Count to Ten

Whoa there, ok!  Let’s just take a step back and count to ten.

There will be changes in life that sometimes are difficult to address.  Perhaps the natural human reaction is to hunker down and wait until the storm passes.  Why do we do this?  Is it the fear of failure, or the fear of finding a part of ourselves that we never expected to have?

I’ve just started college and as horrifying as the thought of paying back student loans and keeping scholarships is, there are other goals that I have in mind.  The first and foremost of these is standing up for myself.

Carla Harris, a Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, once gave an alum speech at my university.  One metaphor that stuck with me was this:

“When the storm comes, most people are going to tell you to hunker down, hold onto what you have, and just wait until it passes.  But!  This is the time for you to stand tall!  Because when everyone else in crouching low, you can stand up straight and tall with a clear, plane of vision.” 

In light of the new college environment and awkward independence I have found it difficult to take some time to slow things down and just breathe.

One of the oldest tricks in the book to calm stress or overwhelming situations is the “Count to Ten” rule.  I remember when I was younger how frustrated I used to get whenever my mom told me to count to ten.  What was ten seconds going to do for my problem?  Thinking back on it now, maybe I had it all wrong.

So, this is what I’m going to do today: Count to Ten

ONE:  The rest of my life is ready to be made and for perhaps the very first time I have a say in which direction it’s going to go.

TWO: In life there will be losses and gains.  One must know loss in order to be thankful for what is given and achieved.  I have lost a best friend whom I thought would be there for life.  I guess I was wrong.  Am I always the problem?  NO.  You have a right to speak your perspectives while being open to others.  A friendship must have compromise, respect, understanding, and most importantly forgiveness.  

THREE: The past may make the present but the present will determine the future.  Staying in touch with reality and what is happening in the present will help alleviate some of the overwhelming decisions that may be too far in the future to even accomplish yet.  Take it slow.

FOUR: Focus on improving yourself so that when the time comes you can help others.  Comparing your assets to another’s is illogical due to the fact that we are all different and thus have different talents, dreams, and methods of achieving happiness.

FIVE: Speaking of happiness, you are the one who defines happiness for yourself.  It’s a complicated and complex feeling and often involves great sacrifice and hardship to achieve.  Respect for those who have found their niche is important.

SIXDo what you love.  Although you may not be the best, you will have stayed true to your integrity and given back to the area of interest that first gave you that magical urge to express yourself.

SEVEN: Acknowledge that your opinions come from your experiences.  Something that is quite natural may not be natural for someone else.  Respect differences.  It’s okay to sit back and listen once in a while.  Give others a chance to speak, who knows what doors will open for you.

EIGHT: Be open to change and ready to face new challenges.  Development of character isn’t just something that is done in a book or a movie.  Change is real and applies to each and every one of us.  It’s ok to be the hero of your story, because…well, it’s your life!

NINE: Disclaimer, the ordinary is often the most extraordinary.  Be the hero in your life, not the ruler of someone else’s.

TEN:  Go ahead and make plans, but leave some room for life to happen.  There’s no telling where it’s going to go so hold on tight and don’t close your eyes.  Today is the day to dream.  Today is the day to do.  Today is the day that is completely, wholly, and eternally you.

And exhale.  I hope this is useful for you guys!  Have a great day!  🙂


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