Joanna: Finding Success
There is / are soooooooooooo many things to choose to do! How do we make up our minds??? Well......... First - we think about the different things we can do. Second - we think about what we like to do. Third - we think about what we need to do. Fourth - we do it. We pick one because.... the truth is.... sometimes.... you never know until you try!!
Work Work Work Work Work Work Work Work
What a busy time for you - for all of us - lots to do - lots that's fun - lots that's just plain drudge (rhymes with fudge!) But that's ok - we're all in it together! You - me - mom - Theo. Our friends and family... There's no escaping it. It's all just part of life. Just enjoy the good stuff - look to get what you can from the bad and grow and learn and laugh and cry and try and fail and try and succeed and get a good nights sleep and try again! Love 'ya.
I couldn't sleep very well last night. I woke up thinking about what makes people succeed. Succeed in anything - school, sports, business, life. And I decided that the one thing that contributes to success the most, more than natural talent and luck, is a willingness to try and fail and try again. Most of us are afraid of failure so we don't try things or we don't try our best or we laugh it off. We don't want to be embarrassed or hurt. It's natural to feel that way - natural but it holds us back. It keeps us from experimenting with new things or from reaching our potential with the things we think we know and like. So fight that fear Joanna. Try new things. And when it comes to the things you love, fight for them too. Work hard on where you need to work. Recognize where you're weak and work on it. Make yourself better. No one else can do it for you. It's your one life.
"Who am I?" That's the hardest question in the world. You can't ask anyone else for help. You can't solve it with a computer or a dictionary or a text book - the answer isn't in any of those places.
The answer is only in one place - in your own heart. It's really in there you know - I'm not kidding. Look and you will find it. Be honest and you might not like what you see. But be true, be hopeful, be passionate and you will see that that image that you see is always changing. Always evolving, growing, always in the process of becoming. There is never any one answer to the question "who am I?" If you are living, learning, playing, working, then you are growing and changing constantly. Look inside yourself - what do you see? Do you like yourself? If "yes" then keep it up. If "no" then what do you need to change to make the answer "yes"? Start by seeing the good inside and try to add more everyday. It really works. I love and believe in you!
Take a deep breath Joanna. Close your eyes, exhale and relax. This year will march along and you will tick off, one by one, the many items on your list. You will jump the hurdles one at a time. You will be as prepared for each one as you can be. You will do the best you can and then you will move onto next year's challenges. You can and you will do it and you'll do it all in your own unique way. OK - now open your eyes. Repeat as often as necessary to relax, refocus, and play loose. I love you so much!
Good morning Joanna! Somehow the note from your first day of school this year went through the washing machine. Mom was devastated and wanted me to remember what I had written and do it again. I can't really do that so I'm just writing you a new note about the first day of your Junior year of high school. It's a big year for you Joanna. You know that already don't you? You've accomplished so much in the years leading up to now. I feel like you're prepared for what's in front of you. Decisions to make. Tests to take. Sports to play. Friends to help and be helped by. In the midst of it all is you. I know it's hard to have perspective on yourself and to see yourself as special but you are Joanna - in so many ways. Let your light shine through this year and every year in everything you do! I love you so much!
Searching for love. Searching for faith. Searching for meaning. Being at peace with the search is key. Relax, have faith and work hard. Understand that you have your own road to walk down. You're walking on it already. With every step your story gets richer. Pursue the things you love. Always give 110% - whatever your best is and be satisfied. You will excel in this and fail in that. No one bats 1,000. It's OK. It's OK as long as you tried your best because you'll know it wasn't meant to be. If you held back you'll never know if you could have made it. I love you so much!
"In 1934 I coined my own definition of success, which I tried to personally attain and get all my students to attain. It is 'peace of mind,' which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best of what you are capable." - John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach.
Dr. Metzel put that quote in the front of his book "The Young Athlete" and it really struck me. Fear of failure, fear of losing is everywhere in our hyper-competitive culture. The ability to find peace of mind in that environment is huge. Whatever you set out to do always give it your best shot and then, win or lose, you'll know you didn't sell yourself short. I love you so much!
What is 100%? How do you give 100% to so many endeavors at the same time? Isn't there only one 100% in each of us? I was talking with your mom this morning about lots of things but one thing that stuck with me is this idea of 100%. To be a 100% good parent, a 100% good spouse, a 100% good boss or employee, a 100% good friend. How do you carve up your one 100% into all these different areas and be 100% in all of them? I guess the answer is you try to do it all - that's all. You just try!! So have a 100% good day Joanna. I love you so much (100%)
(I feel like I still haven't gotten used to writing "2001" on my letters and now it's almost time to begin writing "2002"! At least there's a certain symmetry to that.)
(I have never seen such an amaryllis - four flowers on top and four on the bottom - amazing!)
There are two options facing you when confronted with a new problem or decision in your life. You can say "this looks tough - let me get going!" or you can say "this looks tough - I could never do this!" That's it! It doesn't matter whether it's climbing a mountain or solving a math problem. Yeah maybe sometimes you'll come to realize that you took on a challenge that you just couldn't handle or solve - but take it on first. Then if you fail, you can still be proud of yourself for trying.
Life goes by quickly doesn't it? Whether you're aware of it or not each day slips away into the next without much thought. That's why it's so important to use your time well. Make the most of it. Sure - include "hang" time in your schedule but also include focused time as well. Look around you wherever you are - home - school - the street - see what's there. Notice things. See the beauty that others have made around you. Think of things you can do to make your world a better place. If you see someone struggling offer to help. If you see something that needs doing then do it. It starts with seeing, noticing, being aware. Open up your eyes and mind to the world around you. It will be a better place because you're in it!
You work hard Joanna. I can see that. You honestly try to do your best. You play hard too. Maybe that holds you back a little but it's who you are so what can you do? (By "playing hard" I don't mean drugs, alcohol and sex - just loud, laughing, physical fun!) So what do you want in your life? Fun? Love? Work? Fame / Fortune? You've shown me talent. You've shown me drive. You've shown me hard work. What have you learned about yourself in your 15 years? Think about it. Don't do it for me - do it for yourself. Really get to know yourself - who you are and what you want. Then work on your life the way you work so hard in school. Keep the fun, the friends, the family but don't lose sight of you! I love you so much!
Good morning! Yeah, some things happen in life because of fate or happenstance; you look down and there's ten bucks on the sidewalk. But the things we really want to happen we have to work on making it happen. Then, like in any game of winners and losers, we make it work out or it doesn't. The difference is in the desire and the effort. It's good to want things for yourself. Now go out and do what you can to make them happen! I love you so much!
I'm not crazy about the focus of education these days with the pressure to get good grades and to "test well." To me grades, or the focus of leaning on grades, misses the point of education entirely. You know how when you have a teacher you really like he/she inspires you to want to learn, not to get a good grade because that will follow naturally. Kids are competitive and I guess you all spur each other on to get good grades. But my point is grades don't measure love of learning. When school is over and the grades are a matter of record, what's left if you didn't learn to love learning? Get good grades sure, but remember to learn to love because that's what you'll keep and that's what will really help you in your life. I love you so much!