ASB president encourages students to determine their path of life
Senior and student body president Roman Endicott contributes a monthly column as part of his leadership commitment to his peers.
Dear individual reading this article, congratulations. We made it past finals! This year is coming to a close, and with it, the first semester has already concluded. The end of the calendar year is a great excuse for us to do some deep reflection and to set goals for the next one.
If you have ever made a New Year’s resolution, you probably know just as well as the rest of us that they don’t typically last very long at all. Whether we wanted to start hitting the gym or cut down on the caffeine, we usually find ourselves back where we started before long.
During physics my junior year, we learned about Newton’s laws of motion. The first law states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. The second says that an object’s acceleration is directly related to the magnitude of the force acting on it. Furthermore the third law adds that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
With this established, let’s talk about life again. Picture yourself as an object, traveling through space propelled by a rocket, heading towards, for the purposes of this analogy, a planet. The planet is your current goal and the rocket strapped to you is your motivation to get there.
At this point there are three forces acting on you. The rocket is propelling you towards your goal, the gravitational field of the planet is pulling you in, and there is a natural force of friction that comes with life slowing you down from getting wherever you are trying to go.
Now is the time for self assessment. If you are not sure what your goal is, take a look at what drives you as a person. This might give you a clue as to where you are headed. If you can’t really tell what your motivation is, take note of what planet your rocket is moving towards.
Ask yourself, “Is my course of action going to be truly beneficial to me in the end?” Most of the time, our destination is influenced by where we find our worth. Maybe your goal is to be popular, rich or remembered, it might be time to reflect on why and where your self worth is found.
For a while I found myself getting too worked up over my grades and I realized I placed too much of my identity in that. It took a while but eventually I shifted my attitude with the help of some others. I still work just as hard now as I did before, but I recognize that as long as I am putting in one hundred percent of my effort and I am learning, then I don’t need to stress about the end result so much.
So now you are in one of two crowds. You are either happy with the direction you are heading or you’ve decided you want to try and change your course. If you are in the latter group, it’s important to remember Newton’s laws that I mentioned earlier.
We are going to continue heading down our current path unless acted upon by an external force. Just trust me, it’s science. The necessity of an external force highlights the importance of a positive environment and affirmative friends. You can find more about this in my previous column, ‘It’s up to us to shape our environment’.
Now remember that the magnitude of your change in direction is proportional to the size of the push you get from that external force. Finding someone who can give you that push may prove to be difficult, but you may not find it where you had originally thought.
A solid, intimate group of friends, a mentor figure, family member, or even significant other should prove effective for these purposes. All you have to do is ask and if they have your best interests at heart, they are going to be there for you.
Keep in mind the magnitude of that push needs to be hefty, as it needs to be strong enough to get you out of the gravitational field of that first planet you were heading towards. Otherwise you will circle back around and continue to gravitate towards it.
Start by talking about this to whomever you’d like, whoever you think would hold you accountable without drilling you for your mistakes. I found good relationship with one of my youth pastors, and we go out to lunch every so often and discuss these issues.
One other challenge I have is to find a place where you look at often. This could be above your desk, your phone wallpaper or on your mirror. Write down a few key ideas of where you want to improve or grow as a way to remember. Then set a reminder in your phone to change it once a month in order to keep a fresh flow of ideas.
In addition to all this, we know from Newton’s third law you will naturally push back on your friends. With another to be there for you, it will produce an equally contingent and rewarding relationship as you build each other up along your own individual journeys.
Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
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