16. Speed — Don’t Get Stuck

Move fast. You have to act quickly.

Last week, I wrote a post about how paralyzing it can be when you don’t feel you have the right relationships in place. It’s not as much about speed , but at the same time, being a position where you’re “stuck” and struggling the find the motivation or will to reach out to new people or take advantage of opportunities that come your way can hinder your momentum in a big way.

Whatever state we find ourselves in at any given time, it is imperative to maintain certain velocity as we push towards our goals. I mean, do you want to make sure that you slow down just enough to weigh your options and make the right “right decision?” Of course! It’s critical, however, that you keep your foot on top of the gas pedal and get ready to jam it right back to the floor and GO!

Quick decisions can result in mistakes, sure. That’s okay. Like I just said, you slow down just enough to assess the situation and make sure that you have things tight and right, so that when something unexpected happens, you’ve at least done your due diligence and can more easily recover. If you just throw caution to the wind and go “all in” on a major decision without having done any research, what do you expect will happen??

The reason I’m 31 years old and just now at the half-way point through my Associate’s degree is because I threw caution to the wind at 19 and 24 years old. That was how old I was the two times I told myself and everybody, “I’m going to college.” At 19, I started what was supposed to be my Associates degree in Computer Information Systems. The small technical college I attended was finishing the last bit of construction on the new Computer Systems building when I arrived on my first day of classes. Due to the construction, my first semester was spent in the old building and taking more advanced classes in which that building was equipped for. We learned how to strip computers down to the nuts and bolts and put them all back together, among other things. I passed all of my classes and begin my second semester, in the new building, and was enrolled in an English and Math course. 🤢

I quickly fell asleep and when I woke up, the second (and final) semester at that school was over and I was put on academic probation for failing my classes. The next time I stepped foot on that campus was when I took a job as a call center representative for an erectile-dysfunction medicine support group (I wish that was made up) and the company leased a portable building behind the school.

At 24, I did do a little more planning, but still not enough. I’m the guy who HATES talking in front of people or drawing attention to myself in general, and it was my brilliant idea to get enrolled at Georgia Perimeter College as an online student and I planned enough to take only one course, Public Speaking. Not much to that story, except that I passed the class somehow and, again, didn’t go back. Luckily, when I applied this past year to begin attending in January, that credit transferred to Chattahoochee Tech. I planned hard for this third attempt at college and I’m officially halfway through. WHEW!

All of that to say, I almost failed a class this past semester, and eventually had to just say to myself, I’m going to keep pressing the gas, eyes forward, and if a mistake is made, I will most definitely bounce back and make up for it.

If you’re struggling with making mistakes, you need to know that we all make mistakes. That sounds like a stupid thing to say, for sure. Duh, we all know everyone makes mistakes. There are people out there who are so good at hiding them… I used to despise those people (for the wrong reason, thinking they were narcissistic or something)… I kind of envy them. Think about it: no matter what their situation is, they go for things and if the ball gets dropped, they make sure that they recover and move on. Wipe off the dirt and get back at it. That’s tenacity and that’s admirable.

Don’t let your mistakes slow you down. Keep the speed up. Keep fighting.

“Life teaches you that you need to make decisions in the right time – not too early, not too late.” ~ Jeb Bush

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