The Richmond Register

May 5, 2013

Redevelop the energy and motivation of your youth

Days of your childhood

Jennifer Napier

RICHMOND — Think back to the days of your childhood. If you grew up in Kentucky, you grew up with the expectation that the sport of basketball dominates our state.

Even if you didn't like the sport, you were taught to respect it. If you loved the sport, it became your obsession.

As a child, you believed dreams could come true and obstacles could be overcome. You fell asleep at night dreaming you would become the next star player of a famous basketball program and eventually go pro and achieve fame and success.

Can you envision yourself being in that youthful environment?

You’re so excited about the sport that you can't wait to enter a gym to practice. You sought every opportunity to hang out with other kids who shared your passion for the sport. You made time to play, regardless of what else was going on in your life.

You made the sport your priority. You desired nothing more than wanting to compete against players who claimed they were better than you, just so you could build your skills and become a better player.

Close your eyes.

Can you picture yourself pulling open the gym doors? Can you hear the sound of the ball bouncing against the hardwood floors? Do you hear the voices of determined players calling for the ball and the squeaking of high-top gym shoes as they turn and twist against the pine? Can you imagine the sweat dripping from the energized players and the smell of the locker room after hours of practice?

Game day arrives. You can’t sleep the night before because of the excitement and anticipation. As your name is called, you proudly step onto the court wearing a freshly cleaned uniform. Your adrenaline is pumping and your heart is racing.

You have been practicing day after day, week after week. You live for this moment. You put in hours of hard work and dedication. Your team wants to win and everyone shares the same goal.

Why don’t our workplaces have this same level of excitement and passion?

Why do many job seekers feel their dreams have past them by and they have to “settle” for a job they hate?

Many times it boils down to three things: lack of motivation, debt, and a low self-esteem.

Somewhere along the way, you had dreams of who you wanted to be when you grew up. Somewhere along the way, you allowed someone else’s perception of you, or their negative words, to hinder your career goals.

Somewhere along the way, you gave up, got into debt, became discouraged and “settled” for whatever job would pay your bills.

No one is able to change your career path except you.

It’s never too late to dream. It’s never too late to learn. It’s never too late to make a change, but change is hard work. Change requires sacrifice and long hours.

No one achieves long-term success by sitting on the sidelines and watching life pass them by.

Never stop dreaming. Our country was built (and can be rebuilt) on dreams.