Thursday, July 23, 2015

You Are a Pioneer!

Tomorrow is Pioneer Day in Utah, which celebrates the arrival of the first Mormon Pioneers in Salt Lake Valley. 

I am wondering, in what ways are you a pioneer?  As you know, pioneers explore, innovate, lead the way, or journey to unfamiliar places physically, mentally, spiritually, and/or emotionally.  Here are a few examples of what other pioneers have done:

-- Learn a musical instrument

-- Be the first to break the cycle of anger or abuse or poor parenting in your family

-- Use writing or art to express something worthwhile to others

-- Develop a new procedure or product or methodology for your company

-- Start a new company

-- Overcome a habit or addiction through a 12-step program or other method

-- Teach something useful and positive to your children or others

-- Forgive people from the past that have harmed you

-- Be the first to get a degree or advanced degree in your family

-- Decide to take responsibility for everything in your life rather than blame others or circumstances

-- Move to a new location

-- Create a plan to transition from your current work to what you know you should be doing, and then implement that plan.

-- Begin that fun hobby you’ve always wanted to try

-- Break out of a negative thinking or behavior pattern 

And there are many other ways to forge ahead and be a pioneer.

On this Pioneer Day, put some thought into how you have been a pioneer or how you are a pioneer or how you can become a pioneer.  Pioneers are courageous and optimistic. They plan ahead and are willing to do the work. 

To spur you on in your “journey,” you can listen to a song that was sung by Mormon Pioneers as they crossed the Plains, adapt it to your situation…and keep living!


  1. I was an habitual procrastinator, deceiving myself that I did my best work under the pressure of an imminent due date. I erroneously prided myself in "knocking out" ten-page papers starting at 10:00 PM the night before I would hand them in. One of my professors remarked, "Randy, you write very well, but you wander all over the place, and I'm never sure just what your conclusion is, or how you got there."

    I had one (Literature) professor, who laid out his essay requirements: a very precise format ("the paper is contained on exactly 5 pages, including end notes"), with the stern injunction that papers would be turned in at the very beginning of class the due day, no running in at the end of it class or sliding it under my office door later in the day. That paper gets an "F." And no excuse cover letters, not even from the infirmary." Not only did he get his papers on time, but I did my best work. For example, by restricting us to five pages, we had to be organized and concise. And rather than squander precious space with end notes -- meaning other people's work -- I was encouraged to provide more of my own writing.

    Sometimes I was honest enough to tell my professors the truth: "I drink too much." A pathetic and ineffective sympathy ploy. Only later in life did I truly understand the truth of Mark Twain's quip, "Youth is wasted on the young."

    But writers know that every misfortune (even my "Bachelor of Alcoholism" degree) is potential material. A secondary character in my novel is an alcoholic, brought more colorfully to light because of those dark days of my misspent youth.

  2. Keep moving forward, Randy! We learn as we go. Best wishes....