For the past year or so, our teenage daughter, Helena, has been preparing for the dance team tryouts at Antonian College Prep High School here in San Antonio. In fact, she has participated in dance since she was in kindergarten.
However, the pressure mounted recently because she was adamant about making the varsity dance team as a freshman. As parents, we wanted her to attain her goal, but we also wanted to prepare her for the possibility of falling short.
I said, “Helena, there are times when the competition is tough, and if you don’t make it this year, you can try out next year, and I’m sure your chances will increase over time.”
She responded, “Papi, I want to make varsity my freshman year, and that’s all there is to it!”
Knowing the tryouts were scheduled in May 2022, she enrolled in additional dance classes. This meant that after attending middle school all day at Holy Spirit, she would train during the evenings, and somewhere along the way she was keeping up with her homework.
The schedule was tough on her mentally and physically, but the passion to succeed drove her each day. There were times when she fell short during her training sessions, but she kept at it.
On May 19, Helena’s 14th birthday, the tryout was held. She randomly selected #19, which we felt was good luck because it coincided with her birthdate.
My wife and I picked her up after her performance, and she seemed confident but a bit nervous. There were, after all, 24 eager participants vying for the coveted positions.
Later that evening, near midnight, we received the email that Helena had made the Antonian College Prep High School Varsity Dance Team!
Train. Fail. Keep Training.
I share this story with you because I saw firsthand the importance of setting a tough goal and doing everything possible to attain it. Once we decide we want something bad enough, it’s interesting how we often take the action to make it happen.
Let’s consider the following:
- Stephanie wants to become the CFO of her company, and she knows this position is assigned to individuals with extensive knowledge and experience in the discipline of Finance. She informs her manager that her goal is to become the CFO, which puts her on the radar. She pursues her MBA in Finance, and she accepts every opportunity to enhance her knowledge of the company’s financial operations. This training, commitment, and passion will increase Stephanie’s chances of someday reaching her big goal.
- In a recent performance appraisal, Jon’s manager informed him that he has the potential to climb the corporate ladder. However, Jon is concerned because he is afraid of public speaking, and he knows this is an important skill set for a great leader. He decides to tackle this issue head-on and begins to volunteer to lead meetings. He also signs-up up at the local Toastmaster’s International Club. In a few months, Jon feels much better about sharing his thoughts in public, and he is even receiving praise from his manager and peers.
While working hard to complete a goal, it is important to keep the following in mind:
Humility is an essential quality. On the day of her tryout, I mentioned to Helena the importance of showing humility, which is often accompanied by a quiet confidence.
It is a beautiful feeling to know that God is watching over us like a parent, and He will be there regardless of the outcome.