How do I choose to live my life? I choose to live my life happy, positive, and to the fullest. I am happy because I choose to be happy, and I do not let other people dictate, interrupt, or take away my happiness. I surround myself with positive people. I do not involve myself with negative people, situations, attitudes, or things. Life is too short for nonsense. I live life to the fullest by doing and trying positive things that will not only make me a better person, but a more rounded and diverse person.
I do not care to follow others paths, so I chose to make my own path in life. Not following anyone else's path is beneficial because there is no one to compare me to, and I am not trying to be anyone else. So, creating my own path works for me. This is why I am able to wear so many hats, and wear them graciously.
I have no concerns or worries about meeting people's expectations. I am Dr. Li, and that is all I can be.
My life story on how I became the person that I am today has so many interesting points that I would love to share. But for the sake of time, and to keep this article from turning into a book, I am going to share two simple childhood discoveries that set my life in motion and that put me on the path on what I know as life.
My story of how I became the person that I am may seem a little different from most. It may even be a little funny. But it's the truth.
Let me clear up a few things now.
I do not have any spectacular talents like being artistic, musical, athletic, or any other wonderful talents people are born with and that are easily discovered. I rarely made any A's, and I wasn't the Valedictorian of my class. I made more B's and C's, with a few A's scattered here and there throughout my entire school career. Just to add in for bragging purpose, I did make the A honor roll, once in high school, and it shocked my entire family including me. But for some strange reason, it never happened again.
Why I am sharing this with you? For two simple reasons.
First, so that you can understand, that I have no spectacular or wonderful talents like many people are blessed with. Secondly, to lay the foundation for my story so that you can understand a little more about me and how I am your average person with no spectacular talents.
I was born and raised in a small town where everybody knew everyone. This small southern town, Eastman, is located in the beautiful Peach State, Georgia. Most people have never heard of Eastman, but for those born and raised in Eastman, the small town values and morals that are learned is a way of life, and it was no different for me. Eastman is where it all started and where the foundation of being a dreamer and being creative was built.
I am the youngest of three children. My sister is the genius of the family, and my brother is the talented one. Then there is me. I knew at any early age, that I wasn't the smartest or the most talented individual in the family. I am not sure where I stood, as far as what my family thought of me. But two things I knew for sure: I wasn't the smartest or the most talented one out the bunch.
My sister was the perfect child and she made it hard on my brother and me to follow in her footsteps. She did everything right and then on top of being perfect, she even made straight A's throughout her entire school career from Kindergarten until she graduated from college.
My brother, the talented one, has gifted hands. He is artistic and can draw or construct anything with his hands. Not only is he artistic, but he is very fast and neat with the things he does with his hands.
Once again, then there is me.
Well, since this story is suppose to be true, I am going to be honest - I can't even compare with my sister's being a genius, and my brother being talented and gifted with his hands. So, I am going to continue to be honest, because not only am I suppose to be honest, but by being honest I may help you understand that you do not have to be the smartest or most talented to have a happy and fulfilling life.
So, here goes the truth about talents.
All I have is a very big mouth and the ability to think.
I hope I didn't disappoint you, but I warned you earlier. Yes, those are my two talents. And like I stated earlier, I wasn't blessed with the great singing voice, the ability to draw, or the ability to excel in a sport.
Now, you are probably wondering, when I discovered these unique talents?
In my childhood.
Growing up, I used my big mouth and thinking ability to my advantage to get out of things I had no interest in, like doing household chores. By me being the youngest, it seemed to me then as a child, that if I had two older siblings that were both smart and talented. Why would they bother me and try to involve me in household chores, that they could do themselves?
Since, my sister was so intelligent and my brother was so fast and quick with his hands, it seemed to me that they could handle all the chores without me. It just made a whole lot of sense to me.
Instead of them doing what I thought made a whole lot of sense, my sister, being the quick thinking and intelligent person that she is, came up with the idea of making a game out of selecting chores.
She would write down the household chores that needed to be done on separate pieces of paper. She would then fold them up and put the folded paper into a basket. We would then have to pull the pieces of paper out of the basket, until they all were gone, and equally divided between the three of us. Then we would all take turns opening up the chores to see what each person was responsible for completing.
Well, it never failed. It seemed to me that I always got the hardest chores that would take forever to finish. I always ended up with chores that were no fun like washing the dishes, vacuuming the carpet, and folding clothes.
So by being the youngest, I knew I had to use being the youngest to my advantage and use what I had. And all I had was a big mouth and the ability to think.
