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“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.  Goals tend to tap the deeper resources and draw the best out of life.”

Boys really digest this and let it infect every part of your inner and outer being.  Frankly very few people consistently live with this mindset because they lack faith in themselves, who they feel they can be, or what they believe they can accomplish.  Not me because that’s not my way and it shouldn’t be your guys’ habit either because you are young and more gifted than you know but have every opportunity to find out.  This should apply to all of us but in your case Jason and Cole, you’re starting to find out your watches are ticking and can’t be rewound.

I wake up early and go to sleep late because I wait for my most important goals of the day to be fulfilled – that my family and I wake up and fall asleep safely together under the same roof.  As a husband and father, tell me what better way to measure the remainder of each day and night.  Don’t misinterpret that these are the only goals I have because I still continue the completion of well-established goals or creation of newer ones including this particular text.  Many I keep to myself without witness but trust me, they exist for my own assessment.

I see my goals as extensions of what I want out of me and, also for me.  I’m not necessarily inspired to change the world, just make a contribution each day to and for my world.  There is nothing more glorious I can ask of myself because striving to achieve the simple and grander ambitions I’ve set to their completion provides me with a growing hope for everything I am connected or will connect with.

I will share with you that I don’t fall asleep each night until I envision something I plan to do the next day and then what I need to accomplish towards it’s fruition.  Maybe that’s why I wake up so early now because I get genuinely excited about the day ahead and it’s filled with hope, not dread.  I still worry and get frustrated but I have faith in me and therefore I’m the master of what I hope for.  It’s not enough to just wake up and wish to get something out of nothing. I’ve been there, done that, with predictable results!  I hunger for more than getting through the day so I CHOOSE to do something and take action for myself, Deb, you guys, friends, acquaintances, strangers, and just about anything where being ME has some sort of impact or maybe makes a difference!  Fear of rejection, failure, or negative responses do not factor into my strategy because I’ve learned they rarely occur if my plan is properly calculated for success and I’ll just deal with them if they do happen.

How about you?  Do your goals still fall in the “abstract” category or are they more tangible to the point they are introduced into your overall planning?  I’ve told J if college baseball is his goal, he needs to do at least one thing each day to get closer to it happening whether it be contacting schools, maintaining existing dialogues, working out beyond his coaches’ requirements, studying more to maintain GPA, and anything significant beyond nothing!  Write it down whether in your phone notepad or a journal and track your progress but make sure there is movement at some point each day and not backwards or spinning in the same place.  Also planning to do nothing because of the uncertainty about what may or may not happen does not count because that guarantees you’ll get nothing of significance in return!  What an “f’d up” approach and running in fear of the unknown means jogging in place!

Our souls strive for living our lives to its extreme and it hungers for more when we reject or fail to do more!  Goals are the fuel that raise every part of the soul within us and is fed by every goal we create and it grows as we strive towards their completion.  I honestly think your youth would be better served in my hands because I have a better grasp and appreciation of how to use it but unfortunately, God has not answered my requests to change places and go back in time.  I guess He trusts you guys with your own youth so don’t fail Him by doing less than what He has laid out for you.

This is just an observation but I’m impressed that Christian at his young age already has a plan in place to achieve his current goals and we discuss it almost daily.  It’s as much about him recognizing what he needs to do and telling “me” what he needs me to do to help him get there.  Sure he’s young and we can rationalize that he hasn’t yet faced the obstacles that lay ahead.  That’s crap! He’s watched those around him and his plan is to avoid those pratfalls that others have created for themselves, and take action after seeing where inactivity has failed them.  “God, family, and baseball” are his priorities and I’ve pointed out that often they are all connected at the same time.  I only want to change places with him because I’m envious of what he already has put in place to do and his plans for what he sees for HIS future. He actually cares little (neither do I) about how his self-confidence is perceived – only that he can back it up.

Some things may be too late for me with the passing of years but I still feel I have plenty to strive for!  How about you?  Everything in life has meaning but how will you find it’s meaning for your life?  If you want to give me reasons why you choose not to do something that may accomplish your goals, I’ll give you two better reasons to do it.  You should and you can!  Even at my age, I keep pushing towards my goals because I should and I STILL CAN!  If I had quit a year ago when faced with the most serious challenges from my injury, God should have stopped wasting His time and belief in me and had me just check out then!

You’re young but for you older boys, once you’re out of high school you begin to start adding up the “what ifs”, “if I had just done’s”, and “what was I thinking’s”.  You’re in school and if you need to focus on your grades and homework – JUST DO IT!  An opportunity is within reach waiting for you to take advantage of it – JUST DO IT!  There’s an opportunity you can create but you’re worried about rejection or failure – JUST DO IT!  Have a dream but procrastinating about what you know needs to be done – I’m begging you to stop the BS right now and JUST DO IT!  If there’s a moment where you can improve your life or that of another – for God’s sake JUST DO IT!

Finally God has blessed us as parents to give you the gift of life and we’ve cherished each day thereafter.  We’ve witnessed the birth and growth of all your most important goals and dreams and supported them through times of feast and famine.  We are at the critical stage where are objective observations may contradict your subjective measurement of what you’re doing.  It’s our job to help keep your goals alive as long as you want them.  Moreover, it helps keep some of our dreams alive that we created when you were born.  As we have faith in you, please have faith in us and what we encourage you to do because we know more and share the same dreams.

In the end, you need to look at your goals, take stock of what you have to accomplish them (which is probably more than enough), and then go to sleep at night with a vision for the next day of not only what you need to, but want to do since after all, these goals and dreams belong to you.  Remember if you’re only going to think about it, you’ve only exercised your brain to recognize what you didn’t accomplish and you don’t want to be haunted by it when it’s really too late to do a damn thing about it anymore!  So JUST DO IT because it gives your life a purpose and in the end, you’ll find everything already belonged to you way back when the dream was first born.