For quite a number of years, I have been friends with someone I met over a forum. His name is Ahmad, or I knew him as Mast3r, and he was my teammate during my short stint in Halo 2. Over the years, I was able to get to know him a bit, but at the time I concerned myself about gaming. I was able to learn from him through old forums we used to post on, but every so often, he posts on my forum. What I do know is that he is extremely intelligent and always provided me with great advice through a few tough times.
Please disregard the spelling or grammar. I copied this verbatim from his post. When it comes to forum posts, he doesn’t focus too much on grammar and spelling since he speaks a number of languages. Despite that, he makes his point.
There is an old saying in Japanese “今日の予定は？” this is translated to “What is your plan today?” You had fallen into the trap that many others fall into my good friend. I always mention this to my students “Goals without a Plan is a Wish” i.e. A lot of people have set up their so called “new years resolution” their goals include things like losing X amount of weight/ gaining X amount of muscle/ making X amount of money, but these people which includes 95% of these people forget the fundamental aspect of setting a goal and that is setting a plan to achieve the desired goal. How do you plan to achieve a certain goal it is simple you first write it down in a daily planner. You should also keep a calendar on your door to keep on reminding yourself about what your agenda for the day is. Set reminders/ notifications on your smartphone. Again “Goals without a Plan is a Wish”
Now about you getting off track with regards to your schooling here is something I want you to keep in mind don’t I repeat don’t get down on yourself. Only weak people waste time regretting you do not have time to regret. However, what you do have time for is to be great. There is this man Eric Thomas who has become a good friend of mine… I met him at a toastmasters event in San Francisco. He mentioned something profound something along the lines of “Pain is temporary while quitting lasts forever” and it is true I am sure some nights you regretted fretting away your time and it was perhaps painful, but now you see the error of your ways and hopefully plan on rectifying those mistakes. Myself being a Muslim and believing in destiny/fate I am sure there is a greater opportunity waiting for you just around the corner. Another thing Eric mentions often is the fact that it took him 8 years to receive his bachelors degree, but he always mentions this “Your degree does not mention how long it took you to graduate” i.e. as long as you get your degree your fine. So listen Grant do yourself a favor and do the following things in order to graduate:
- Get rid of the losers and negative people in your life you know which friends of yours are losers and negative “people that have no compass in their lives” Keep them as acquaintances but be very persnickety/ particular with regards to who you consider and regard as your friends. Remember “you are the average of those you keep around you.” If you are around losers you will be regarded as a loser. If you are around negative people you yourself will become a negative person and be regarded as such.
- Get a daily planner and write what you are going to do everyday. Don’t write an essay just jot down 2 or 3 sentences that should be good enough.
- Work out– Staying healthy and being fit is not only good for the body but it is good for your mind. Your quality of life will increase dramatically.
- Stop smoking/ doing drugs/ drinking alcohol (At least minimize alcohol consumption if you can’t quit) Why do I say this anything that impairs your judgement and ability to be in control at anytime should be thrown to the side. You never know when an opportunity may arise so you want to be at a peak performance both mentally and physically to grab that opportunity.
- Dress not to impress however dress to express. Your clothing should express to the world that you have bearing in your life and that bearing is success. Change and update your wardrobe to be more professional. Stop wearing sweaters and sweatpants become a man and dress like a man that has purpose. Do wear well FITTED slacks, chinos, dress shirts, leather jackets, cardigans, wear ties. Remember all those should be well fitted nothing baggy you are not a rapper and baggy clothes only accomplish one thing and that is make people look 20 pounds over weight. Be well groomed smell really good at all times. Basically dress like a million bucks. People will take you more serious and you will build more confidence and it will greatly improve your belief in yourself. Remember if you don’t believe in yourself NO ONE WILL. Go to school with these clothes. I know it may sound ridiculous, but trust me everyone else on campus is busy looking like boys and girls. You should only be interested in looking/ dressing like a MAN. People will begin to respect you. your friends will make fun of you and tease you in the beginning but after a few months they too will respect you and take you more serious. Your family will be proud of you and they will say something along the lines of “hey my son/ brother ect… finally decided to grow up.”
- Fix your mind set. You should believe that you will graduate. You should already see yourself achieving your goals. Have vision/ foresight/ peripheral vision. Compete with yourself challenge yourself to be the best stop settling for good only settle for greatness. That should be your mindset.
- Meditate/Pray this is key. Doing this allows you to slow the hectic world around you. I know it sounds crazy but it really does great things for ones spirit. It allows you to release the stresses of the day and it allows one to regain perspective.
