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What Will You Do Now?

Spongebob Squarepants Graduation MemeAs we graduate from college, we’re faced with several questions: Are we going to get a job and start their careers? Or are we going to take a break? Or go to graduate school? Or are we going to start a business? Are we going to get married  and have kids (if we haven’t done so already)? Are we going to move out of our parents house and get our own place? Are we going to take on the world or stay on the couch watching TV?

Basically: What will we do now?

There are some of us don’t know what to do and are figuring it out, while some of us do know exactly what we want to do. There’s also some of us that only have an idea of where we’d want to be, with no plan on how to get there. No matter where we are are what we end up doing, there are a ton of possibilities for us to take that will lead us in different directions. Each possibility we take will get us a step closer to what we want to do and where we want to end up in our lives.

However, what we do still matters. Even though we mightn’t get a letter grade for our efforts and what we turn in, we will be measured by others. What we do and say at our jobs, our homes, or while hanging out with family and friends makes a difference. What people see come out of us through our actions and words determines their opinion of us and how they think and act around us.

Adventure is out there. Up the Movie.This is because it shows who we are and what matters to us. It also shows what we care about, what we are willing to put money and time into, and how we view things. These things could factor into whether or not we get and/or keep a job and friends, how much we can afford in terms of needs and wants, and other things that we can do.

Like in college, what we care about, our actions and words, and what we do with our time and money affects what you do and what path you take. In college, we picked a major that aligns with what we want to do and our strengths. The work we put into our classes and how seriously we took our college careers is reflected in our GPAs, our academic standing, and in our grades. Your peers and professors view you based on the work you put in, your attitude, and your willingness.

How we approach our post-college life is much the same way. What we end up doing and the path we take is influenced by what we say, our actions, and what we care about. The job we have, the graduate school we go to, or anything else that we do is a part of the path that we take to get to where we want to go. The effort that we put into our jobs, our friends and family, and anything else we do is reflected by what our coworkers, bosses, friends, family, and others think about us. It also reflects in the feedback we’re given, whether or not we keep our jobs, and what we do for a living.

What we do and care about now affects us later in life, which is why there are a ton of possibilities. It’s also why there’s a ton of questions we get when we graduate. These choices could be the difference of being a drug addict with no job, a CEO of Apple, running our own interior design company or a chemical engineer in Johnson and Johnson.

With this in mind, what will you do now? What path will you take to get to where you want to go? Are you going to take on the world or sit on the couch and watch TV?

Time to take over the world

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2015: New Year, New Opportunities

The Secret Life of Walter MittyIf you haven’t seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty yet, I recommend that you do. It’s a great movie that tells about how Walter Mitty tries to save his and his coworker’s jobs at Life Magazine by taking the chance to go around the world to find the thing that they need to do it. It turns out to be an adventure of a lifetime that is more than he, or anybody else, could dream of. It got him out of his comfort zone and changed his life and the lives of some of those around him.

The message behind this movie is to not live life as a thing to go through and dream of having a different life, but to actually take some opportunities and go do something with it. We shouldn’t sit by and waste our lives, wishing it was something else or that if this thing happened to us that our lives would be better. We need to take the opportunity to turn into someone who we want to be and make it to the place where we want to be. We don’t have to wait for something to fall in our lap that will supposedly change our lives, be stuck in a rut, or be bored with the way our lives are going.

There is a whole year’s worth of opportunities in front of us that we can take advantage of. It’s another year to do something different with our lives that we couldn’t do last year. Whether it’s big or small, the opportunities that we  take can change our lives and the lives of others for the better. They’ll change who we are, our relationships with others, and what kind of life we have. They’ll also change the world and our community because of the impact our decisions and actions have on others.

However, we need to take action on them and have the courage to do it if we want to change anything. We can’t just think and talk about the opportunities we have and what we would do if we’d actually took them. We wouldn’t get anywhere in life if we did that because it’s all talk and nothing will ever happen. We have to act on these opportunities if we want them to benefit anyone. Taking action on them is something that’s needed if we want to change anything in our lives and to make the world a better place.

F.A. Hayek stated this in his book The Road to Serfdom: “If we are to build a better world, we must have the courage to make a new start.” Taking some of the opportunities that we have can actually help improve the world, but we need to be willing to take the risks involved. Taking risks and having the courage to do something is important and a part of taking an opportunity. While some risks are unavailable, the opportunities we take can, and will, affect others and the world around us. We can meet new people, affect and change the situations that we and others are in, and have other things happen that we do when we act on opportunities.

