, maybe your calendar is filled with deadlines from administration of paperwork that must be completed ASAP. It’s no wonder, right about now you’re probably feeling down.

I feel your pain. I’ve been there.

Maybe you don’t work in a school environment at all, but you’re experiencing discouragement because your business isn’t taking off the way you envisioned it to.

Trust me. I understand.

Regardless of where you find yourself, allow me to offer you two pieces of advice.

1.     Don’t quit.  Yes, it sounds elementary, but perseverance is a quality we love to claim we have until we find ourselves facing a huge obstacle that reveals to us otherwise. However, any successful person succeeded not because he or she always did the right thing. Rather, it was because he or she stayed committed to their purpose. Countless times they failed, but they always rose back up.
2.     Win Their Trust.  Realize that the people you are trying to influence will not listen to you or give you the time of day, until they are able to trust you. The relationship you have with the people you are serving matters. It matters because it influences the results you are getting and will continue to receive.

In a study conducted by Mensah and Atta (2015), teachers expressed that a supportive relationship with students was one key factor that inspired the students to succeed.  So, continue to get to know your students. Value them. Not just when it’s convenient either.

For those in business, the relationships you build are also vital to your success. Get to know your potential clients. Treat them with respect. Provide them value. Build trust.

Remember, any person will work with you and for you when they trust you, and that the strongest of all relationships is always built on trust.

3 Ways to Win Trust

1.     Do what you say you are going to do.
2.    Your communication both verbal and nonverbal matter.  Choose both words and actions carefully.
3.     Value every single person you are serving, whether they treat you fairly, do the right, or not.

Here’s to you staying Mission Driven and creating a legacy that makes an impact!

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Stand In The Gap

Two Mondays ago on a flight to San Francisco, I started a conversation with a lady sitting next to me.  We small talked at first, but then the conversation transitioned to what we both did for a living. To my surprise, she told me that she was the financial account manager for a couple of music groups that ranged from Def Leppard to Digital Underground, which is a reason I was in awe because I grew up listening to those two artists. Even now, I may get into an 80’s rock mood and blast “Pour Some Sugar on Me” through my car’s stereo.

She was also surprised when I told her what I did for a living: keynote speaker and college professor.  I am guessing it was due to the fact that I do not fit the stereotypical look of a college professor and probably not one of a keynote speaker either: Cubs World Series snapback, jeans, a Notorious B.I.G. t-shirt, and Air Jordans. Regardless of the reason of why she was surprised, one thing has stayed with me from our conversation and it is this:

“We need more people like you to speak to our youth,” she said emphatically after wondering why in the world I was going to Concord, California and not staying in San Francisco for business. Little did she know, the youth are my business, and as I continued telling her how the event was organized, how the high school activities director found me on YouTube, and how this is more than a job for me, she could immediately tell: empowering youth is my purpose.

I have thought a lot about what she said. “We need more people like you to speak to our youth.” The reason is because her statement is absolutely true. Our young people are going through difficult times, dealing with a wide range of issues from racism, to worries about the recent presidential election, to the cost of higher education. Additionally, they are facing personal troubles that range from self-esteem concerns, to family drama, to peer pressure, bullying, and to even wondering:

“Is my life even worth living?”
“Is my life worth the challenges I am facing?”
“Is my life worth the pain and loneliness that I feel and that no one else may have no idea about?”

The answer to those questions is: Absolutely, it is! Young people may not see their life is worth living because a majority of them have tunnel vision, meaning they cannot see past tomorrow due to their limited point of view.

The challenges they face. The pain and loneliness they experience. They think these temporary feelings and situations are here to stay, and that they are the only ones who have ever experienced struggles, which we know is not the case. However, if they continue with this train of thought, it can lead them to make decisions that five to ten years from now, they may regret. So, how will our young people know that they CAN press forward in life and that their life has worth?

“You can made a difference.”

We all have a story, and I firmly believe that everyone, including you, is in a position to impact the lives of those around us. Students, co-workers, siblings, peers, you can make a difference in their lives. How? By sharing your story of how you overcame your challenges.

One of the greatest treasures we all have is our life story. There is reassurance when you reveal to others that life may not always turn out the way we plan it to. Yet, that fact does not mean that our lives are not capable of accomplishing great things. And it sure does not mean that our lives are not worth living.

Our young people need us. Maybe, you won’t fly to another city to share your story. Truth be told, you don’t have to. Right where you are today, you can be a beacon of hope to a young person. You can be the bridge that takes them from failure to success. You can stand in the gap for them. You can make a difference.

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Posted on December 12, 2016 and filed under Blogs, Education, Leadership.

If you want to succeed...

For years I sat in convocations hosted by the school district I worked for wishing for bigger things. A bigger sense of purpose seeing as how many of my days were spent handing out disciplinary consequences to students who violated the student code of conduct. 

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate that aspect of my position as an assistant principal. Truth be told, those times were more than just assigning a couple of days of suspension. Those were the times when I could listen to them and try to figure out why they were making poor decisions. Those were also the times where I could be transparent by sharing not only my successes, but also my past failures knowing that many people (both young and old) relate better to someone who can say that their success came through hard work and perseverance. 

For years I sat in convocations wishing that it was me who was the keynote speaker because if there’s anything that I know, is that the life that I have led and continue to lead is one that can inspire many people. 

Does it mean that throughout the majority of my life I have been perfect and have never made any mistakes? No.

Does it mean that I experienced one of the worst childhoods that anyone could ever imagine or think of? Not at all. 

Watch Motivational Speaker A.C. Cristales deliver his keynote at the Pearsall Independent School District Convocation. 

What it does mean is simply that I know my purpose in life. I know exactly what it is because anytime I try to run away from it, it always comes back to me. It doesn’t leave me alone. It beckons me. So much that trying to escape it is futile. 

Your purpose is the very thing that both excites you, and yet can cause you some pain from time to time. Kind of paradoxical, if you ask me. Yet, living a life with purpose requires courage, and displaying courage is not always an easy thing to do. It takes guts to continue believing in something that you’re passionate about, but sometimes doesn’t produce the results you desire in the time you want it to.

In those moments of impatience and unbelief is exactly the point where hard work should come in and where the spirit of perseverance should take over your being.

More than two and half years ago, I made the decision to pursue my purpose and to not just wish for bigger things, but to actually go out there and get them. The journey hasn’t been easy. There has been heartache, doubt, and confusion. There have been failures. Yet, I did not give up, and boy, am I glad I didn’t.

A couple of weeks ago, I was the keynote speaker at the Pearsall Independent School District Convocation. Hard work does pay off. Perseverance truly is key.

What would you accomplish if you didn’t give up? What great things could you do if you stay committed to your purpose? The journey to achieve great things in your personal life, work, or relationship won’t always be easy. The easy thing to do is to give up, and the sad thing about giving up is wondering how success would have met you if you had only persevered.

They who persevere, SUCCEED.

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Posted on September 1, 2016 .

Seize the Opportunities

As we get older, our days seem to become shorter than they once were. Our responsibilities consume so much of our time and energy that on occasion there simply are not enough hours in the day to attend to them all. If we focus too intently on these activities, we can easily miss others that do not fit into our established routines.

At other times, we may ignore things outside the realm of what we find comfortable, choosing instead to maintain the status quo because we do not want to disrupt the practices we have become accustomed to.

Still, at other times, we may fail to recognize the opportunities that arise because they do not come in the manner we expect or because, on the surface, they look far too much like work.

It is possible for us to spend so much time in expectation and preparation for what may come that we actually miss the very things we are waiting for until they have passed well beyond our grasp. The truth is that far too often we allow opportunities to remain unclaimed when they should, in fact, be fortuitously seized.

What opportunities can you seize today...will you seize today?

Sure, there are not enough hours in the day, but how can you maximize the time you have been given? What activities can you do without? Which undertakings are you working on that are not really benefitting you?

Those things that do not help you will eventually hurt you. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow, but that which does not bring out the best in you will always be a hindrance to your success, both personally and professionally.

Opportunity knocks. However, if you feel like opportunity is missing your door for whatever reason, it does not mean that this is the time to complain. Rather, this is the time to create your own opportunities, and opportunities are created when you step into motion. You cannot expect opportunities to arrive if you are not putting yourself, your faith or your work into action.

Commit yourself to seize the opportunities that a new day brings.

Today, don’t get derailed. Don’t be discouraged either. Your destiny awaits. It may be delayed, but it is definitely not denied. 

Believing in your GREATNESS!

What opportunities will you seize or create today? Share them in the comments.

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