- Have an internal locus of control. What this means is no ones opinions of you matter. The only persons opinion that matters to you is yours. Remember “do not allow the opinions of others of you become your reality” take sometime to understand that. Basically you should not give to shits about what others think of you remember you are taking a course towards exceptionalism. You could wake up everyday and be average and no one will bother you, but the moment you try to be great/ exceptional that is when you will meet a great deal of road blocks. Squash those road blocks and become a transcendent exceptional person..
Finally just understand this “the end more than justifies the means” something I learned from Vegeta.=P Some people are going to think and say things like “Grant what the hell happened to you” simply tell them “I finally decided to grow up and be a man.” Some people will try to distract you from your goals well you know what to do my friend… squash any distractions. Do away with anyone that tries to prevent you from achieving your goals. Remember you don’t need them they need you.
That is powerful advice in my opinion; blunt, but powerful. Ahmad has given a lot of advice to many different people I know he still has his learning center where he advises children on the correct path, he counsels parents as well as married couples, I believe he still does financial advising, and he does religious advising. This is just a few things that he does during the day to keep himself busy.
Before he gave the advice you already read, he wrote another piece in the same thread. Without taking away from the focus above, I thought I should include this post as well to understand his thought process on school. This post is similar to the original advice I asked for about 6 years ago when I was going through a difficult moment regarding school.
Once again, please disregard the spelling or grammar.
I have a bachelors degree in Pharmacological Chemistry and a bachelors degree in Japanese from UC San Diego. I also completed my masters in business at San Diego State University… and I am currently working on my dissertation in business management. I recently left the pharmacy industry and joined the banking industry in particular their finance division. I would also like to mention that I agree with most of what leaky said in his post about being out of school. It is great especially the whole not having to prepare for exams and doing homework, but at the same time after going to school for such a long time some people become institutionalized to such an extent that they create this strange cadence of wanting that extra pressure of preparing for a test and turning in homework ect… I also found myself sleeping way too much after graduating and if there is one thing I hate doing it is sleeping it is the most unproductive thing a person can possibly do. Anyways enough enough of this useless banter… Here is some sage like advice for those that are uninitiated with regards to building a career or going to school in particular college(We will use this example for school since it is what is being talked about in this thread). A person enters school with having 3 things with them, but in order for them to achieve their ultimate goal which is getting a good grade/graduating they must give up/sacrifice 1 of these things. However if they want to achieve a greater goal (Graduate with honors or receive an A) than they must give up/ sacrifice 2 of these things.
The 3 things a person enters school with is as follows:
*Family (Spending time with family) Talk to your family but let them know when you have to study.
*Social Life (Spending time with friends) Don’t be hermit this implies excessive socializing.
*Sleep (Sleeping more than 5 hours) A human needs no more than 5 hours of sleep anything more is just for pleasure.
Sacrifice 0 of these and you will drop out I guarantee it…
Sacrifice 1 of these things and you will graduate with average grades…
Sacrifice 2 of these things and you will graduate with honors and get an advantage when applying for internships and getting the job you want.
Sacrifice 3 of these things and you will have a heart attack and die at a young age.
These 3 things also apply to ones career after graduation. If you want to move up real fast in the corporate ladder than apply the same principals. You have no idea how fast I had moved up in my former company GenProbe by applying these simple principals. It was really tough for people taking orders from a 24 year old kid.
Another thing you want to do is severe your interpersonal relationships with weak/needy people…
The weakness I speak of is that of the Mind/Body/Spirit only keep company of those that are strong in all these 3 traits. Now I am not saying completely disregard them you still need to be cordial with your dealings with every person(Be a gentlemen/gentlewoman show some class), but limit your interaction with them(Their weak needy qualities will rub off on you). Some say this sounds elitist, but I say this is reality, and those that say this are just insecure people themselves and they vent their insecurities by pointing fingers at others(Typical mentality of the weak minded.SMH) Basically you want to be in the company of Alpha Males and Alpha Females(Note is a difference between being Alpha and being a type A personality know the difference). If a person does not have these traits then the least you can do is keep company with those that are hard workers. Their impeccable work ethic will rub off on you. I have much more to say but I don’t want to over whelm you with such blunt speech.
I hope you learned something from Ahmad’s advice towards me (as well as other members). It’s funny, I could write a long blog with all the great things he has said. I won’t, but I can point you over to my forum where he posts once in awhile. He definitely knows how to help overcome difficulties as well as persevere. Hopefully this encourages you to do better at what you’re currently dealing with in life as much as it encourages me with school.