In the movie, Walter Mitty took risks and had the courage to do what he did and the opportunity he took not only benefited Life Magazine, but benefited his coworkers and himself as well. It changed the world around him because it affected the company, his coworkers, and the people around him. He got to meet new people and make new friends, he got to change the lives of one of his coworkers, her son, and himself, and he got what he and the company needed. He took the risk that accompanied the opportunity, which included possible death, unfriendly people, and still losing his job.

Mitty took an opportunity to make a change because he saw it as a way to try to save his and others’ jobs, even if it meant meeting some risks and going outside of his comfort zone. While it was just a movie, what he did is an example of what could happen to us if we took the opportunity and changed our situations and surroundings, which can end up changing the world. What he did changed and impacted him for the better and what you do and your opportunities will change your life and the lives of those around you.

Now, go out there and take the opportunities to make the world a better place. What you do makes a difference and the opportunities that you take will change the live of others and of yourself in ways that didn’t seem possible. You’ve got a new year to take action of them. What are you going to do this year to take advantage of them?

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The Myth of the Self-Made Man

USAF Graduates

As this time of year rolls around, we celebrate people graduating and going into another phase of their lives, celebrate our fathers, and we remember the soldiers who have served our country. We remember what we’ve gone through to get where we are now, while looking forward to what’s ahead. We look at how many people have affected our lives and realize that they helped us be who we are today.

However, most of us forget that others have even touched our lives. We sometimes think that we got to where they are now through our own efforts, without the help of others. Sometimes, we think that success was accomplished by ourselves and not because we collaborated with others. A lot of leaders and influential people, such as Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Lauren, and Sean Combs, are seen as people who had rocky starts and became a success on their own. They’re idealized as self-made people and their success are what people wished they had.

Thinking that people are self-made is far from the truth. The self-made man contradicts what we–or, at least some, including me–hear in graduation speeches and see in videos related to Memorial Day, Independence Day, and any other day we have to remember our history, our soldiers, or our fathers. Even our day-t0-day activities show that we are affected by and rely on others for a lot of things. No one in this world at any time can say that they are completely self made because others have helped them.

Frederick Douglass, in a speech titled the “Self-Made Men”, put it this way:

Properly speaking, there are in the world no such men as self-made men. That term implies an individual independence of the past and present which can never exist.

Our best and most valued acquisitions have been obtained either from our contemporaries or from those who have preceded us in the field of thought and discovery. We have all either begged, borrowed or stolen. We have reaped where others have sown, and that which others have strown, we have gathered.

We can have some independence from others, but not complete independence. We make choices on our own, do things on our own, and a lot of other things, but we wouldn’t be able to do some of the things if other people hadn’t been involved. Our lives are shaped by the people who come along side and invest in us, by our experiences, and by how we handle our lives.

We aren’t self-made people and we couldn’t be, even if we tried. No major decision for anything–marriage, important business decisions, buying a house, etc–goes without the insight, help, and/or involvement of others. We rely on others to supply the food, clothes, furniture, and a lot more that we buy and use. In order for us to be self-made people, we have to have complete independence, which is impossible. Frederick Douglass put it this way his out in the same speech:

It must in truth be said, though it may not accord well with self-conscious individuality and self-conceit, that no possible native force of character, and no depth of wealth and originality, can lift a man into absolute independence of his fellowmen, and no generation of men can be independent of the preceding generation. The brotherhood and inter-dependence of mankind are guarded and defended at all points.

There is no one who could say that they’re completely independent from everyone else in the world. Family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and people who we don’t even know have affected our lives in numerous, incalculable ways. Generations invented and made things that the next generation can’t live without–including computers, air conditioning, cars, and smart phones. We’ve all have asked for help, ideas, and way more from others. There are no aspect of our lives that hasn’t been touched by others.

But why is the idea of the self-made man around? How can we change our mindset?

Mike Myatt wrote in his article titled “Self-Made Man – No Such Thing” on Forbes put it this way:

Today’s “pop leadership” culture seems to encourage personal glorification above all else. Here’s the thing – real leaders don’t take credit, they give it. While I take complete responsibility for all my failures and shortcomings, I take very little credit for my own success. Virtually all of the good things that have happened to me over the years have been the result of the collaborative efforts of many. I have found most mature people not suffering from delusions of grandeur tend to share this perspective. Leadership isn’t about self-serving behaviors; it’s about service beyond self. It’s not about you, and when it becomes about you, trouble is not too far away.

