Successful Careers Are Built By Starting Small

Successful Careers Are Built By Starting Small

Accept the little successes and prepare yourself for the big ones

Most people do not recognize themselves as successful unless they are at the highest level of their career or profession. Manywant to start at the top but do not want to do the work to get there. They do not believe it is necessary.  Some believe there is a quick path to success and that taking short cuts is O.K.  They are certain that is how others landed their on top.  That is seldom or never the case.  To believe this is wrong.  There may be some people who get to the top without doing the necessary work, but those who do often find themselves unprepared, overwhelmed, and lacking the skills for the tasks ahead where they find themselves.  When the work is not done, what was thought to be a dream can become a nightmare.  You must start small with humility and do the work (whatever it is) to the best of your ability.

True success does not come overnight.  It comes overtime.

HenryO from PlanO

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Common Sense Marriage and College

Should You Get Married before or after graduation?  This is a question some young people may face.  For some it seems logical and makes better sense to complete college before marriage.  But love and things associated with it are not logical.  And for most of us love and logic when it comes to getting married before graduation often may not happen. Whatever you decide, the couple should make sure they are honest with each other about what both want.  They should decide whether they are willing to make sacrifices to reach future goals.  To sacrifice is a given for both the husband and wife.  Both will make them.  Often one partner sacrifices more than the other.  Things are seldom ever even.  Although the scales may be tilted more to one side than the other it should never be so big it destroys the relationship.  You should be able to work things out and resolve them in love.  Sacrifices can be managed.  Often it’s unplanned.  My wife and I were married after we completed three years of college.  I left Arlington State College and became a full-time active duty Army Musician.  My wife stayed at Texas Woman’s University with plans to stay three more semesters, then graduate and join me at whatever Army Post I would be stationed.  The best laid plans etc…  She changed her mind and after one semester came to joined me at Fort Polk, Louisiana.  Even though we were not in college for the next three years our plans for completion never went away.  They simply changed.  We decided after my tour of active duty was completed, college for both of us would be our primary goal.  We only needed about a year and half each to receive our Bachelor degrees.  Once we got back in college we had our baby daughter.  She was only six months old, but we went right on with our plans.  And when I graduated she was two years old.  But everyone on my campus thought she was older.  She could hold an intelligent conversation with anyone and ask questions that made them doubt her age.  One of my favorite professors, Dr. Pryor while congratulating me on graduating told me that he was really going to miss my baby, Angela.  He said he enjoyed seeing her academic growth.  She paid attention in his class, sitting at a desk next to mine.  And even though she couldn’t read or write, she used her pencil and made marks on her paper just like she was taking notes.  Dr. Pryor got a kick out of seeing her note taking and would say to her: “Angela, make sure you share your notes with your daddy.  He has a very important test coming up!”  And then he would laugh.  I had Dr. Pryor for three different classes, one for each of my last three semesters.  My wife completed three semesters and graduated.  I finished four semesters and graduated after her.  I completed all of my requirements in December and participated in the next scheduled graduation in May and received my degree.

The decision to go back to school to complete our degrees was a good one, but many people, including relatives told us that only one of us should go back to school while the other worked a full time job.  They told us it would be too difficult for both of us to attend college at the same time.  They said we should think about the effects on our baby, with both of us in college.  They thought our baby would not get the attention she needed for sound growth and development.  We ignored the naysayer.   We made our plans and were determined to follow through with them.  My wife commuted to Denton and Texas Woman’s University (TWU).  And I kept our daughter with me at my school, Dallas Baptist College (DBC).  After my classes we got home where I took care of the household chores, prepared an evening meal so when my wife got home she could spend time with our baby, have dinner and kiss me before I went off to work.  I had a lot of night time jobs including playing with a Jazz Band.  I was blessed to be able to take care of our bills, provide food for the family, attend college full time and enjoy my wonderful family.  I am sure sacrifices were made but it did not seem like it to me.  It was a time with lots of challenges and I embraced them.  It was hard but it also was a lot of fun.   There was uncertainty but I felt sure of myself, my family and my marriage.  We knew what we had to do and did it.  We both graduated from college with Bachelor Degrees and we both went on to graduate school and each receiving a Master of Public Administration Degree. Your Common Sense Marriage can protect you from doubters if you both stick to the plan and pursue it with all you have.  Our friend Ronald E. Jones married his wife Peggy after she graduated from TWU.  He had not graduated, but soon decided he would.  After the birth of their first son he graduated from DBC and later from graduate school with an MBA from Amber University.  Peggy continued her education by receiving a Masters and both received Doctorate degrees.  This is a success story, but I know several cases where wives sacrificed their education and sometimes a professional career so the husband could become a medical doctor or an attorney, only to be divorced after he achieved his educational goal.  My wife was a social worker at a teaching hospital in Dallas.  She saw cases where young nurses and social workers were dumped as soon as the spouse earned their Medical Doctor (MD) Degree.  This was not always the case but we saw it happen too many times.  The hurt of those we knew was extreme and it was painful as well as difficult to bare or overcome.  Many ex-spouses never healed and remain bitter to this day.  Thank God our wives stayed with us after graduating before we did.  What a blessing.  We could not have made it without them, and I am sure they know it.

I noticed that our children watched us in our pursuit of a higher education and saw the work we put into reaching our academic goals.  When they graduated high school they all went to college.  I believe because of us they knew early on they would attend and graduate from college.  Our three children are all college graduates.  One is an Attorney.  Ronald and Peggy have two sons.  Both are college graduates and one is also an Attorney.  Common Sense Marriage and College not only challenged us as parents, it also challenged our children.  Should You Get Married After or During College? It’s up to you.  When the marriage is a Common Sense Marriage it does not matter when it takes place.  It only matters that you work to make it successful and long term.

How to stay married while attending college:

  • When both spouses are enrolled in college it is easier to understand the riggers and hardships of study and school obligations you both face.  When both are in school, conversations don’t become one-sided or boring.  You encourage each other toward the goal of graduation.  It is a natural part of the marriage.  That can strengthen the marriage and make the educational goal clearer.
  • If you are a member of a fraternity or sorority don’t go to parties alone as though you are single.  Make sure your spouse is with you and that everyone knows you are married to that person.  Do not participate in juvenile frat activities.  Take time to participate in community service projects.
  • Develop a study routine and schedule where you do most of your studying on campus, so when you get home you are focused on your family.  To keep your marriage strong and alive you must allow for family time, especially if you have a child.  Your child needs your attention.  Do not give up parent time for your school.  Your child is more important.  Your spouse is more important.  Your marriage is more important.
  • Develop friendships with other married couples that have similar goals and objectives.  Your chance for success increases when you are involved with others who are also striving for a college degree.  “Birds of a Feather flock together.”
  • If your spouse has to take or does take the same course you are taking, save the books and your notes.  That’s how you save money, and your notes provide valuable and needed information.
  • If you can on occasion take your child to your school, do it as often as possible.  Talk to your baby about college, the little things you share about college stays with them.  And one day they will also decide to attend college.  Because they want to be just like daddy and mommy.  From their early experiences they will know they are expected to go to college and often they will follow your example.
  • Take your family to college functions like, football and basketball games, homecoming activities, public lectures, concerts, art shows, etc…  Introduce your classmates, teachers and staff to your family.  They good for them to meet each other.
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