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De Parte del Maestro
By Josh Flores

No excuses, just results: The school year is now in full swing and the carefree days of summer are but a distant memory.  It is time to get your grind on and hit those books. 

Why?  Good question.  In the world we live in with all of the drama and hardships, it is easy to question why it is important to better yourself.  However, therein lays the answer—you have to!  Today, if you let the world and all of life’s challenges get the best of you then you have essentially lost the game.  This is how you can avoid becoming what nuestra raza has far too many of…a statistic. 

Attitude is everything: As I am sure you have learned by now, life is not fair.  What we wish and hope for often doesn’t occur.  I believe in the philosophy of self-fulfilling prophecy, which essentially states that whatever attitude and idea you have towards yourself will eventually lead to actions that make it a reality.  For example, if you think of yourself as a poor student in math, then you will develop a negative attitude about math. 

You begin saying things like, “I suck at math” or “I don’t like math”.  Those words begin to become actions that you may or may not be aware of.  For example, you will apply less effort towards math, or pay less attention in math class.  The end result is pretty obvious—you are going to get a poor grade in the class. 

The point is you can do anything you believe you can. You are what you focus on.  The key is to believe that you can do it and then working your tail off to make it happen.  The equation is simple: attitude + effort = success.  So be sure to maintain a positive attitude about your life and what your future holds.

Turn failure into success: Fact-everyone fails.  Some of greatest achievers the world has ever seen failed horribly over and over until the finally accomplished what they had set out to do.  What separates most people who succeed from those who do not is people who succeed learn from their failures.  In other words if one thing doesn’t work then it is foolish to try the same exact thing over again and expect a different result.  You have to change your approach and utilize what you learned and allow that to steer you in a different direction for the next time.

Failure is a difficult thing to deal with; nobody likes to fail but you have to look for the silver lining in the cloud.  I hear athletes talk about learning more from a loss than victory all of the time.  The reason is simple; in a loss you realize what areas you can get better in and you work so you make the necessary improvements.  Failure also builds character.  It is easy when you are always winning, but do you have the ganas to pick yourself up off the mat when you are down or will you stay down and let life count you out? 

That which does not kill you…Life can be very hard.  I know things are particularly tough right now with the status of the economy, but we as a nation will get through it.  The reason is the people that make up this country are resilient and strong.  You can approach your everyday life in the same way.  You are going to have high and lows.  It is up to you to apply the other things I have talked about in this article to help you get through the lows. 

Everybody has some sort of drama or issues in their life.  Some people’s drama and issues are greater than others’.  I have my own just like anyone else.  I have been through some very tough times in my life and while I was going through many of them I literally felt like the world was ending. 

Guess what?  The world didn’t end and as I grew I was able to channel all of those hard times into motivation.  You see that is the bottom line.  You can take the all of the bad things that life has thrown at you and make them your excuse for why you didn’t do this or you weren’t able to do that or you can allow them to be your driving force and source of strength. 

Despite all of the hard times I have been through, I wouldn’t change a thing about the way I grew up.  They made me the man I am today and although I am not done contributing to this world; I haven’t done bad for a kid from a broken home who has been on welfare, lived in projects, gone to six different elementary schools, and so forth.  The point is, if I can do it, so can you.

Luck is overrated: Thomas Jefferson said “I ‘m a great believer in luck and find that the harder I work, the more I have of it.”  I prefer the term fortunate over luck.  I feel fortunate for a number of things that I could list for days.  Now of course luck does have its place; you are lucky if you win the lottery right?  However, you will never win unless you play.  Almost every luck situation is more about chance.  I say give yourself the most chances and you will be more likely to find success.

In the end the ‘luckiest’ people are often the hardest working and most motivated.  Other peoples’ envy of their success makes them say ‘that person is lucky to have that car or house.’  The reality is that person probably worked very hard and along the way made many sacrifices to earn that ‘luck’.  My point is you while being ‘lucky’ is okay, you would rather be successful and as a result fortunate so make it happen.  ˇHasta la próxima vez!

I would love to hear from you about my column please send me feedback or let me know if there is something you would like me to write about.  You can e-mail me at [email protected]. ˇGracias por tu apoyo!





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