What Myatt stated is not only true for leaders, but for all of us. The concept of the self-mad man is around because our culture promotes us to focus on ourselves so much that we forget what others do for us. Today’s culture promotes it because our sinful nature makes us want to satisfy ourselves and make us look good. It seems more beneficial and easy to us to blame others or things for failures, while taking all of the credit for ourselves.

However, it’s actually better to give people credit where it’s due. When we give credit to people who had a part in our success, we recognize and show appreciation for what they’ve done. This recognition helps raise the morale of others who get the credit and they’ll be more likely to help you out next time. Also, sharing credit doesn’t mean that your credit diminishes. It just means that you give the credit to the people who deserve it. Giving credit and recognition will show people that they can trust you.

If you take all the credit yourself, it will end up hurting you more than helping you. People will trust you less because, if they find out, will see you as dishonest and giving a false report. Also, they’ll be less likely to work with or for you and their morale will decrease because they didn’t receive proper credit or saw that you didn’t give credit where it’s due.

Giving credit instead of taking credit for our success will help change our mindset of the self-made man because it makes us focus on others instead of ourselves. Shifting our focus from ourselves to others will show us what they did that impacted our lives and that we should give them credit. It will also show that people are interdependent, help each other be successful, and couldn’t happen if God hadn’t placed them in our lives.

Also, we must focus more on our Savior, Jesus Christ. Focusing on him will affect us and others as well as change our mindset. The way that we look at things and treat others will be so different from our current perspective. That’s because when we focus on and believe in him, we can’t contain it. It says in John 7:38 (ESV) that “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”

The living water mentioned in the verse is the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to speak about Jesus and live our lives differently. When we focus on and believe in Jesus, we not only take that focus off ourselves, but we also put that focus on others because whatever is in our hearts comes out in our actions and words. If we have Jesus in our hearts and do what he says we should do, it’s way more possible to focus on others than it is to focus on ourselves as much.

Even though we remember that we’re interdependent on holidays and during the graduation seasons, we often forget soon afterwards that people affect and help us. Most of the time we think we’re self-made and that we can’t change unless we decide to do it. Changing our mindset by shifting our focus from ourselves to others and onto Jesus will change the way we think about the self-made man and of its existence, while also showing the interdependency of the human race.

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On Being Awesome

In the video, Kid President gives us a pep talk. We’re encouraged not to quit, to pursue our dreams, and to make the world awesome. We’re told to stop being boring because we’re “gooder than that,” and later because “we were made to be awesome.” I agree completely.

But why? Why should we work toward excellence? According to Kid President, we work hard because “it’s everyone’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.” The explanations are superficial to say the least.

Yet the reason why I agree with Kid President is because I believe in God and in the resurrection of Christ. The atheist believes that, fundamentally, man is a cosmic accident. If that is true, then it obviously follows that we can’t be awesome, we aren’t “gooder than that,” and we have no duties to the world or the common good[er]. Some may respond that life only has the value we place into it — that we have to add purpose to our life. But this does not solve the problem, it only complicates it. If there is no fundamental purpose to your life, then there is no meaningful purpose you can add to it. This is because everything in your life (including the meaning you add to it) is ultimately meaningless.

If you agree with Kid President, then you believe there is objective and meaningful purpose to life. And since life has meaning, work has meaning also.

Unfortunately, many today (including myself sometimes) treat work as simply a means to accumulate status, prestige or money. But this approach is at worst selfish, or at best treats work as a necessary evil — as something which we must do, but really do not want to do. Selfish motivation is based on personal pleasure and survival, which is to behave as though life were meaningless (with no purpose outside of ourselves). If work is a necessary evil, then our purpose is evil — since work is the expression of purpose. Indeed, Tim Keller writes in his book Every Good Endeavor, “Without something bigger than yourself to work for, then all of your work energy is actually fueled by one of the other six deadly sins. You may work exceptionally hard because of envy to get ahead of somebody, or because of pride to prove yourself, or because of greed or even gluttony for pleasure.” So we need to take a different approach to work.

