Did you know that we’re all storytellers? I don’t mean science-fiction or fairy tales. I’m talking about our stories, the ones we tell ourselves every day about what we can and can’t do, what we like and don’t like, how we feel, and what we are. Our stories are powerful—they literally determine the journey we take to achieve (or miss) our goals.
How can we make our stories work for us, to get the most out of this journey?
When we set a goal for ourselves, we start out with a lot of motivation and hope. We want to succeed, and we believe that we can. Then, along the way, we get discouraged, sidetracked, and, the next thing you know, we’ve wound up far from our goal with little hope or motivation left to continue.
Why does this happen?
First, we stop paying attention to the journey. Along the way we notice when we’ve made the first mistake, taken the first “cheat” day, skipped the first gym session, etc. After a while, we feel guilty about it, like we’ve let ourselves down, and our story begins to turn against us. When our stories take a turn for the worse, we don’t want to “read” them, and we stop paying attention. That inner discouragement can lead to giving up entirely. After all, how many of us are still pursuing new year’s resolutions by mid-March?
Also, when we challenge ourselves, especially with a new habit, a part of us may feel like we aren’t cut out for this change. I can’t count the number of times I’ve told myself, and other people, “I’m just not athletic,” and used that as a reason why I couldn’t get into sports or exercise consistently. I felt daunted by trying to change and too self-conscious to ask for help.
What can we do to change our story?
Telling yourself that you can’t do it will continue to get you nowhere. Instead of looking at the mountain, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Just embark. It’s not about getting there right now. It’s about proving to yourself that you can do it–that you can create a journey of your very own by making one, single step.
By embarking on this journey, you build trust and confidence in yourself. Yes, you CAN go out for a jog. Yes, you CAN skip the morning coffee. Yes, YOU can. Be your own number one advocate, instead of a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. Even big goals are not really “big” goals. They’re often just a series of small goals. Divide them further, and you get your first step. Want to run a marathon? You have to build endurance, day by day.
Don’t do it alone.
When I finally decided to start jogging a few times a week, I shared that goal with a friend of mine. Then, I would text her after each session and she encouraged me, helping me feel that I succeeded on my journey for the day. That boost makes a huge difference – it feels like earning one poker chip with each step. After a while, you feel more confident with the more chips you earn, recognizing that losing a chip here and there doesn’t hurt as long as you keep trying.
Start shaping your journey. You CAN go anywhere and you’ll discover something about yourself. You may find it can be quite rewarding and fun…if you let it be. You choose.
During midterms, you become extremely intentional in how you spend your time. Or, at least you should. Even though we all know that, like clockwork, the majority of college students cram in all corners of the library studying the night before the big test. The lure of spring break pushes us to just get it done, whatever the cost. Then, as soon as the pressure is released, we relax and put a full stop on that frenzied momentum.
You’ve worked hard. You deserve a break. Spring break is a good time to reset, recharge, and be ready to tackle the remainder of the semester.
What can you do to make the second half even better than the first?
UGANDA – On March 5th, 2016 we held a CARP conference at the Peace Embassy Uganda under the theme “Understanding Leadership Towards Environmental Changes in Building World Peace”
We had representatives from the University council (Kampala university =3, Makerere university = 3, Institute of fisheries = 2, Community= 10 , Total = 18)
Our aim was to create a foundation for launching CARP chapters in those universities.
We played the documentary on the ” Sunhak peace prize winner awards”. Then Prof. A.B.T. Byaruhanga Akiiki the Deputy vice chancellor of Kampala university ( CARP Patron) gave the keynote address based on the International president’s recent ILC address, followed by an environmental presentation (Dangers of green house gas emission) by the education director of Uganda, Mr. Gwaku David.
The students were inspired by the documentary, keynote address and the presentation on climate changes in Uganda.
After these presentations, the CARP President Mr. Mukasa Paul led a group discussion for the way forward.
The participants asked to hold subsequent seminars in their universities where they will mobilize students including those who are not in leadership positions. They plan to host them in about two weeks time.
There was also some entertainment by Anrew wasswa who sang “Arirang”, leaving everyone captivated.
Three projects came up from the discussion: micro-gardening, Verma culture and fish farming. Some of these projects are to be started in two weeks time.
All the participants were happy and it was overall a successful conference.
On February 27, 2016, World CARP (WCARP) University of the Philippines Los Banos Chapter organized an outreach program for 40 children living in less developed areas in Timugan, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines. The theme was “Kalinga, Kalinisan, Kapayapaan” (“Care, Cleanliness, Peace”).
There was a story-telling session on Joseph the Dreamer and God’s faithfulness in His promises to us, His children. There were also many interactive games and fun activities educating the children about cleanliness in the community and personal hygiene, which is an important and pressing topic for the community.
CARP members there are now trying to establish and expand WCARP onto the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Banos, the country’s premiere state university, in the hope of reaching out to more students who want to grow spiritually and live for the greater good.
There’s more to college than just getting an education. You have a chance to learn from some of the most experienced individuals in your field: your professors.
Yet often enough, students don’t go further to connect with them outside of the classroom. Students may not feel the need to connect or that it’s even an option really available to them.
You’re more than just a student.
You’re still a brother or sister, a daughter or son, a friend, a coworker, and so much more. The different roles you hold are not segregated from the holistic, dynamic person that you are. When a crisis comes up in one area of our lives, the impact has a ripple effect (or waves of impact) in other areas.