Monthly Challenge for March

Theme: Refining Strength

The idea of dealing with a potential deadly virus has altered the lives of many, in various forms. Some of us ponder on the possibilities of distress from the second and third order effects of our reactions, be it individual, community, and government. I challenge us to also think about living, contributing, and achieving at our fullest potential because this too, shall pass. We must not forget that tomorrow still belongs to us.

My challenge for this month is to nourish lofty goal, despite the uncertainties of health, school, employments, etc… Spend time developing what propels us to achieve, and continue to examine the impact of our story, as measured by personal output and results.

In the words of Frederick Douglas: “This struggle may be a physical one. The struggle may be a moral one. Or it may be both, physical and moral. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will. We may not get all we pay for in this world but we will certainly pay for all we get.”

Today, in addition to staying healthy and growing my family with grace, I’m pouring energy into becoming a great writer of non-fiction. I’m using some of this undisturbed time to work on my book. One of my goals is for Hand of Famine, Civil War and Resiliency to be a masterpiece. Furthermore, I’m using some of this time to market myself as an investment to young entrepreneurs within the ranks of my family and community. 

Why such lofty goals one may ask? Well, I want to give what was given to me. I want to be of greater value to others, even in a simple conversation while working a complex assignment.

What propels me to achieve one may ask? I would say because I crave to share my education, training, knowledge, mistakes, and achievements.

And what is the desired impact of my story, as measured by personal output and results? That’s easy too. I make every achievement bigger than me.

  • I grew up poor, according to the U.S. Health & Human Services Poverty Levels guide. Many nights I went to bed hungry. However, my environment was rich in ambition, discipline, work ethics, and dreams. Early on, confidence and stern belief that I would excel was my companion.
  • As a young Soldier, I trained hard, lived simply, and was appreciative of every opportunity presented. With promotions and pay increases, I gave more assistance to my family. With education, training, and world experience I transferred many of the lessons to build skills within the family.
  • Today, I give so others can advance much further than me.

Confucius once said; As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.  

Today, my vessel takes the form of an hour glass. It speaks to me as your vessel should speak to you. But what does it say?

Cautiously study the answer because in some fashion, you are similar to an airplane on the runway, preparing for a colorful journey. Be it short or extended, remember that preparedness, coated with excitement and humility, is a beautiful thing. Do it! Achievement belongs to you.

~ Joe Shakeenab