Normally this quote would end, "Good things come to those who but wait." But today's quote is a new twist: "Good things come to those who go get them."
I never did understand the waiting ending of this quote anyway, but the go get 'em part, yes. That resonates and defines me so much better.
In life, I have been "all in" at every stage. I have never been able to wait and hope for good things to come; I would much rather go hard and fast after them.
I went to college on the GI Bill thanks to my WWII Marine father, my hero. His sacrifice by going in on Day 1 of Iwo Jima and his subsequent paralysis by being shot in the spine by a Japanese sniper gave me the opportunity to get a college education. It is funny that a tragic life sacrifice can lead to hope for me.
While I did not attend what most would consider a high performing high school I received a solid education. As a first-generation college student, I completed all of the forms myself and with my father's advice decided to attend The Ohio State University. The defining decision for its selection? We knew how to get to Columbus on the interstate. Ohio State was three times the size of my small southeastern Ohio hometown of Marietta and I had never set foot on campus until orientation. I had never seen a "city"so big but I immediately loved it! And with the GI Bill I had 12 quarters, no more, to graduate.
I jumped into my studies with a headfirst dive and never came up for a breath for four years. I studied, and studied, every day, every night, including Friday and Saturday night. Poor even by southern Ohio Appalachian standards, I never had enough money anyway to go out to restaurants and bars on High Street and so my life revolved around being "all in" in being the best student at Ohio State.
I graduated first in the College of Education with a perfect 4.0, had 10 consecutive quarters of 4.0, and spent my time pursuing perfection. By "going and getting" my opportunity I opened doors with other scholarships and with numerous academic honors I never thought possible.
As life has gone on, I have discovered that this pursuit for excellence, for good things achieved with hard work, was not an anomaly, Whether it was as a young Mom, as an English teacher, or now as a high school principal of Dublin Jerome High School, I have actively pursued and sought life with great enthusiasm, professionally and personally.
I have never believed that I should sit back and wait for whether life's good things could or would come to me. Perhaps it was growing up poor and realizing that life had no promises, no guarantees, no entitlement. If I wanted something I would have to work hard for it, and my Dad, my hero was my impetus. For a Marine, nothing is ever good enough. And life, he knew, would be hard. I am who I am for I am the daughter of a US Marine, the few and the proud. In the end, his toughness would become a blessing in my life, for life brings hardships and toughness is essential.
Sit and watch life go by? Not for me. Carpe diem. Seize the day. You bet. Yes, good things come to those who go get them, and I am always ready for the next challenge. I am in it to win it. For I know no other way. And for me, I hope that my drive for servant leadership as a high school principal, for the pursuit of excellence, has resulted in bettering the lives of our students, parents, and staff. I pursue the good things for them and know this pursuit has been my calling as a high school principal.
Perhaps author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon says it best: