We all go through some things. It is how we react to them that matters. Choices make our experiences.
Mark V. Smith is a vice president of middle athletic career counseling association and currently serves as a trainer at the Center for Urban Families in Baltimore. He also created The Process Podcast to help others become a better human.
Things will happen and changes will occur in our lives.
One of Smith’s first gigs was working at a juvenile detention center. This is where he learned that while his life took a different trajectory, the more he met and spoke with the young men at the center, the more he saw how alike they were.
“One of the consistent things they had within them was the lack of a true male figure inside of their home. When I define true male figure, I mean somebody who gave them wisdom and instinct every single day. They each had male figures, but those male figures weren’t the ones who gave them true guidance.
“They learned to manage the streets. That’s not what they wanted to do. Everybody really wanted to belong to something. Some made that bad choice because they wanted to belong to something. Unfortunately, they committed a crime and had to do some time.”
They were only held until they were 18 years old. If they were committed to the department of youth services, they were released at 21.
Smith met many personalities. It was one of the best jobs he ever had. He learned how to understand and actively listen.
That ability to sit down, have a conversation, and see where these men had come from, it helped Smith determine what he could do to make an impact on individuals across the world.
In seeking greatness, things are going to come against you. Beware of who is in your circle, versus who is in your cage. That means learn who will hold you back and who will stop you from reaching some of the levels you want to go through.
There are two defining moments in Smith’s life. One was when he lost his father.
“You go through a time or a period, with the loss of a parent, to where you think about some of the things you could have done, you should have done, or would’ve done. My father passed away 18 years ago, but he passed away on my birthday.”
While it wasn’t really a strained relationship, Smith didn’t understand who his father was. When he died, they had become close. Because they were close, Smith was out of sorts. He didn’t know where to go for self-esteem, that extra boost, and talk.
Later on, he married, divorced, and subsequently remarried.
His wife sat him down and told him to think about the messages his father showed him. He should think about his father’s impact, what he gave him, and remember how blessed and favored he was. She told him the day his father died was the day he gave him life.
He thought about the teachings and the messages. Then he thought about how to expand on them and give these lessons to other individuals.
Something stirred inside Smith. He wrote a journal to put thoughts together. He then released them and called it The Process.
The bottom line: there are incidents that can change one’s peripheral.
Smith always circled back to that date because it was when his mindset changed from being selfish, to being selfless.
He also uses the analogy of driving a car.
“When is the last time you got in the car? Did you notice how many times you look in that rear view mirror? That rear view mirror is a lot smaller than your front mirror. It’s because that’s your past. You should not look behind you. You always look ahead to see what’s coming.”
The past does not define you.
It takes intestinal fortitude to get up every day to think about where you are every single day.
The adage of one percent fuels Smith. Get one percent better every single day of the small things. Those small things will magnify into big things. Just win the day. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Take care of today. If you can push one percent more, and everybody can, if you apply one more thing, one more percent every single day, the past will slowly diminish behind you. You will see the strength and perseverance that you have within. Yet, most people will not change until the pain of staying the same is greater.
“The world is going grow,” adds Smith. “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. If you want to stay right where you are, that’s okay. Nobody can make you change, but at some point, the pain of staying the same will be greater than the pain to change.”
The Process Podcast is a playbook of situations and ideas that how we can move our mind to a positive level.