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You can do it…you really can

While surfing the web, I stumbled on a story about a 9-year-old boy living in Africa raising his 2 younger siblings after his parents died. His story isn’t unique for that part of the world. Yet, something hit me while watching him.


Take Action With What You've Got Where You Are NowThe boy showed the reporter a small square piece of plastic, similar to the stuff that insulates houses. That flimsy plastic served as his bed and shelter for his family. As he shared his story, he struggled to keep it together. Despite obvious emotion, he managed.


That young boy took it upon himself to do what needed to be done. Plain and simple. He wasn’t looking for anyone else to do it for him. He didn’t look for a handout, nor beg the government to fix his situation. And, it was painfully clear that his parents couldn’t lighten his load.


As I listened to his story, it struck a cord in me. It wasn’t sadness or pity. I felt admiration and inspiration!


I was in awe of this boy. Developed enough to understand someone else wouldn’t solve his problems, he picked himself up. He tapped into an inner power that gave him the ability to do whatever needed to be done. He took action! At that moment, he became a hero of mine.


After reflecting, I realized I needed to apply his wisdom to my life. Like the nameless authored quote goes, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.” [1] In my mind, I’d been complaining about some things. I’d lost perspective. There was little appreciation for what I had at my disposal to get the job done.
Renewed and thankful, I took action. Like the boy, I bowed up my chest and did what needed to be done. Boom.
It was a simple change in attitude! It’s amazing what we can do when we change our perception.


You really can do it


If you find yourself stuck in a pity party, remember this young man’s story. Then, grab a pen and paper. Here are three steps that can help you move through tough times.


1. Make a list of all the things you need to do.

Many times the mental clutter of what we need to do, bogs us down. Conserve your energy. Write down a comprehensive list of things you need to do, big and small.


2. Be grateful for all of your existing resources.

A great way to shift your perspective is to thankfully note what you already have that will help tackle your list. Gratitude helps unlock energy. There are plenty of studies that demonstrate the benefits of gratitude. [2] With a new perspective and energy, taking action is much easier.


3. Approach the list in order of ease.

Taking action generates energy to do more. It’s called momentum. Prime your pump by tackling the easiest item from your list first. Then, work onward til you’ve got your motor running. Even if you have to move some things to the next day, the sense of accomplishment will be a boost. Keep at it and do the next right thing.


You’ve got this



Like the boy in Africa, you can do what needs to be done. Chances are that you have much more in resources and probably less challenging circumstances than he. Be grateful and do the best you can with what you’ve got right here and now. You can do incredible things…you really can.


I can do better. You can do better. We can do better.


Let’s do better!






Erica Rogers