On May 6th, my friend, David Palmer, will graduate from the University of the Cumberlands. This is how his Facebook post read today, “Only took 6 years. Lol May 6th, finally!” David stayed with it regardless of the many challenges he faced over the years. Just like “The Tortoise and the Hare” it does not always matter how fast we finish, but that we have the perseverance to finish no matter how long it takes.
David’s announcement brought back memories of my own journey. I was never a good student academically. I was a “C” student at best. I always enjoyed school. A matter of fact I enjoyed the 6th grade so well I took it twice.
Even in college, I did not do well. Just like David, it took me six years to finish. My story was recently highlighted in my friend Daniel Matthews’ book “Spear Your Fear”. Matthews writes,
Take my friend, Tommy, in the 1990’s, he was asked to leave college because of his grades. He was given a second chance and after a 6-year struggle, he managed to graduate with a 2.3 GPA.
Most recently, he graduated with a Master’s Degree that was completed in just over one year and did so with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Today, he spoke at his former high school on “The Success of a 6th Grade Flunky.”
Tommy knows that if you want to become greater than you are, you not only must be able to recognize the successes within your failures, you must be able to exploit them (p. 117).
As Daniel Matthews stated, I did go on to get my Master’s in Life Coaching with a 4.0 GPA. Daniel also struggled academically when he was younger deciding to drop out of high school. Several years later he graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University summa cum laude. (To find out more about Daniel Matthew’s journey read the book “Spear Your Fear” available at www.continue2improve.com.)
I used to be somewhat embarrassed that it took me six years to graduate college until I discovered it took Soren Kierkegaard 10 years to get his undergraduate degree and today he is considered one of the top thinkers of the past 200 years. So, hey! I am in good company.
So, whether it is David Palmer, Daniel Matthews, Soren Kierkegaard, myself, or the countless others who have persevered in the face of trial and failure, ignored the naysayers who said it could not be done and realized that this life is not a sprint but a marathon I salute you. I salute us.
Never give up! Continue to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you (Philippians 3:12). It does not matter how long it takes it only matters that you complete the race.
Thank you, David Palmer, Daniel Matthews, Soren Kierkegaard, and the many others who have inspired me with your perseverance.
God is not done with you…so never settle, live with enthusiasm, and turn the world upside down…Here we go!
Matthews, D. Daniel. (2016). Spear Your Fear: Five Simple Steps to Retrain Your Brain for Success. Continue2improve. Lexington, KY.
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Tommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.
Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.
Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.
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