I’ve made alot of excuses for alot of things in my life. Excuses for not saving more money, excuses for not fixing things, excuses for not following my passion sooner, and excuses for why I have made excuses.
One day, I came home from a date to find my parents sitting at a small table in our low income apartment with the lights off. As I approached the table and questioned their silence they handed me a letter from my college. Apparently, when you are on academic probation they like to send the announcement home first. Everything snowballed after that.
You see, my family was in financial repair so there were no solutions there. The letter said that I had to report to college by May 16th–the letter arrived May 15th. The letter also said that I had to have no less than a cumulative 3.0 GPA for the next two summer semesters and I had managed to pull off an astounding 1.96 so far.
And this is where I like to end this story because this is where people most frequently stop listening. They already know what comes next. This is the part where I pack my few belongings, march into hell with a water pistol, kick the devil in his front teeth and get the girl. But there is one part of the story–the part that I am about to tell you–that always shuts people down.
College, my degree, and my future were all dreams and passions that my family shared together. Until that day I had never disappointed my family like I did. My father was speechless, my mother was heartbroken and we were poor with little hope. It was perfect. It was the perfect set up for me to decide if I wanted my ignorance to become stupidity.
The day that you face adversity and choose to blame or rationalize away your ownership of the fiasco, is the day that you officially graduate from ignorance and enroll into the school of stupid. That night I laid on the floor and realized that I had been wrong…that my priorities were out of alignment and that I had become a terrible student. I realized that I was working harder but not smarter, and that I needed accountability and help. I knew that I would never accomplish this alone. I would need my family, teachers, administrators, God, my care pastor, friends, study groups–anyone could be a resource to help me win.
There is a difference between quitting and retreating. When you quit, you stop because you recognize what went wrong and what happened to you. When you retreat, you recognize what you could have done better, what you did not do, what you did too much of, and you begin to see how you can attack on another day. Don’t quit–just retreat. And by all means, don’t date stupid…