Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Exit Better.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You get to choose. What will you do today to exit better?

“Exit Better.” Two simple words. I first saw these two words formed as a phrase between my junior and senior years of high school. At the Washington Leadership Conference, we had small “Community Groups” with around 25 other students and one group leader. My Community Group leader, Shannon, taught us so much that week, more than I am sure she realizes. One of my favorite take-aways, however, was from a simple sign she placed above the door. This sign contained two simple words, “Exit Better.” Shannon challenged us that week to ALWAYS exit the room better than we came in.

It took me until after WLC was over and I was back to real life to truly appreciate this concept. “Exit Better.” While Shannon encouraged us to exit the room better, because of her actions, compassion and investment in us, she showed me how to exit each conversation, day, year, experience and life better than when it began.

We are given 365 days in one year. What are you going to do to exit each day better? Give that teammate who is having an off-day encouragement.  When it is you having an off-day, make yourself create a list of 10 reasons why today is good. You probably won’t want to do it at the time, but it works… trust me. When your test grade isn’t what you were hoping for, use it as motivation to study harder for your next one. If your advisor is running around trying to finish last-minute details for convention, ask them how you can help. 

We don’t always have the best of days. Some days down right stink. But even when you got a stain on your favorite shirt, that one friend said something that upset you, or that one driver cut you off, you get the choice of changing your attitude or letting it roll into the next day. We have the ability to turn an obstacle into an opportunity. 

Minnesota FFA, my teammates and I have been on the journey of a lifetime. We encountered days with challenges, stress and weariness, but even on those days, there were so many reasons to exit better. The members I met have shown me how many incredible people there are in our world, and there are so many of those people still to meet. I have gained friends that will last a lifetime. I have been shown love and care by people I had not known 24 hours before. I have met the amazing supporters of FFA, including business owners, parents, legislators and more. I have learned that small acts of kindness make a world of difference.

This has been a year of service to Minnesota FFA, but through the experiences I have had, you have taught me more, shown me more compassion and given me more reasons to be thankful than you will ever know. Minnesota FFA, thank you for filling my heart with joy this past year. It is because of you, that when the final session of convention comes, and a brand new Minnesota FFA State Officer team is installed, I get to exit better. Thank you.

For the final time...

Stationed by the ear of corn,


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