Life features journeys that you never thought you would ever take. The plan you might have for your life may not be the exact thing that happens. Every journey leads you to a better place in life. What happens when the vision is greater than the outcome though? What happens when you have a great vision, but aren’t quite sure that it will be successful?

I can’t answer those questions; I believe they are questions of self-discovery which means the answer will be different for every individual. However, I can tell you that I know how it feels. I know what it feels like to want your vision to stay alive, but not having the confidence to continue because the current circumstances outweigh the possible outcomes.

How do I know these things? I know these things because seven years ago this July, I founded a nonprofit, then called Voices of America. The reasoning behind this organization was that youth in the community weren’t being heard as they should be. It’s important that I note that at the time that I founded this organization, I was twelve years old and I was on the journey by myself.

I had no idea what I was doing, but I do know that I had a vision. I knew that my vision was to create a new culture that inspired students to change the the community and the world. I planned to travel to different churches in the community and speak to not only youth, but also to adults to inspire others to believe in my vision.

I say all that to say this, with seven years in the books, making this vision a reality has never been smooth. I have never been able to raise enough money to cover the basic operating expenses and I’ve haven’t been too successful in having people buy into my vision. In 2016, I gave the organization a complete makeover. I renamed the organization to Teen Action Program. I somehow convinces a complete stranger to redesign our logo at no cost to us (maybe I can get people to buy into my vision).

By now you’re probably wondering how the title of this post ties into what I’m talking about. I title this post “Cast the Net” because having a vision or a dream is just like fishing. Fishermen aren’t always sure if they will catch anything, but they still cast their nets, over and over again. There have been so many times that I cast my net not knowing if I would ever catch anything, but I kept on casting it over and over again.

There has been so many times that I would come to the point of thinking about quitting. It seems like every time there would a moment of great success, the failure to follow was greater. I have given up hope on many different occasions, but every time I would think about how great of change continuing could bring to Lauderdale County. I would remember my vision of wanting to create a new culture that inspires students to change the community and the world.

Through it all, the one thing that I have learned is that it isn’t about having one big success, it’s about the small successes that lead to the bigger one. I was so focused on the big success that I would discount the smaller successes and focus on the failure rather than how the small successes could get me to the bigger one. Even to this day, Teen Action Program is no where near the success I thought it would be, but I’m going to keep on casting my net until I catch the big load.

Maybe that’s you. Whatever it is you think is holding you back from starting that group, that blog, that website, that store, or that organization, know that the only thing holding you back is yourself. Don’t be afraid to cast your net. You may not catch anything for the first seven years, but as long as you continue to cast that net, as long as you continue to cast your vision to the world, you will catch something one day.

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