Prepare today for tomorrow
Doug, project manager for a Portland roofing company, told Session 3B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"One evening about 8 years ago, we had some friends over who had returned home to California from college on their spring break. They kept bugging me to go back to school. I told them, 'No way. I have a family to support and am working full time.' I told them I was having a hard enough time as it was making ends meet. They wouldn't give up on me. They asked me what my long-term plans and goals were, how I planned in the long-term to earn enough to give my family all the advantages we dreamed of. The longer we talked, the surer I became that they were right, and if we were going to have the good life in the long term, we may have to make some short-term sacrifices.
"It was a big risk, perhaps the biggest risk I have ever taken. Finally, my wife Stacy, our first son, Trevor, our dog, Sadie, and I decided to send off an application to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. We agreed, 'If I get accepted, we'll go.' About a month later, I got a letter from Brigham Young University. I opened the envelope, knowing that what I was about to read would determine the course of my life. The letter said, 'Congratulations, you are accepted into the freshman class of Brigham Young University.'
"We read the letter with mixed emotions; excitement because I was accepted, and fear because we were moving out and on with our lives. We really didn't know how we were going to make it all work. We packed up all of our worldly belongings and moved to Provo. We had no place to live and I had no work to do, no job lined up to support our family.
"Once we arrived in Provo, things seemed to fall into place. I got a job that paid as well as my job back in California. We had the necessary money for tuition and expenses, and my new job gave me the
flexibility to attend classes and do my homework. Four years later, I graduated with a pretty good GPA. The job I hold today is, of course, a result of my degree and the list of opportunities I have before me is much longer than it would have been if I had not taken the risk and gone back to school.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is that when the decision is right and I follow my dream with a willingness to do the work, the details will fall into place.
"The action I call you to take is to trust your decisions. After you have weighed all the options and the decision is made, don't look back. Work hard and make your decision the right decision. The benefit you will gain is successfully realizing missing dreams you had been afraid to dream, dreams that were dormant in the recesses of your mind."
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