I believe that every day presents a new opportunity for a brand new vision and a positive goal that can be achieved, both for our personal betterment and by extension that of our country.
The days following the Easter celebration were busy days for me and I hope you are experiencing the same.
The Easter season is over and I hope you have had some spiritual moments when you were reminded of the reason for His death. I was able to take a well needed break. I enjoyed some family time, but I deliberately did some soul searching, brain storming and used the time to assess my options, dreams, goals and plans.
I took the time out to take another look at the way I see things. Making sure I see the whole picture and analyze it to the best of my ability.
Caught between the challenges of operating a business in these dismal economic times, home and family, I often find myself rushing to meet the deadline to have my Stepping Stones column published. This week my brother, Earlson, who is an ardent reader of my column reminded me that we should have no excuses for achieving goals because we are fortunate in the time we are living in to have an assortment of equipment and technology that can assist us in achieving our goals, and making our jobs easier. Simply put, he reminded me I had a Blackberry. He reminded me that instead of being stuck at the desk, I could easily multi-task; focusing on my business while preparing my article.
Too often we find ourselves overcome with excuses as to why we cannot achieve goals. Not enough time, no money, no opportunities. But, should we take a second glance, (or even ask for help), we see that the solution to this problem we had considered so insurmountable was very close as hand.
I write Stepping Stones because I have an audience. I believe there are persons inside our beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands who are feeling distraught and desperate; persons who may feel there is no hope and who’s will to survive is hanging by the thinnest of threads. My brother reminded me of that. He told me that he and others are inspired by the column and reminded me that people need to hear positive and inspiring articles, since every day we in the Turks and Caicos Islands are plagued with so many despairing news stories.
And so I write.
I reminded Earlson that we do have positive stories this week and one among many was the successful story of our Team Turks and Caicos and their performance at the Carifta Games. I am pleased to say congratulations to the Carifta team of 2012 and to their coaches and parents.
Earlson was right. We can write without being at a desk and we have the technology to be present and to participate in activities without physically being there.
It is commendable that Lime made Carifta available to us and the world providing live coverage.
Most of us have seen the construction of our track and field stadium and watched as the Turks and Caicos hosted the Carfita games a few years ago.
While we did not win any medals here at home, the games were used to inspire our young people and to expose them to the possibility of choosing sports as a career.
Many of us eliminate possibilities for ourselves by giving up too early. Our biggest challenge is to overcome self defeating thoughts and to block out the naysayers and to keep going.
As a former Minister of Sports, I can remember experiencing my first Carifta game, which took place in Bermuda in 2004. I still have a clear picture of what I saw and how I felt sitting there watching the athletes from the many Caribbean countries persevering as they compete. It was exhilarating. I sat there and I watched impressive young people who were talented but also fortunate enough to understand how to use a track, the sports equipment and training. They were able to use these to their advantage.
That is what I thought we missed. What we in the Turks and Caicos needed. We needed a sports stadium, and one that was fully so that our young people would have the same opportunities as the young people of our brothers and sisters in Caribbean. So they could compete on an even playing field.
We set our hats even higher. Being in company with one of the most outstanding hard working persons in sports in our Turks and Caicos Mrs. Rita Gardiner we decided that this was the time to bid for the hosting of the games. We set out in faith believing that God would allow the Organization to trust us with such a prestigious treasure that was a part the Caribbean culture for so many years. After a lengthy debate and questions and answers period we won the bid without a Stadium to host Carifta three years later in our country Turks and Caicos.
When we returned home, still feeling the high of our success, we were challenged everyday as we prepared our country for the construction of the National Stadium and the hosting of the games. But we did it. We persevered. We hosted the games and today we have our National Stadium.
When someone tells me that they tried to reach a goal but couldn’t, I always ask them what was it that you weren’t willing to handle? My friends in order to reach your dreams, you have to be willing to do what is required.
My advice to you is to block out the negative people, keep your spirits up and relentlessly pursue your goal. You must be willing to do the work, to devote the energy, to explore every avenue. I believe if you keep on coming back again and again and if you are willing to ask for help and to keep asking until you get it then you will get just what you want.
My mother used to ask us, “are you willing to burn the midnight oil and to get out of bed before the sun shines through your windows to get it done?” Yes! Most people take the escape route, look for something to justify why they haven’t done what they wanted to do. I believe that if you knock on the door of opportunity long enough and hard enough, things will happen for you.
You have to understand that you are more powerful than the circumstances that surround you.