By Jeff Shore
Young Person Dreaming
I recently had the great privilege to speak to students in an economics class at Antelope High School in the Sacramento area. The subject was “Entrepreneurialism – What it is and Why it Matters.” I use the word privilege with all sincerity; it was an honor.

The most enjoyable part of the class was the Q&A time. It was quite a revealing discussion that essentially divided the class into three groups.

Group one basically sat on their hands in general disinterest. It was an economics class and they had other things on their mind. These were, after all high school students.

Group two was polite, if reserved. They were well-mannered but not particularly engaged.

But group three was noticeably captivated by the interaction, asking questions, absorbing the information and considering ways to apply the concepts to their future lives. They were deeply interested in the possibilities of an entrepreneurial life.  One even walked me to the car to further pick my brain.

Group three made up future success stories. These were the young people who put themselves out there, both now and (I hope) in the future.

What was the big difference between these three sets of students?

Belief.

Group three believed – in themselves and in their futures. They were daring enough to think they could live a full life and make an impact in their world.

A quick aside… At one point I said this to the group: “One of my mottos in life is…’ life is a buffet, and I want to die full.’” Some were like, “yeah, whatever.” But group three wrote it down. They were the believers.

The connection between belief and behavior (and then between behavior and results) is undeniable. There is a hunger – an intense “want to” – that you see in successful people. I would love to track the future of group three; I predict great things.

They believe in themselves. They believe in their potential. They believe they can influence their future.

But this story isn’t about group three – the overachievers; nor group one – the disinterested.

My concern is group two, the silent observers. These are the ones who, I fear, will have their lives dictated by other people or by circumstances. They will play it safe and take the road well-traveled. Theirs will be a story of unfulfilled potential.

I know this is a rash generalization, and I’d probably agree that the idea is a sweeping statement, somewhat unfair, and potentially inaccurate. But let’s get past that for a moment.

Ask yourself the question: Where am I RIGHT NOW! Am I in group two – the polite, the reserved, the safe?

If so, change your belief, my friends. Each of us is capable of extraordinary things.

Each of us can choose to believe in ourselves…to believe in our potential…to believe we can influence our future.

Each of us is capable of changing the world.