So, I would start thinking to myself, now what stunt can I pull off quickly to relieve myself and rid myself of these horrific chores, that I didn't understand why I was doing in the first place?
So, I would think and create a plan quickly. If I was vacuuming, I would accidentally trip and fall, and scream and cry as loud as I could. I knew in a matter of minutes, by doing this, that my sister and brother would come to my rescue. As soon as they arrived in the room I was in, I would put on such an act and performance that they would feel sorry for their poor little baby sister. And either out of pity or fear that we all were going to get in trouble if the chores were not completed, my sister and brother would complete my chores for me. While they completed the chores, poor little old injured me would lie in the bed and take it easy.
The first time I pulled off one of my performance, and got out of doing my chores, was a fantastic discovery for me. I knew then that, while I may not be the smartest or the most talented, I had two talents also; the ability to use my big mouth and creatively think to better my situation. When used together, my two talents were just as good as any other talent. I had finally discovered what I was good at and what my gifts were. God blessed me with the power to think creatively and the ability to put what I am thinking into words and into action.
I must admit, my sister caught on very quickly to my tricks. I had to step up my creativeness because my sister started telling me that I needed to be on television, because I was such a great actress and because there was nothing wrong with me. So, I had to come up with all kinds of creative ideas (aches) to get out of doing chores: stomach aches, headaches, backaches, body aches, and tooth aches. You name it, I came up with it.
I must add that I believe my brother caught on to my tricks also, but he was a little more sympathetic to my crying and screaming than my sister. So, he didn't force the issue of me having to participate as much as my sister.
I had discovered what my gifts were, so I worked on and improved my two gifts to become more constructive at thinking and talking. I not only improved and developed my gifts over the course of my life, but I am always working on them to improve them so that I can continue to live my life to the fullest with both happiness and positive influences.
The other thing that influences me is my spiritual life.
As a child, my mother always made sure that we were in church. She was dedicated not only having her children in church, but her sister's children, who lived down the street. My mother would have all of us participating in Sunday School, Worship Service, Junior Choir, Junior Usher Board, etc. We did it all.
Now that I think back, my mother had it tough because we were not your perfect little angels. We were doing everything children were not supposed to do in church. For example, we would talk to each other when we should have been listening to the sermon, we chewed gum when there was no food allowed, and we harassed each other in the choir stands when we should have been singing, and so on.
But through this, my mother must have known that even though we were probably more of a headache than it was worth, that we would eventually hear something that would stick in our minds and help our lives.
Well, while going to church and participating in all the church related activities and functions, the information was presented in a lesson that God is Love. He loves us no matter what and if you have faith in him, all things are possible.
Oh, this was all I needed to hear. A little light bulb went off in my head and I started thinking about this new found information. With this knowledge, and my two talents of talking and thinking creatively, I decided right then that I would do any and everything in my life that I could imagine because all I needed was God's love and to have faith.
I knew that any and all things were possible because God will always love me no matter what, and as long as I believe and have faith I can do anything. I can wear as many hats as I want and be the best believer (of God), daughter, sister, friend, educator, business woman, motivational speaker, model, actress, and the author of my book, "Keep It Moving."
I understood that it didn't matter where I was born, or if I came from a small town, or that I wasn't the smartest or most talented. I understood that what did matter was that God loves me no matter what, and that if I continue to have faith throughout my life, anything is possible.
I took my talents and gifts from God and I decided I wanted to live my life, and not follow anyone else's path. I wanted to do something different and make my own path. And that is just what I did and I am still doing. I am living a happy, positive, and fulfilling life.
So, this I say to you:
"No matter whom you are, where you were born or live, the situation you were born into, or the grades that you made, the talents you feel like you may or may not have, you too have a gift. The gift may be something spectacular or it could be typical gifts like mine.
Whatever your gifts are (and you do have some) use them to the best of your ability to fulfill your life. And always remember, God is Love, and he loves you no matter what, and if you have faith in him all things are possible.
Make your own path and wear as many hats as you would like. Stay positive and distance yourself from negative people, situations, attitudes, or things. Life is too short for nonsense.
No matter your age (it's never to late), choose to be happy and live your life to the fullest. And don't let anyone tell you any different because I didn't."
Copyright © 2009 Dr. Alicia Francis - a.k.a. "Dr. Li"
Dr. Li is an educator, businesswoman, model, actress, motivational speaker, and author (newly released book entitled "Keep It Moving").
Be sure to stop by her website: http://www.pleasekim.com