By: D. A. Slinkard I have a confession to make that has been bothering me for the past two hours after I made the decision to do my horrendous act. Let me go ahead and get this off my chest so I can go about my day. It all happened on Saturday, August 26th about 9am CST as I was leaving the soccer fields after having a great practice with my team that I coach. I saw an individual I knew and quickly greeted him and when he kindly obliged my greeting that is when it happened. I lied to him when he asked me how I was doing as I replied with, “I’m living the dream.” Are you kidding me? As soon as the words had no more than left my lips I was ready to vomit. What does that phrase, “living the dream” even mean and why would I utter such a lie? I immediately thought about how many other people lie to their friends, to their families and even to themselves by telling the lie that they are living the dream. The truth is, I am not living the dream as I am on a continual search to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I am willing to go out on a limb and suggest that all the other people out there who say they are living the dream, well, they’re lying too. If you cannot be honest with yourself then who can you be honest with? If you have been lying to yourself and uttering that you have been living the dream when you actually haven’t been; might I suggest the buck stop here. What are we going to do about it? I suggest we change the way we think about how we are going to attack life. Yes, attack life and do so with a purpose. The best-selling book of all time tells us in Proverbs chapter 29 verse 18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” What kind of vision do you have in your life? Are you living a life that is thriving or one that is barely surviving? If you are barely getting by then how can you lie to yourself and say you are living the dream? What does your vision look like for your life? How do we go about getting that vision the Bible talks about so we do not perish? With anything in life if we have no purpose for what we are doing then we will not find the success that we so desperately want. I do not know of anyone that sets intentionally to be mediocre yet too many of us approach our days and our lives with the “average” mindset. My wife and I went to that average restaurant to eat. My friend was telling me about that average movie he saw with average actors. Do we rant and rave about average things in our life? No, yet somehow we all have this notion what the average life should be. 2 ½ kids, white picket fence, dog barking in the backyard, that’s the average dream that was preached growing up. Truth be told is we do not even know what average is today because if you look at life we have a divorce rate greater than 50% of married couples. We have kids growing up without dads and moms being a part of their life. This average life does not sound appealing to me at all yet everyday we have friends, family members, even ourselves, falling for the average gimmick. That folks is all it is, average, is nothing but a gimmick. You wouldn’t tell your kids to go make average grades in school yet our actions tell our kids to go live average lives. Why? It’s time that we practice in our own lives what we preach in our kid’s lives. Go be GREAT, and leave the average to someone else so they can be delusional and think that average is a good thing. It is a horrible thing and you should do everything in your power to gain that vision of how your life needs to be. If you don’t, that dream you thought you were living is going to turn into a nightmare. You’ll be living the dream but it will be someone else’s dream. Either you can create the vision for your life or someone else will create their vision for you. GBG- Go Be Great and forget about being average. By: D. A. Slinkard D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

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