Almost five and a half years ago, I experienced the biggest moment of my life up to that point. I stood on a stage in front of 6,000 FFA members, parents, and guests and poured my heart out through my retiring address. Most people don't realize that I spent the morning crying, vomiting, and hyperventilating. Yep, it was a pretty big deal. When I look back on the day, it was such a small moment in time, though I didn't realize it then. And why was it such a big deal? Because I was making a public statement of my beliefs and ideals. I was going to be held accountable for my thoughts. And, more importantly, I hoped that my words would make a small difference in this world.
The premise of my speech was pretty basic. Using the acronym DIVE, I encouraged the audience to live four pillars in their everyday lives: Have Confidence, Take Risks, Live in the Moment, and Be Passionate. Those four principles had carried me through the most life-changing year I had experienced while serving as the Ohio FFA President and stretching myself to step out of my comfort zone more than I could imagine.
So, why do I bring this up today? Lately, I've been wondering if I'm still living those four principles. As I gave my retiring address, every thing in the world seemed to make perfect sense. Yet, now, as an "adult," I tend to get confused my different interests pulling me in 18 different directions. At times I'm so busy at work that I fail to live in the moment. I have confidence, but what if it comes across as arrogance? Am I taking risks, or am I being stuck in status quo? I'm passionate about many things, but am I pursuing my passions? Those are pretty deep rhetorical questions, but they're things I ask myself pretty frequently. As I continue to "grow up," it's imperative that I remember to DIVE, and I encourage you to do the same.