BY GAVIN WESTFALL, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s break and also a chance to recharge your batteries before another grueling but rewarding semester starts at our beloved Piedmont College.
I know it is expected to talk about the New Year’s goals , but I think for most of us it’s more of a New Year’s cliché than an actual time to form purposeful goals. My main objectives in this column are to help you remember that you have a fresh slate on which to write your continued life story and to provide an inspirational story proving what hard work and focus can bring.
Over the break I had time to mentally dig deep into what I want out of life and research new ways to motivate myself.
First, seeing is believing, and what do you want from life? When you wake up in the morning, what is on your mind? Do you want to run a marathon or earn a masters degree in your major? Or both? Know exactly what you want, then take action and research what steps are needed to achieve that goal.
Second, keep your eyes on the prize; with almost anything good and rewarding in life, it takes hard work and passion. Reaching your goals takes time and it rarely comes easy. There may be temporary failures. If you’re not failing, you aren’t taking chances or learning any new lessons. Taking chances stimulates your brain and may lead to new discoveries.
Third, permanent failure is not an option. Inventor Thomas Edison made over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at creating the light bulb until finally succeeding. See how persistence pays off?
Many people think their dreams are impossible because of finances or time. While nothing is guaranteed in life, if you don’t try, how will you ever know? Millions of people end up finding what they want while pursuing a completely different path. As the Rolling Stones lead singer said, “ You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might find what you need.” Regretting not taking a chance will haunt you much more than not reaching your goal.
A positive attitude is everything. If you go through life with a chip on your shoulder or a pessimistic attitude, you are hindering yourself and those around you from optimistic thinking.
Huntley Nash is a long time friend of mine and accomplished professional motorcycle road racer who has experienced winning in a very competitive sport. Nash knows all too well about hard work, success, failure and a positive attitude.
Since stepping up to the pros in 2009, he had many races with top-ten finishes. In 2010 he finished on the winning podium in nine of ten races. In the following two years he had many stabs at top-five and ten finishes but was plagued with a massive ankle injury requiring surgery and rehabilitation. When returning to racing in 2013, Nash switched to a new team and stepped up a class to Daytona Sport Bike in search of a fresh start. Unfortunately, he missed many races due to team finances and motorcycle problems in the Daytona Superbike season.
Nash responded in the off-season by winning two of three races at Daytona International Speedway and finishing second in the other. I caught up with Nash to ask him what steps he took to get back on the racetrack.
Nash said: “When I started racing I had two goals in mind, to win and have fun. If you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, why are you doing it? To stay motivated I dream big and slowly set increasingly bigger attainable goals as I check them off.
“There is no such thing as perfecting your skill or trade, there is always more to be learned that is why I am constantly searching for ways to gain more knowledge and technique and this can be applied to any profession or hobby. Just remember the clock is ticking so don’t do tomorrow what can be done today.”