Dorothy SayersObviously, if we believe that man has an objective and meaningful purpose, then we also believe that there is an objective and meaningful giver of purpose — that is, God. And if we frame our beliefs about purpose and work with God in mind, coherent answers follow. As the Christian thinker Dorothy Sayers wrote in her 1942 essay, “Why Work?“:

The habit of thinking about work as something one does to make money is so ingrained in us that we can scarcely imagine what a revolutionary change it would be to think about it instead in terms of the work done. To do so would mean taking the attitude of mind we reserve for our unpaid work – our hobbies, our leisure interests, the things we make and do for pleasure – and making that the standard of all our judgments about things and people. We should ask of an enterprise, not ‘will it pay?’ but ‘is it good?’; of a man, not ‘what does he make?’ but ‘what is his work worth?’; of goods, not ‘Can we induce people to buy them?’ but ‘are they useful things well made?’; of employment, not ‘how much a week?’ but ‘will it exercise my faculties to the utmost?’ …

[W]ork is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.

While Sayers’ argument is not without fault (it is not bad to consider what a job will pay, especially when families and spouses hang in the balance), her main emphasis is correct. When reading Genesis 1 and 2, it is clear that work existed before the fall in Genesis 3. God employed Adam and Eve with tending the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15); then after they sinned, God cursed the object of their work (the ground) instead of work itself (Genesis 3:17-19).

Tim KellerIndeed, this seems to align well with reality. No matter what kind of work you do, there will always be difficulties. As Tim Keller also notes in Every Good Endeavor: “Just because you cannot realize your highest aspirations in work does not mean that you have chosen wrongly, or are not called to your profession, or that you should spend your life looking for the perfect career that is devoid of frustration. You should expect to be regularly frustrated in your work even though you may be in exactly the right vocation.”

In this sense, work is an intended function of the perfect creation. What makes work imperfect is the object of our work — but this should not change our outlook or the amount of effort placed into our work. Ultimately, then, when we work, we work for God; as such, we should strive to do our work well. As Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

We can be awesome because we have a purpose and a reason to do excellent work. More than that, though, we can be awesome because we work for the One truly deserving of the title “Awesome.” To quote Keller once more, “All work has dignity because it reflects God’s image in us, and also because the material creation we are called to care for is good.” We work for a blessed and Perfect God.

How will you be awesome this week?

“I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor — it is the gift of God.” —Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

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Independence Day

Independence Day. The day that the thirteen colonies agreed to declare their independence from Britain, just 2 days after it was signed by the Continental Congress. The day the American Revolution started. The day that a new country was born.

We’re celebrating that day to remember what happened and why it happened. That day that happened 237 years ago, because of what was inflicted onto the colonies by King George III.

But declaring independence wasn’t all they did. They promised each other support for when they declared their independence:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” ~Declaration of Independence

The Founding Fathers and the colonies pledged their lives, fortune, and honor to each other because they were willing–and did–risk them for the freedom, liberty, and independence. They bonded together to fight to against the tyranny of Britain. They did this for the not just for themselves, but the colonies and future generations of Americans; not just because they felt like it, but because they wanted freedom and the end of their oppression; not because it was the right time to do it, but because they were fed up.

The Founding Fathers saw that not only them, but future generations could enjoy the independence, freedom, and liberty from tyranny. Thomas Paine put it best in his pamphlet Common Sense:

“The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. ‘Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent- of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe. ‘Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings now.”

To them, nothing was greater than their independence. Because they believed what they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, they fought for their country and their freedom. They believed “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The only way for that to happen was to fight for their independence from Britain, which they succeeded in gaining it through the American Revolution.

This declaration of independence was the creation of America and the beginning of the end of tyranny. And it all started with a group of people being fed up with Britain, King George III, and tyranny.

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Are You Willing?

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

~Apple, Inc.

You can call them misfits, innovators, rebels, mavericks, crazies, geniuses, troublemakers, game-changers, or anything else for that matter, but you can’t say that they haven’t change the world. You might not like their ideas or think that they can change the world, but that won’t stop them from trying or having others believe that they can. Fact is: they are, have, and will change the world, whether we like it or not.

They change the world because they decided to do something that isn’t normal. They also make history and their ideas and inventions become part of culture that we now can’t live without or imagine not having. Who would want to live without the light bulb, cars, or computers? Who could imagine a life without superheroes, legos, or movies? Who could imagine living in a time where people were segregated by their race or when WWII was going on or during the Great Depression?

