For the last 15 years, Team Impact has been a lighthouse to struggling students across the country.
We’ve been able to speak a message of hope and encouragement, motivation and inspiration to more than 1.5 million students in the public school system.
Our message is simple enough for a 3rd grader, but powerful enough for any Fortune 500 CEO.
Teachers celebrate it, and students are captivated by it.
Our message has earned us the title “One of America’s Most Trusted School Assembly Programs”, and it can be summed up in three words: Be. Stand. Do.
1) BE on Guard
Growing up, my dream was to be the first in my family to go to college, earn a scholarship, and play football on Saturday afternoons on ESPN.
But along the way, there were people who would tell me that I couldn’t reach my dream; that I couldn’t reach my goals because the color of my skin...because I looked different than my parents...because I didn’t have the right clothes or the right friends...or because I “didn’t have what it takes.”
In other words, they would make an internal judgement about me-- that my dreams, and ultimately my life, didn't have value or worth-- based on external factors.
People like this are everywhere-- in every stage of life, every profession, and every city-- who will make judgement calls about you and your dreams based on their external perceptions of you.
We must be on guard for people like this.
Your life is valuable-- independent of where you come from, what you accomplish, or the amount of money you make.
Your dream is valuable-- independent of its size, scope, or how impressive it is to other people. (Click to Tweet)
No matter what others may say, do, think, or project upon you, nothing can change the intrinsic value of your life or your dream.
So be on guard and don’t let people speak the lie that your life and dreams don’t matter.
2) STAND Firm
Along my journey, I had every reason under the sun to give up on my dream of being the first in my family to go to college: the statistical realities of being born to a teenage mother, difficulties learning, every temptation imaginable, injury, depression, doubt...the list could go on.
I remember-- more than once--laying in my bed, with the proverbial winds blowing and the waves would crash in all around me, and I would cry myself to sleep wondering, “How I can make it one more day…”
We’ve all been there, right?
Struggle is no respecter of men-- it hits us all in different ways, at different times: Just give up. It’s not worth it...you aren’t worth the fight.
In times like these, we must stand firm.
So much of reaching our goals and dreams is about having the proper mindset. Making the choice to continue on, even when we don’t want to.
I love how Edmond Mbiaka articulates this, “When you get to the point where moving forward is the only thing your mind is willing to settle for, that's when amazing things start to unfold in your journey.”
You have to remember that you and your dreams are worth fighting for... not what you'll accomplish; not what you get as a result of your work; but YOU are worth fighting for.
So stand firm and never give up.
3) DO What's Right
I often ask this question of students: What good would it be to reach all of your dreams, make a ton of money, build a mansion-sized house, and be known by millions...if it cost you your character?
The reality is this: dreams can be shattered, money can be taken away, houses can be foreclosed on, and influence can be lost. But character…no one can forcibly take away that. Character must be given away freely.
This is one of the most tangible ideas we talk about. Because for one to do what's right, he or she must conscientiously make the choice to do.
These things don’t happen by chance; not in middle schools across America; not in the workplace or at home, and not in your life.
If you find yourself in a situation where you aren’t sure how to do what's right, ask someone...seek counsel, be intentional.
Because here's the truth: If you leave "doing what's right" up to chance, chances are you won't.
It's a great privilege to share this message with students coast to coast and around the world. But we believe it's much more than a message for students: this is a message for people.
We all have dreams...we all have goals...and we all have obstacles. So I encourage you:
Be on guard. Stand firm. Do what’s right.
This post was written by Team Impact's Lead Evangelist, Stephen Mackey. When Mackey isn't speaking in schools and churches around the world, he's hanging out with his wife and two kiddos in Dallas, TX.