There are only so many places you can see all the different type of tears: tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of uncontrollable laughter, tears of excitement, and tears of relief.
If there is one place that is guaranteed to shed this variety of tears, it is the Kansas FFA State convention. There is a special spot in my heart for this celebration that brings together roughly 1,300 students from across the state. It was the first time I truly understood the magnitude of the benefits FFA has to offer.
This year was my first year at the convention in a new role. Instead of being a member wearing the jacket, competing, or facilitating workshops, this year I was a behind the scenes gal. Not to brag, but someone must really like me because I got what I would consider one of the best jobs available for convention volunteers. My job was to be the assistant to the nominating committee that selects the new year’s six state officers, as well as be in charge of taking care of the 14 candidates throughout the week. Basically, I would consider my role as the “mom” to the state officer candidates!
I had a blast getting to know those 14 phenomenal individuals. From playing games in the holding room, to one-on-one conversations that really let me see what a great person each individual is.
Congratulations to each of you, the candidates, on your leadership and drive to serve others. Whether you were successful in gaining the title of state office or not, you make the choice in how big of an impact you will make in the future. Yes, if you have the title of a state officer you are handed a circle of influence (the KS FFA members), and without the title you must create your own circle of who it is you will target to serve and help grow this next year.
My definition of success is not based on the title stitched on your jacket, but rather in your genuine heart to serve and take action on the needs of those around you. Making a positive difference, even if in the life of just one other individual…that is what I consider true success.
Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:
“Every calling is great when greatly pursued.” –Oliver Holmes Jr.
“Caring about others, running the risk of feeling and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness.” –Joe Menchin
“To succeed we must first believe we can.” –Michael Korda
“I feel the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.” –Jonas Salk
In life, our plans are guaranteed to not always go as we originally thought. At first, we may be upset, frustrated, and sad, thinking there is nothing else great planned for our future. We have all been there at some point in our life. We are put in these situations to truly test how motivated and committed we are. In these moments of our lives we can take two approaches:
1) Give up and accept a “go with the flow” lifestyle
2) OR, we can choose to pave our own route
The exciting part of option #2 is…you get to take that much more ownership in whatever it is you choose to pursue. Work hard and I promise that the rewards in the end will be worth it.
We are all faced with challenges, and it is then that our character and perseverance has the best ability to grow.