By Michael Newberry
My name is Michael Newberry. I am going to be a senior next semester at Texas A&M University. I grew up with Danny and consider him to be one of my best friends. We talk about once a week just to catch up and see how things are going, but from time to time our conversations get a bit more serious. After the last conversation we had, Danny thought it would be a good idea for me to share just a few things I like to keep in mind throughout my day that help keep me on track. This is my first blog so please bear with me.
Let me first start off by saying that I would not consider anything I am about to say advice. That would infer that I actually know what I am talking about and am some sort of expert on the topic. These are simply a few things I often think about that help get me through the day and keep me focused on the person I want to be. They work well for me; hopefully they will have some positive effect on you as well. Let me also point out that everything I am going to talk about is simply a mash up of all my favorite quotes and things I have heard over the years that my mind has held onto and made into one huge lifestyle. I wish I kept track of who said what and where all the information came from so I could give the proper people credit. Just know that I’m not coming up with this on my own.
I am currently 22 years old and about to graduate with a Petroleum Engineering degree from Texas A&M. As of now, my plan is to start my career with an oil and gas company and simply see what happens after that. Do I want to work as an engineer for the rest of my life? I have no idea, and I’m perfectly fine with that. This leads me to my first point. As we near our last couple years of college, I feel that it hits people pretty hard that it is time we start figuring out what we want to do with our lives. I believe it is perfectly fine to have no idea what you want to do or what you want to be. What really matters is truly knowing WHO you want to be. What I mean by that is you have to decide what kind of man/woman you want to be, and what kind of life you wish to lead.
Like I mentioned already, I am not sure if I am going to be an engineer my whole life. What I am sure of is that no matter what it is I’m doing, I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can. I am going to treat every person I meet with the upmost respect and sincerity. I am going to take something positive away from every experience in life and grow as a person because of it. I am going to do these things simply because it is WHO I choose to be. Once you have figured that part out I believe the rest will take care of itself.
The next point I wish to touch on is directly linked to this “WHO” you choose to be in the previous paragraph. My old roommate has a tattoo on his back that reads “Be true to yourself”, and for the longest time I wondered what that meant to me. You have now already taken care of the “yourself” part of this statement by choosing the type of person you want to be. Now comes the more difficult part, “Being True” to that person at all times throughout your life. Life is hard sometimes. Bad things will happen in your life that have no logical explanation. Friends will fail you. Loved ones will be lost. The person YOU CHOOSE to be will be tested again and again. I believe that “Being true to yourself” means that no matter what happens in your life you remain that person you wish to be. If you have decided to treat everyone you meet with upmost respect and sincerity, then you do it REGARDLESS if they return the favor. If someone hurts you or lets you down of course it is much easier to be mad and return the hostility. I mean IT IS the golden rule after all right? Treat others how you wish to be treated? But you can’t. You respect them none the less because YOU choose to. Because that is WHO you are. You don’t do it for them, you do it for you. If you decide that you are going to work hard in every aspect of your life, then that’s what you do. NO EXCUSES. Whether it be in school, at a job, or in the weight room, you give it your all. Because you have decided that WHO you are is a hard worker. If you are slacking off all the time then you aren’t being true to yourself. Now don’t get me wrong, nobody is perfect. We all have our off days and will fail at this from time to time. But it is important that we continuously strive to be better.
The next thing I would like to talk about is time. Time goes right along with working hard at everything you do. If you are in the gym and you aren’t giving it your all, then you are simply wasting your time. You need to go into the gym knowing that you are going to hurt. Knowing that you are going to be exhausted by the end of your workout. Knowing that you made the most of the time that you were given. Every successful person understands that time is a precious resource that you can never get back. Once the 24 hours is up, that day is done and is part of the past. We must make the most of it. This is the SINGLE life that we are given, are you going to waste it? One of my favorite quotes by Ralph Emerson describes this idea perfectly, “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” You can feel the urgency of his statement. He understood that his time was limited and was determined to make the most of it. I believe we take the time we have been given for granted far too often. Wake up each day and say aloud, “Today is a great day to be alive, there is so much potential for today.” I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s a friendly reminder to make the most of each day.
This blog is already getting a little lengthy and I’m worried Danny won’t allow me back, so I will leave you with only one more thought. While it is important to make the most of the time we are given, it is also equally important to not get too caught up in it. I consider this to be my biggest flaw. I am constantly worried about things that I need to get done and mistakes that I made in the past. I forget to enjoy the moment at hand, which is what really matters. There are a ton of quotes and sayings about living in the present but I have to stick with another one by Ralph Emerson. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” While it is important to make the most of each day, we can’t allow ourselves to constantly think about missed opportunities in the past and worry about things that lie ahead in the future. If you sit and actually pay attention for a moment, you will realize how often your mind is worried about something. Whether it is a test coming up for school, a project you need to finish up for work, or a simple errand you have to run, our minds are always semi-distracted from the present. If we could focus our mind completely on the task at hand, with no worry of what lies ahead and no thought of what’s in the past, it is crazy to think of what we could actually accomplish. I believe the key is to find a good balance between the two. Of course you have to think ahead and manage your time wisely so you can accomplish everything that needs to be done, but don’t forget to enjoy the current moment as well. I feel like we all get so caught up in this CYCLE we call life where our bodies are just constantly in motion doing the same thing over and over day after day. Wake up, eat breakfast, work, eat lunch, more work, eat dinner, bedtime, REPEAT. People get so caught up in SURVIVING life that they forget to LIVE IT. I read a quote somewhere that said, “I was dying to graduate high school so that I could go to college, I was dying to graduate college so I could get my first job, I was dying to finish my job so that I could retire, now I am just dying…..” We get so caught up in all the things we need to do to survive, and before you know it our lives are over. So take care of what needs to be done, but make sure you have some fun during the process.
These are just a few SIMPLE ideas I like to keep in mind throughout my life. I like to think of life in the simplest way possible. There will be more than enough complications throughout our lives that we will have to worry about so why sweat the small stuff? Simply decide what kind of person you want to be, be true to yourself, make the most of the time you have been given, and most importantly live in the present and enjoy each new day.