It’s time to find your place in the sun.
With today’s total eclipse, I am reminded of several events that, at the time, I didn’t realize had some sort of connection with each other.
The first was another solar eclipse. Back on February 26th in 1979, we had a solar eclipse. I remember it getting darker outside, and I remember trying to make a pinhole projector. I didn’t get it to work, or at least I don’t remember seeing very much. But I do remember all the hype that went with the event. Kind of like today, except we didn’t have the internet or a couple of hundred cable channels.
The second event was in May of 1979. I was the President of my FFA Chapter during my senior year, and my last official act was a speech at our annual dinner, just before the installation of next years leaders.
I was not a good enough student to be able to give any kind of speech at my upcoming graduation, so this was going to be my only chance to pass on all of the wisdom I had picked up over my first 18 years on this planet.
What I told the students that evening is that we all had something to do. Whether, like myself, we were heading off on new adventures and going to college in the fall, or we still had a couple of years of high school to look forward to, we still had things to do. We all had things to learn.
We all had something we were supposed to be.
And then I challenged them. I told them to go out into the world, just like I was about to do, and go find their place in the sun.
I also played the Pablo Cruise song for them, to help drive my point home.
Fast-forward now 38 and a half years. We’re having another solar eclipse, and I’m going to challenge you, and add to what I said way back then.
No matter who you are. No matter your age. No matter what you have done in the past.
Go. Go and make a difference. Go and find your place in the sun.
But, once you have found your place in the sun, don’t settle. Keep going. Keep looking for more. Keep moving forward.
Keep looking for more places in the sun.
That is what I am still doing.
I’ve been to many places. I have done things I never though I would. I have made many changes to the initial path of life that I thought I was on.
And for each and every one of those changes to what I thought my life was to be, I have come out the other side a much stronger person.
You can do it, too.
No matter what life throws at you, you can let it hold you back, or you can make yourself stronger by pushing through, and when you do, you will learn more about what you are capable of.
Right now, I am still looking. Not for my place in the sun. I’m looking for my NEXT place in the sun.
And I know it is just around the corner.