It’s difficult to imagine living without light bulbs, superheroes, and more. They’re so ingrained into and a part of our culture that it’s impossible to not come across a movie theater, some sort of superhero game/toy/movie, a place where there are no light bulbs, where you didn’t see a car or a computer. It’s also hard to imagine living in a time of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents because we weren’t there. We can only slightly know how it was like before the light bulb or during the Great Depression because of books, magazines and newspaper articles, and from what parents and grandparents tell us.

It’s like this because someone–a misfit–decided to change the world and make it better. Thomas Edison decided to illuminate city streets and people’s houses with the light bulb, Henry Ford wanted to make a horseless contraption and made the Model T, Martin Luther King Jr. and others decided to end segregation, and so on.

What they did was once thought impossible. It wasn’t part of the status quo. People like them are doing stuff today that was thought impossible and what isn’t the status quo. Tablets, smartphones, smart and hybrid cars, 3D movies, online education, and more weren’t normal or possible a few years ago and now they’re more prevalent.

But what is it about these misfits that makes them different? Their mindset. They don’t think that it’s impossible to do things just because it doesn’t exist or didn’t work when others tried before, but that they can figure it out so that it does exist and works. They had a dream that cars would exist or that everybody, no matter their race, would be treated equally or that there was a better way to light up the streets with besides gas lights.

To the misfit, the innovator, the genius, the impossible is possible because, as former boxer Muhammad Ali put it:

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

They see something as impossible, but as a dare to try to do it. They don’t see the impossibility of something permanent, but as something temporary. They see something that they think is a good idea as possible, even when others say it’s impossible, and go do it. They see something as possible while most people don’t. They’re the one’s changing the world and pushing the human race forward.

Are you one of them and changing the world or are you one who thinks something is impossible and not do it? Are you going to make the world a better place or are you continuing with the status quo? If you’re not changing the world, then start now. It’s not impossible to change, invent, or do things. You just have to find what you’re good at and your passion, then find a way that you can use it to benefit everybody else.

It just depends on if you’re willing to do it. Vince Lombardi, a former coach and football player, clearly put it when he said: “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford changed the world by what they did because they were willing to put their talents, and vision to work. They were willing to change the world by changing a part of it. Whether it was creating movies, the light bulb, superheroes, cars or doing something else like ending segregation or WWII or the Great Depression, the world has changed for the better because of them. If things like superheroes, light bulbs, cars, legos, movies, computers, and smart phones are integrated into our society, so can the things we invent be a part of our society. If society changed because of what they did, so can we change society by what we do.

It’s just a matter if you’re willing to do it. They were willing to change the world, but are you? Are you willing to be a misfit/rebel/innovator/game-changer? Are you willing to face the impossibilities? Are you willing to invent, start or end something that would benefit society? Are you willing to push the human race forward? Are you willing to change the world?

You have the strength and knowledge to change the world and the impossibilities are temporary, but are you willing?

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Lessons from the Iron Lady

On April 8, 2013, Baroness Margaret Thatcher died at the age of 87. She was prime minister of Britain from May 1979 to November 1990 and was in the House of Lords from 1992 until her death last month. She made history by becoming Britain’s first–and so far only–female prime minister and completely changing the path England was going down. After all, she wasn’t nicknamed the Iron Lady and there isn’t an economic theory of named after her for nothing.

The Iron Lady

When she became prime minister in 1979, England wasn’t in a good position: an almost bankrupt government, inflation, industrial unrest, and more. She turned England around and put it on a better path by privatizing and deregulating government, tax cuts, etc.–which was later known to be Thatcherism.

But there was a bigger, underlying reason why England was in it’s position it was in when Margaret Thatcher was elected as prime minister. She stated that:

“I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society — from a give-it-to-me, to a do-it-yourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.”

There was a dependence on the government instead of relying on themselves. Instead of businesses and people deciding for themselves, they relied on the government. They waited on the government to do things instead of doing it themselves. The British society wasn’t self-reliant, but government-reliant.

The Iron Lady changed Britain for the better: people became more self-reliant than government-reliant, the government was reduced by deregulation and privatization, reducing taxes, and the list goes on. Yet it didn’t come easily for her. A lot of the time, there was opposition to Thatcher and what she was doing. Yet she was determined and didn’t turn away when times were tough. Thatcher had to deal with unions, government officials, and people who didn’t want the system changed or thought that her way wouldn’t work.

