Empower Yourself to Do More


When I was a boy, my father had an old Boy Scout Handbook that had the following quote:

Bite off more than you can chew and chew it.
Do more than you can do and do it.
Hitch your wagon to a star
Take a seat and there you are

I think it was attributed to Tennessee Ernie Ford.  For the last 45 years, that has been a motto that I have lived by.  But I realize that there are pros and cons to this lifestyle.  As a student and a teacher, I have always been an overachiever. I have bit off more than I could chew, and to my surprise I always chewed it.  I excelled and became a teacher who has received teaching awards at two universities, had my speech and debate teams win national awards, has given service on many boards, and has given a lot back to the community.  It was more than I thought I could do.

But getting to that star is a process and not a goal you reach.  There is always more to do.  More to achieve.  Perfection is something to work toward, not to obtain.  Once you have taken on the attitude of always doing more, you can never take a seat and arrive.

As a teacher, I have found that I can always do more.  But then there is a cost.  Time away from family, less sleep, a few more gray hairs. This year I am in charge of my 35th high school reunion.  In contacting my classmates, I find a few obituaries along the way. I stop and wonder what the costs were along the way of doing too much.  We alway hear to “Stop and smell the roses.”  Maybe taking in a little from both mottos will create a better balance.

Just a few thoughts for the day.  Make your day an awesome one!

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