Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

This is an assignment completed for my Tax and Payroll class this semester at FTCC. The instructions are to follow and lastly my response.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (YTT)

 Subject:  Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
 1.  Where you are going in life is often a function of your past, what is going on in your life at the moment, and your vision of what the (your) future holds for you.
 2.  Borrowing a quote from Stephen Covey, the author of many books on success principles, I would like you to "begin with the end in mind". Toward that end, I need you to think/ponder a few questions:
a.  What is it that you want from this course?
b.  What effort are you willing and able to invest to obtain what you want?
 3.  We are all are a reflection of our collective experiences. Sharing our individual experiences can be enriching and thought provoking for the person giving as well as the person receiving. In fulfillment of this assignment, take a moment to reflect on the "Yesterdays" of your life. As well, assess what you are doing today that enable you to reach your "Tomorrows". Following is an outline of the topics you are to address in a short paper:
a.  Background (Yesterday) "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom" (Patton)
  i.  Education
  ii.  Work experience
  iii.  Family situation (i.e. things that may impact upon your class participation, such as being a single parent, etc)
  iv.  Your most valued resource
  v.  Your strongest asset
b.  Why are you here (Today) "Life is a great big canvass, and you should throw all the paint on it you can" (Kaye)
  i.  Why FTCC?
  ii.   What is your major area of study? Why?
  iii.  Your expectations for this course?
1.  Grade & Why?
2.  Work effort you are willing to invest to achieve this goal?
c.  Your Goals (Tomorrow)- "A man without vision will perish"
  i.  This year?
  ii.  Five (5) years from now?
  iii.  Ten years from now?
  iv.  Ultimate life goals?"

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

            I will begin this assignment by again quoting Stephen Covey “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.” In the past I was far from seeking understanding and more interested in expressing myself. My current ability to seek understanding could be described as “I seek to understand some of the time” or “needs some improvement” but again understanding is the end goal. I mean this in all aspects of my life. I would like to be a better listener with family and friends, and in my job with customers, coworkers, and management. I want to seek understanding in my education and not just pass my classes but truly learn. Life seems to be less about time and more about energy. The amount of energy you have to complete the tasks you take on at any given time. I can only say I’m willing to invest my energy into this class.
            Story time! I was an awkward child. Honestly I really really was and didn’t make friends easy. I didn’t fit in with the “cool kids” and I didn’t find my gang of outcast and totally awesome counterparts until I was in 6th and 7th grade. So elementary school was a hard time for me. Let me elaborate a little. I took 3rd grade twice and didn’t make friend either year. I brought my stuffed giraffe to school with me for at least 2 years and played with him on the playground. I was once so excited to get invited to a birthday party and then realized the entire class got invited so it was clear the girl’s mother gave her no option. This story is about the moment I understood that friends were only worth having if they liked you for being you. I was in elementary school and maybe 9 or 10 years old. The girls down the street were playing outside and as usual I had not been invited. I went over to them after observing them dedicate a huge amount of interest to something on the sidewalk. I soon discovered it was a harmless garden snake that had them jumping and sending out high pitched screams. The girls were both too scared to touch the snake but one of them had collected a baseball bat from her house and was daring the other to kill the snake. When it became apparent neither girl had the “guts” I stepped up to the plate…so to speak. I was Jim whitewashing the fence for Tom Sawyer*, I was Flick getting triple dog dared to stick his tongue to a flagpole**…I was young. I killed the snake. The girls screamed, and giggled, rejoiced and even invited me to join in their outdoor games. However the prize no longer felt worth the price. I loved animals, I was not scared of the snake, I had no right to kill it…I went home.
            Yesterdays like the one above are far from my conscious thought but always a secure part of my personal foundation. Yesterdays that affect me more directly include my recent education. I have been studying at Fayetteville tech for 2 years and have learned a lot. This was a stepping stone school for me. My job history includes gallivanting off in Alaska as a tour guide, building computers in the factory at Dell and most recently working with credit unions and lending companies in the financial field. I live on Fort Bragg with my husband and our golden retriever Vash (the stamped).
My Best Friend Stephanie!
            My most valued resource is my best friend Stephanie. I met her in the 5th grade and we have been there for one another time and time again. She is a rock when I need her to be. She is beautiful and a wonderful example of how perseverance and continued self-improvement will take you farther and make you stronger! She once shared with me the answer she gave during an interview when asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years.” Her answer was simple, confident and accurate. “I don’t claim to know where I’ll be in 5 years; however I believe I will make the best decisions with the opportunities handed to me. I believe I will continue to do my very best at everything I do. I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years but I know I’ll be happy because I will have worked my absolute hardest to get there.”
            My strongest asset is my ability to improve myself. I hope to seek understanding. I hope never to be too proud to say “you’re right, I was wrong.” To know better the next time is a far better achievement than being right the first time. If you’re always right it’s time to reevaluate. No one is always right.
            I’m at FTCC this semester because I couldn’t afford to go anywhere else. My financial security is important to me and even though student loans are not necessarily bad debt I currently have no debt at all. MyCaa (a program helping Army spouses pay for an associate’s degree) paid for this semester at FTCC. I had enough financial aid to cover my books and next semester I will have tuition assistance through my new job. I am choosing a degree in accounting based on money as well. I would love to make 6 figures a year and support my family, myself, charities and afford to enjoy life. I really enjoy working with people so I do hope the accounting path doesn’t lead me away from the face to face interactions I love. I still believe many doors and paths will be open to me. I love my life. I love God. I love my husband. I love people. I love myself. I love to love!
            I would like to tell you about Bull’s-eye goals. Bull’s-eye goals are simple. Always shoot for the bull’s-eye. Shoot for the very best! If you are going to miss you will still be far closer to perfection than if you were aiming lower. To do the best you can doesn’t always mean you are the best at what you are doing. You are just the best you can be at it. That is all you can expect from yourself. That being said I’m going to get an A in this class.
            My goals are very difficult to define at this moment in my life. I would love to give you Stephanie’s answer to this question because it is the most accurate answer available. However if I must describe where I see myself, this year, in 5 years, in 10 years and my long teams goals I will try. This year I hope to excel at my new job and transfer to a university to begin a bachelors program. In 5 years I want to be out of Fayetteville and have been promoted at my job. I believe my husband and I will have had at least our first child by this point. 10 years from now I hope to have extra vacation for family trips with our children. I strive to be in a strong financial place with my career well underway. Ultimately I would like to open my own business. I would be happy owning a franchise and believe my skills to that point will make me successful. Mostly I dream of early or at least timely retirement with steady income. I would gladly budget now for additional golden years, visiting the kids wherever their adventures take them…seeing the world. “All I want is a little place of my own where I can rest my head.”***
            This time I will quote the wonderful Mother Teresa. She is beautiful in the fact that she really was the change she wanted to see in the world****. How spectacular and rare. When everything is overwhelming and the end impossibly far I remember her worlds “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Carrie Ann Brewer

*Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
** A Christmas Story (1983)
***The Forecast
****“Be the change you want to see in the world” –Mahatma Gandhi


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