When I was 12 I started taking karate classes. I always wanted to. I spent so much time perfecting everything that I learned. I became relatively good. I distinctly remember going to a tournament in the Chalmette auditorium. The floor was slippery. When I was sparring I couldn't help myself bu to fall. Repeatedly. I lost the final match I was in because I couldn't keep my balance. I remember feeling like I looked ridiculous. I stopped going to the classes not long after that.
When I got to high school I became part of the marching band. I made some great friends. I learned so much about myself in those 4 years. I learned so much about music and leadership. during my 4 years I helped to teach people marching fundamentals and I helped teach people some basics of music as well. Near the end of my sophomore year I had a chance to audition for Drum Major. I wanted it. I chose not to try because I did not believe that I had a chance. When my friend who I regularly played video games with was selected I was happy for him, but I was very unhappy that I did not even try. It was a bitter moment for me for quite some time.
In college I became a charter member for our local chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi. I gave everything that I had to the fraternity. I spent most of my time doing fraternity related activities. I made some of my best friendships in the fraternity. When I left school due to a lack of funds and my losing a scholarship I realized that I would not be an active part of the fraternity and it devastated me.
Throughout my life many opportunities have presented themselves. I have let many pass me up.
Some things I was forced out of. Some things I stepped away from and gave up.
My biggest fear is giving in to that voice that tells me that I am not good enough.
Almost everyone has one.
That voice that tells you that you are not good enough.
The voice that knows exactly what to say to make you want to give up.
That inner weakness that wants to drive you to fail because it is EASIER to fail.
Staying at home is easy.
Staying in bed is easy.
Not caring is easy.
That voice is the reason I never swung at a ball.
It is the reason that I worried about how I looked.
It is the reason that I never auditioned for drum major.
It is the reason that I had a hard time not being active in my fraternity after I left school.
Nothing worthwhile will come without obstacles or hard work.
I for one REFUSE to listen to that voice anymore.
It never got me anywhere.
I daily tell it to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.
My weaknesses have NO Power over me.
I coach myself daily on how to improve. I spend energy making sure that I have enough confidence to get through the day without giving in to my inner weakness.
I will NOT give up. I will work outwork my competition until I am at the top and I will never stop working to be the best.
I will not give into my greatest fear... which when it is broken down to the most primal level is the fear of missing my potential because I did not work hard enough or because I quit.
You have the ability to ignore your fears as well.
Just do it.
I have been wanting to write this blog for a while. I knew that telling my facebook friends to expect something from me was a great way to make sure I did so.
Thank you for reading this whoever you are.
Even if you are future Joel looking back at this post for a reminder.
Remember that while hard work does not always equal success, failure is a choice.
Choose not to fail.
Choose not to give up.