I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a glorious idea and suddenly, I’m full of energy and passion, ready to take on the world. Then, reality sets in and I realize that my newly created goals won’t magically reach themselves; I have to work. Bummer. I’m learning more and more each day that success is not simply dependent on whether someone has enough passion or not. Most of it really has to do with a person’s determination – and that other dreaded D-word: discipline.
A little burst of inspiration never hurts though. One of the things I like to do when I’m procrastinating is watch commencement addresses. Prominent figures bring the most moving advice they can think of to compel recent graduates into action – being on the cusp of the next step in life is a crazy place to be and most students (or, you know, people) want to step out feeling like they matter. You can’t help but want to take on the world after listening to them.
So take a peek at a few of my favorite speakers and bask in their optimistic, gosh-I-hope-they-laugh-at-my-jokes-before-I-get-to-the-serious-stuff glory. JK Rowling reminds me that it isn’t the end of the world to fail; in fact, that failure is often pushing me toward my true destiny. David Muir lets me know that I can make my voice heard in whatever field I choose to pursue. Angela Davis doesn’t let me off the hook and urges me to never stop thinking of those who need freedom or lack the same opportunities that I often take advantage of – my freedom should be used to liberate another. Oprah is Oprah (and I suppose she also encourages me to seek my true purpose in life).
Don’t appreciate the warm fuzzy feeling you get for a few minutes, close the window, and then never think about them again. Use the inspiration to kick start working on a project that you’ve been eyeing and have been afraid to start. Make those steps toward your dream. When you get tired, as you unavoidably will, stop and remind yourself why you’re working so hard but keep on moving. Then, check out our tips on staying disciplined!