Friday, September 18, 2015

The Blank Notecard

In this day and age, everyone wants to know what you want to do with your life. They expect a list of schools you wish to attend, the specific major you want to pursue, and the exact corporation you wish to work for. Often times, we are so pigeon holed into what majors we want that we forget the real question: What do you want from life?
            The State Officer team had the opportunity this past week to travel from District 10 way down south around Evansville, through District 7 in the Terre Haute area, into Lafayette’s very own District 4, and on to the Region’s District 1. It was on this journey through Indiana that I began to think about the question: What do I want from life?  
            Annalee, Josh, and I started our drive on an essentially empty Interstate 69 south of Bloomington. I’ll admit that I was nervous as the modern high school campus emerged from the cornfields of Gibson County for our first visit that day. We traveled on to Tecumseh (pronounced properly in the southern part of our state, “Techumsee”) and then on to Posey County for a visit at Mt. Vernon.
            We ventured north through the hills and hollers of District 7 and watched the land flatten to the prairie of northwestern Indiana as we visited the chapters of District 4. All of these scenes provided me with a beautiful backdrop to ponder that question regarding my future. This thought progressed as we traversed to the great plains of Newton County, where I fell in love with the students at both North and South Newton.
It was at North Newton that I really found a way to explain what I wanted from life. Our normal activity was slightly off track due to the students not having pencils on hand when we had left the classroom for the library. Thinking on my feet, I had the students raise their blank notecards in front of their eyes. I asked them to picture on the notecard what they wanted to improve in their community. I wanted them to see their “ideal” community on that blank card.
            This improvisation pushed my brain into gear and I began to think about that familiar question: What do I want from life? It was in that moment in the middle of nowhere Newton County that I looked at a blank notecard and saw my future, my “ideal” life. You see, friends, I was looking at this problem of what I wanted to do in life in the wrong way. I was looking for a beginning to the rest of my life when I really didn’t even know what I wanted the end to look like. Maybe you are in the same pinch too. Perhaps you are looking for a beginning when you don’t even know what you want in the end.
            I challenge each and every one of you to pick up a blank notecard right now. Look at that 3” x 5” rectangle full of possibility and picture your “ideal” life. Envision the legacy you want to leave. On that notecard, paint the life you want to look back on some day and say, “I’m proud of the things I did.” What do you see on your notecard? What does that future look like? Do you see it? Awesome! Now, go and seize it.

Keep Smiling, 

Brett Roberts 
2015-2016 Indiana FFA State Northern Region Vice-President

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