Give It Your Best Shot!

Good day and a wonderful Friday y’all!  So, regardless of what is happening, give us your best TGIF!!  I know I may ask a lot of you, but I do the same with myself!!  So, here we go!! TGIF!!

One of the best character traits that an individual can have and develop is “discipline”.  Many people call it different things … like egotistical or “self-love”; but I’d like to bump it up a few notches and call it “self-preservation” directed by the goal of transformation.  If one wants to make a difference in themselves or the world, it requires a commitment.  With a continued constant effort to achieve the desired outcome, one can make that transformation into a better person, if you will, or at least achieve a current goal.  What powers this transformation from one type of person to another?  It is that desire to “be the best that you can be” … not just settling for less or mediocrity.  So, I can transform myself into a person that can achieve my goals.  So can you … if you set some goals or establish some projects.  In completing my third book, I employed that discipline.  No matter what other people said or thought about me and my efforts, I continued until I achieved MY goal.  I mean, I met people who tried to discourage me from writing a book dedicated to MY mother.  You know, some folks just showed disinterest while others tried to make a “joke” out of my desire to complete the book!  In fact, you may remember the episode with a former “property manager” who did as much as he could to deter my efforts.  “Go kick rocks … but get out of my way, please!”

Over the years, I have learned to not only read books … but read PEOPLE!  I watch them or an individual and determine what may make them tick based on their interactions with me.  I discovered that since “they” may not have anything going for themselves, or they may feel intimidated by my interests and projects, not to mention skills, their attitude toward me was like “what are you trying to prove” or “who do you think you are”?  Both thoughts have no place in my life because I have my own goals and I want to give them my best shot!!  After reorganizing my trip to Stateside where I had planned to meet my daughter and grandson in Ft. Lauderdale, I didn’t give up!  I mean, I haven’t seen them in five years!  I am a responsible person … the father and the grandfather … who wants to share my “strength, hope and experience” with my little extended family!  Why not … write a book illustrating this strength and hope in my life … and dedicate it to my Mother!?  Should I ask what’s wrong with that?!?  No, I’ve got other things to accomplish in my life rather than convincing a hater that my projects are worth my time, commitment, and discipline!

This morning, I am flying to Hartford, CT, and staying there for a week with my only child and her son!  I haven’t seen them in five years and my grandson is 5 years old now!  There have been many “ups and downs” in our relationship but I decided a while back not to focus on the negative things if I am to transform myself through discipline into the “best person that I can be”!  Fortunately, throughout my experiences, I have learned to enjoy the feeling of “success” and character building!  That’s the teacher in me!  Needless to say, I wouldn’t have been able to do much in Ft. Lauderdale without the help of good friends.  We ate at nice places, hung out at my favorite club a few times and I got many things done with my book purchases and visiting my mailbox.  Shucks, I even got a booster shot at CVS, this time it was the Moderna brand!

Okay, so right about now as I sit in the living room of my daughter’s place, I am finishing my message after arriving at the airport and being picked up by Ayanna!  We are both here working on some important things after reuniting, hugging, sharing stories and updates!  My grandson will be home later after we pick him up from summer camp!  This opportunity to reunite with them is one that I couldn’t pass up.  Changes came and changes went.  As I sit here finishing this post which I started last night in my buddy Johnny Ace’s place, I am feeling somewhat successful for achieving this long awaited goal!  So, I am going to cut to the chase and suggest that you always … ALWAYS … give it your best efforts!  There’s no shame in being the best that you can be!

Carry on!


John I. Cook, Director

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