Q&A - March 17, 2017

Have you ever experienced the frustration of deliberately walking from one room to another to get something only to forget what you wanted to retrieve? No matter how long you stood there trying to remember, no matter how hard you strained your mind, you just couldn’t recall why you were there. If we can become so lost and confused just walking from one room to another, is it any wonder why we have so much trouble finding our direction and purpose in life?

This week, I would like to discuss how we can overcome unfortunate circumstances and surroundings to find success in life.

Q:Many in Okmulgee seem to be locked into a cycle of poverty and despair. How can they break out of this cycle?

All of us begin to form long-lasting opinions about ourselves and our abilities at a very young age. As children, we are impressionable and accepting of what others tell us about ourselves. For instance, when a child is repeatedly told he is lazy or stupid, he will more than likely grow up believing he is less ambitious or less intelligent than other people. Such invalid ideas can become ingrained in our thinking and affect us for a lifetime. A child whose talents are never recognized or encouraged will probably never discover or develop them. Similarly, a child who is repeatedly told he has no hope of accomplishing anything in life because he is impoverished, will probably grow up believing it.

Overcoming the erroneous programming of your early childhood might be the necessary starting point on your path to success. Poverty and despair can only limit you when you give into them. To find the true purpose that is within you, you may need to first sort through the fallacies of what you have been taught about yourself and reach for goals you never thought were obtainable.

Sometimes we mistakenly believe we will only find success by some strange quirk of fate. We believe we have to be in “the right place at the right time” for destiny to find us. But you and I are not ruled by random circumstances. While we cannot control the world, we can control ourselves and influence our destinies. If you have a goal in life and are willing to perform necessary actions and prioritize your efforts, you will be able to overcome any preconceived limitations in your life.

In a town where we have outstanding public schools, a career tech center, a tribal college, and a branch of the state university system, there is no shortage of educational opportunities from which to benefit. When we challenge our minds and put ourselves in unfamiliar situations, we make new discoveries. Sometimes we even find talents and abilities we did not know we possessed. But when we neglectfully wander through life, going room to room with a sense of forgotten purpose, we miss out on many opportunities.

I hope this philosophical discussion has been somewhat beneficial. I just can’t stand to see anyone bound by artificial roadblocks in life. Please continue to send your observations and questions to osuit-president@okstate.edu.