Setting The Foundation

For anything to be built in life a strong and firm foundation is needed. This is true of relationships, marriages, families, careers, homes and just anything in general in life. If you don’t start today to sow then young reap anything tomorrow because nothing was ever planted. Foundations require persistence, consistency, will, drive and discipline. Anything of value worth attaining requires a willful and intentional effort.

The trouble that we face in today’s culture and society is that we want to reap the benefits without having to sow the effort. We believe that so long as we change our diets for a week or two that we should see instantaneous results. We resolve to change our fitness habits and commit to gym memberships but give up on the consistency after not seeing our bodies lean out and tone up soon enough.

We live in an instant gratification society. We want what we want and we want it now and on our own terms and in our own time. The truth is life doesn’t work that way. We don’t live in a cookie cutter world nor a cookie cutter society. Many of us will sacrifice for years to set a foundation and will be waiting years and years and years just waiting to reap the benefits. All along we may see others progressing, benign blessed, accomplishing extreme highs and we may still be here sitting just waiting. Is it ideal? No, of course not. We may feel stagnant just waiting on our break through and it’s completely understandable. What matters most is the continued effort. Though we may not see the light at the end of the tunnel what is the alternative? Do we throw in the towel and just give up and give in?

Setting the foundation is probably one of the most crucial and vital steps for anything concrete. Without the foundation there is nothing. Without a foundation anything that is built on shaking ground is subject to crumble and fall. This is why building the foundation will often times take the longest and most effort because the change and habit and intention has to have grown over time with persistence and dedication before it is able to upwards. Quitting will only halt the process. It doesn’t necessarily destroy all the effort that has gone into the foundation but it does halt the progress on the growth.

An example I share is schooling. When I was attending school for my associates degree I couldn’t wait for it to be over. In the beginning I honestly cared less about attending my classes and submitting my assignments. I simply had enrolled into school because it was the “right” and expected thing to do. I wasn’t committed. My school efforts were not consistent and I lacked discipline. I simply couldn’t wait for school to be done and the result was that I failed a class or two. I took summers off and a two year associates degree took me four years to complete. However I did complete it because at some point after the second year I wised up and realized that I was failing myself. I was failing my time, my money and my child who could have used more of my time and more of my money. It was a switch that went off and so I became disciplined in being intentional about my studies and how I encountered school. I began to care about graduating and attaining an education. However during this time I could’ve never imagined wanting to continue on for my bachelors never mind my masters degree. However my habits and intentions and discipline were setting the foundation for the future educational achievements that I would attain later in life.

Had I given up when times were stressful, challenging or tough or when I just didn’t feel like it then I would’ve never completed the building blocks that were needed for the next step in life. The discipline and consistency in the early stages bore fruit later on when I had no choice but to be absolutely disciplined and consistent in order to attain my bachelors degree and years later in order to attain my masters degree.

Am I perfect? No.

Was I driven? Sometimes, but the truth was I wasn’t always motivated. I didn’t enjoy a four hour round trip daily drive to and from the university. I didn’t enjoy giving up friendships, weekends and plans to stay home and study. It wasn’t enjoyable but I had disciplined myself to do what needed to be done and sacrifice what needed to be sacrificed for the sake of bearing fruit for all of the time and effort. I had set that foundation and it had taken me years and years to figure that out and to learn how to discipline myself. It took years to set that foundation. My friends and family would continue to go out on weekends either dancing or on getaways or vacations or purchasing new cars and such and I had disciplined myself that it wasn’t my timing. It was difficult for sure but now I am ever grateful to myself for having done such.

Though I missed out on a few travel experiences and on purchasing coveted vehicles and clothing and shoes I was able to become the first person in my family to successfully complete and graduate from a master’s degree. I was able to graduate from graduate school 100% debt free. I paid my education in full as I was taking my classes by working full time and disciplining myself on what I could and could not spend my income on. Today I am thankful and all along though I envied those who didn’t have the amount of stress and responsibility I now see those individuals who are either in their thirties or forties now returning to school or now seeking additional employment to be able to pay their loans. Of course I comment them on their efforts and I know their efforts will aid in successfully setting a foundation.

It’s never too late to begin. Though I set the educational foundation earlier on in life and succeeded I am now setting a foundation for my fitness and health. It’s not easy and there are days I give up but I remind myself the next day, the next hour, the next minute is another opportunity to reactivate my efforts and that not all is lost. When I mess up, when you mess up it’s not the end. It simply is a halt. It’s an opportunity to practice kindness and forgiveness towards ourselves and pick ourselves up again and set a brick down, a brick in our journey of building a solid foundation, in whatever area it may be. A foundation for our lives.

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