Thatcher won in most areas: privatization and deregulation were done, unions became less powerful, taxes were cut, etc. She didn’t compromise on her principles, ideas, or values because she knew that she had to turn Britain around. She kept going because she wanted to bring Britain from a government reliant nation to a more self-reliant one.

The Legacy and Lessons

When the Iron Lady resigned as prime minister in 1990 and when she died in April, she left a legacy of Thatcherism and spreading freedom. However she left a legacy of not only Thatcherism and the spread of freedom, but she showed how to achieve goals. She showed that it takes much more than it sometimes looks like at times to accomplish what she wanted–to turn Britain around for the better.

There are lessons we can learn from Margaret Thatcher through the way she lived and what she did. There are three lessons that stand out: 1) it takes more than ideas and vision to accomplish goals and dreams; 2) there will be opposition to accomplishing goals and dreams; and 3) people are never alone when it comes to ideas, values, visions, or anything else.

Lesson #1: It takes more than ideas and vision

Thatcher showed that it takes more than ideas to change anything. She had ideas about how to change Britain, but she wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if her ideas just stayed ideas. She had to implement her ideas in order for them to become reality. It took determination, perseverance, values, guts, and decisiveness to get there.

She also didn’t drop her ideas just because it took a lot of work or because of the opposition against her. She kept going because she wanted to change Britain and knew that she had to keep going. She wasn’t going to go back to where Britain was when she became prime minister in 1979. She even stated once that: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.” She knew that others didn’t want continue on the path she was taking, but she wasn’t going to let that stop her or slow her down. She knew that when the going got tough, the tough got going.

It isn’t just that way for politicians like Margaret Thatcher, but for everyone. Even if someone is trying to put a country on a different path or starting and running a business or trying to teach children, it takes more than the idea and vision that the person has to accomplish a goal, a dream, or anything else. It takes effort, time, and sometimes more because there’s opposition to what’s being done or more than what’s expected. Sometimes it takes guts, determination, perseverance, drive, and more to do it.

Lesson #2: There will be Opposition

The Iron Lady always had opposition to her plans. No matter what she did, if it was against the normality of growing regulation, deprivatizing–or government buying, owning, and running–industries, helping unions, etc., there was opposition against it. It came in forms of unions, government officials fighting against her in Parliament or inside her administration, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombing of the Grand Hotel, and much more.

She even had opposition from her own party–the Conservative party–because some of them wanted to keep the status quo. Before Thatcher came along and at the beginning of her career as a member of parliament, the conservative and liberal parties kept along the same lines because they wanted to keep employment full, even though the Conservative party was for economic freedoms and private enterprise. Some people in her party still wanted to keep normality and fought to keep it, or turned around when it got too tough for them.

Just as Margaret Thatcher had opposition to what she was doing, so do people who try to do anything that other people don’t like. It doesn’t matter if what someone’s doing is part of normality or not, there will be others who won’t like what that person or group of people are doing. Thatcher and others didn’t like the current conditions of Britain, while others didn’t like what she was doing. People won’t like it if it’s out of the normal routine.

Lesson #3: People are Never Alone

Even though there was–and still is–lots of opposition to Thatcherism and how Thatcher did things, but there were people who helped her, who thought–and think–the same way she did. Her ideas were shared by people like Ronald Reagan and Friedrich Hayek, among others. She surrounded herself with and put into cabinet people who were like-minded in ideas, values, and beliefs to change Britain around.

Sometimes the Iron Lady seemed to be by herself–standing alone with opposition all around her–in Britain, but there was always people that stood by her. Just like she wasn’t alone in her ideas or values and neither is anybody else. No one is alone because there’s always someone else who thinks, believes, values, etc. exactly the same or along the same lines. It might not seem like it sometimes, but there’s always people who will stand, in one shape or form, with that person who’s trying to do something that a lot of people are against.

Just because it looks like they’re alone doesn’t mean they are actually alone.

It’s Our Turn Now

Margaret Thatcher might have died April 8th, but her legacy will continue to live on. What she did impacted not only Britain, but the world because other countries followed suit–either partially or wholeheartedly–after they saw it work in Britain. She made an impact on the course of history forever.

But what about you? Are you changing the course of history like Margaret Thatcher did by what you’re doing or are you waiting for “the perfect/right time” to start? Margaret Thatcher and her legacy is an example to us of how to change the world. However, it’s our turn now to change the world. It’s up to us.

So, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to wait on the sidelines? Or are you changing the world?