Thursday, September 23, 2010


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.


  1. Actually, I do remember you crying, vomiting, and hyperventilating! LOL But I also remember that you did a wonderful job delivering a very inspirational message to thousands of people that day!

    I have been contemplating a lot of similar things lately. I think what it boils down to is that every once in a while we need to take a step back from the daily routine and analyze our life and ask ourselves, "Is my life living up to my standards?".

  2. That's a great point, Jamie! But, how do you know if your life is up to your standards, and what do you do if it's not?

    I'd love to hear more of your thoughts. Can we make a New Year's resolution to stay in touch through our blogs? I know it sounds kinda impersonal, but it would really help me write more if I knew someone was actually reading it! I'd love to read yours too. Let me know what you think!

  3. I guess maybe you could base it around your values and priorities. For example, if your #1 value/priority is family and your career is #3 on your list but you notice that your focusing 90% of your time on your career, then maybe you need to make more time for family.

    I love your idea of staying in touch with blogging!! I've always wanted to blog more but it seems pointless if nobody responds. Let's do it!