I am writing this note quite a few days ahead of when you’re probably seeing it. It’s a day of freedom, and I’m going to celebrate it!
No, it’s not July 4, although that’s certainly a day of freedom. Fireworks, barbecues and beer don’t take away the commitment and bravery that went into American independence.
It’s the day of freedom for my daughter, Sarah. After four years, she graduates from high school today.
Most of us who are parents will eventually have kids who graduate from high school. Of course we love them and we’re proud of them.
I’m especially proud of Sarah because she worked her ass off for her freedom.
You see, four years ago Sarah made a choice to attend a performing arts magnet high school in Hartford, Connecticut. That’s about half an hour away when there’s no traffic, and if you live along the Interstate 84 corridor, you know there’s no such thing as no traffic.
This kid had a dream in her heart. She always loved to sing, and she was always very good at it. She wanted to be in an environment where it was OK to not only be herself, but to pursue her dream with everything she had.
So she sacrificed. While her friends were rolling out of bed at 7:00 am, she was up at 4:45 every morning. While they were getting home at 2:30, she wasn’t home most days until 6:00.
While they surfed the net, played on sports teams and enjoyed a relatively care free existence, Sarah got shin splints and blisters from dance class, sore throats from vocal training, and was constantly challenged to reach for tough emotions in acting class.
She paid a price. And she did it willingly.
Because on the other side of that work was true freedom: the freedom to live out her purpose and her dream.
Not that it would be handed to her. It never is.
But the freedom to pursue with the skills and confidence that happens when you make the commitment.
I’m very proud of my girl. And you can bet I’ll be posting pictures on my blog, on my Facebook timeline, pretty much every bit of online real estate I’ve got!
So let me ask you…
1. What is the dream you’ve been telling yourself you can’t have? Hint: It’s the one you “fantasize” about, but when it’s time to do the work to make it happen, something always comes up that keeps you away from the work.
2. What will your life look like in a year if you hold yourself back from your greatness? What will it look like in five years? Ten years? Who’s watching you play smaller than you’re capable of? What are you teaching them?
3. What will your life look like in a year if you dig in, allow yourself to be uncomfortable, and go after your dream with passion and commitment? What convenient things will you have to give up? Which people in your life will have to make adjustments along with you? What will it look like in five years? Ten years? Who’s watching you stretch and grow into what the person you’re capable of? What are you teaching them?
Doing the hard thing is, well…hard.
But the price is worth it. It’s always worth it, no matter the results.
Because when you give it everything you got, you get the FREEDOM to live a life that feels good and right…even when it scares the crap out of you.
Congratulations, Sarah! The world awaits.
And congratulations to you…as you make the choice to pursue your own advanced program!
What have you been wiling to do, even though it was hard, or inconvenient? How did you make it less so? Was it “willpower” or did you want it so badly that it became the center of your universe?
Comment below and share. Someone needs your words of wisdom.