Don’t Try . . . DO…

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By Jack Walker | June 1, 2013

There seems to be a very intensive, very negative and depressing stigma attached to what we perceive to be a failure in our lives. For those of you that have been following my monthly motivation column over the past year and a half you know very well now that my inspiration is solely derived from events that happen to me in my own life. And of course the momentum you will find if you continue reading is has no different of a source. Over the past year now it seems I’ve been struggling to find a purpose in my life, setting goals and expectations for myself and then when not meeting them -by my deadline- getting very frustrated and coming down very hard on myself. This, I would imagine, is a similar standard for anyone that takes themselves seriously and is driven to settle for nothing than their best. For me, I tend to set my standards very high and out of reach almost, so that If I don’t quite meet them I’ve still accomplished quite more than the average Joe would be happy with. {{more}} Contrary to the onlooker, I genuinely contend that there is absolutely no level of arrogance with that but just my personal disposition. Especially being raised by two parents who pushed me to be better and not give in ever, regardless of the height of the task at hand. I will never forget the words of my father when I didn’t achieve what I was expected to and I would refute to him in disappointment… “Well Dad, I tried my best I’m sorry…” His reply? “Jack that’s not good enough; don’t try your best, DO your best…” Although for quite some time I had difficulty understanding just exactly what that meant; those words have echoed in my mind when it comes to anything that I foresee as a challenge or obstacle in my life, and I have applied it to everything. Perfectionism and constant anxiety and worry may not be healthy, but if it fuels a positive result it can’t be that bad either. So back to the theme I initiated earlier for this exchange: Finding my purpose and the discontentment I’ve felt doing so for the past so long now… I came to Abilene struggling with personal problems, a washed-up hustler of sorts from the metroplex that wasn’t using my gifts for the better, or at all. Before long I landed a job at the local news station and as an aspiring on-air talent this was wonderful, but after a short period of watching others live my dream and me having to do the behind the scenes work, I grew impatient and frustrated enough to leave for the local paper and sure enough the position I wanted became available and filled and I felt I left a little too soon. This was not easy to stomach, especially given the circumstances that I discharged myself from that lexicon under, . Soon I was chasing small school sporting events, mainly high school football games and writing up the post story for mass publish, which was good and satisfied my “need” to feel relevant and recognized. The Achilles heel, however, is that in a small town, small market an entry level assignment reporter, broadcast or print media, does not make the most stable living financially speaking. So I was roofing houses and doing grunt work labor during the day to get by for sometimes 50 hours a week and then going and doing the news thing at night which usually exhausted and mentally drained. I would often look up into the sky when one of the older workers was screaming at me on the roof to get more shingles and say, “God, I’m sorry for spitting in your face when I did what I did with what you gave me but is this what you have for me to do the rest of my life?” Confident I was pretty good at what I did in the media world I assumed I may have blown my opportunity or am a little too late… I was still only getting a few gigs a week from the paper and the tapes I was sending out to all these news stations were not even rendering an email or call back. The saga goes on and on, but I’m still here… still chasing small school sporting events, and DOING the best I can with what God has put in front of me to do… The older workers don’t yell at me anymore because I manage to stay ahead of them and they have their shingles when they need them and I can look up into the sky and thank God for giving me something that supplements my financial situation, making it possible for me to write an article for the newspaper every now and then and send my tape out to the new stations in hopes of getting my chance one day. I’ve was even blessed recently to get a much better day job that doesn’t require me to be on a roof this summer. Additionally it provides me an outlet to use my gift- for the good. So as I wait, no; as I continue to drive for the ultimate objective in my life, slowly but surely, things are getting better and I may be closer to finding my purpose. And if it doesn’t work out the way I want it to in the end, at least I DID my best.