Without A Support Network, We're Doomed

Photo via  Lotus Carroll

Photo via Lotus Carroll

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to address some of the best students at my old high school as the keynote speaker at the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony. It was a great honor and I spent a lot of time planning and thinking about what I was going to say. I came up with different ideas about what passion really means, or how to incorporate it into a life, or what great potential these students had. As the event drew near though, I felt compelled to speak on something a little different.

In the end, I decided to focus on 3 points: Challenges, Mistakes and Support.

It's a hard truth, but it is impossible to do it on our own.

There are countless challenges that will rise up against us and sometimes they are self-inflicted. We take on new opportunities, even when we are seemingly at our limits. Or there there is a time when things don't quite go our way, and we have to rework our plan. Or perhaps we'll realize we're not on the right career path and need to make a transition into something new.

And along the way, we're making mistakes, messing up. There's just no way to avoid them. When we're trying out new ideas, we're bound to stumble.

But there is a positive to all of this. Challenges allow us to grow and experience new ideas and ways of thinking. Mistakes are opportunities to learn from and develop new approaches. And if we've played our cards right, we've developed a robust support network throughout this process.

It can be family members, friends, colleagues, mentors, or even a neighbor. These people are going to be there to help and guide you through life's challenges that we inevitably face.

So even when we feel like we're up against a wall, or trying to build one, we have people beside us giving encouragement. They are there cheering us on or working with us. They may even be there to help us over that wall, or show us that we don't want to be heading in that direction in the first place.

Having a support network is what is going to allow us to continue on, because absolutely everyone is going to have that moment when they ask themselves “Can I really do this?” And hearing that immediate “Of course you can!” will make all the difference.

How has your support network been there for you in the rough spots?

- Ryan