Some of you may recognize the name of this week’s contributor. He’s a Drexel student, certified yoga instructor, founder of the student organization Flow, and CEO of Dream BIG & Co., an agency that elevates the stories of people and brands in an attempt to share them with the rest of the world. We asked Anthony if he would be willing to share something with us and he did! Be sure to check out his piece as well as Dream BIG & Co.. You can also check him out on Medium as well as on Instagram.
I want to tell you a story.
In the fall of 2017, I arrived on the outskirts of a forest.
Observing the large land in front of me, I dove inside my mind and took a time lapse of the past – in order to cherish the previous adventures I once had.
I had spent 75% of my younger life with my “family tribe” and my “sports tribe”. I learned and experienced such amazing things in such a short period of time.
I truly did have fun on those past adventures when I was a young kid.
It was a blast.
But little did I know that while I was having fun, I was also preparing for the unbelievable adventure ahead of me.
My tribe, my people, my books, and my sports had all given me the tools I needed to survive, and thrive, in the obscurity of a forest.
But all that was behind me when I entered this massive forest in the fall of 2017.
It was time to use the tools I had been given.
For the first couple weeks of being in a new land with a new adventure ahead, I took notice of the flat terrain once more. I continued to observe the trees ahead of me, while taking in the scenic sight.
I took a screenshot with my eyes to remember the lay of the land.
I was still somewhat awe struck since it takes me a long time to process things fully.
However, once it sunk in, it sunk deep.
I repeated in my head, “I’m in a completely new forest, but it’s time to go now. It’s time to grow now Ant. No matter how much uncertainty you may have.”
After entertaining the beauty of the forest and the memories of my mind for a couple hours, I entered the forest.
I started with a step, and then it became a stride, and then it became a full on sprint.
I haven’t stopped running for the past three years.
The things I never knew, became the things I now understood like second nature – because of nature.
I adapted.….due to the external environment.
Everything I was referring to was the journey I had in Philadelphia – starting with Drexel University.
My forest was Philadelphia.
I see it as such a beautiful place now. The mask of fear I had three years ago when entering has now been replaced by acceptance, understanding, and love (thanks for the “brotherly love” too).
Transport to the end of 2020, a good friend and myself took a week off in order to adventure to Boston.
It allowed me to recoup after running extremely hard for the past three.
It gave my friend and me some much needed time in a new environment with new people.
More importantly, it gave us time to reflect on the past year and past decade.
We did an immense amount of reflecting, which gave clarity to do an immense amount of intention setting.
Here and Now
As 2021 unfolds in the most unique, interesting, beautifully wild way possible, I reflect once more by taking another glance back as I write this piece – just as I did when I first started this new journey, and when I did my Decade in Review with my good friend.
As I leave this beautiful forest, I feel connected to every element that holds it together.
The forest made a warrior.
But in reflecting this time around, it’s to go outside myself. I want to share something with you – yeah you.
My growth has been evident.
And my failures have been abundant.
I’ve experienced and encountered things that were once just a figment of my imagination.
I am grateful for what I have.
I am content with my life thus far, but nowhere close to satisfied or jaded.
I am thankful for my passion which was the car that drove me forward. But I am excited for the map I now possess that will be the way in which I’m directed forward (call it maturity from constant failure).
I have transitioned the brand I have been building for the past 2 years into a full on media agency. It’s called Dream BIG & Co. It’s a full-time gig now.
Nonetheless, I am more focused than ever before.
So, the following is the bread I want to break and share with you to have you taste. Whenever you’re entering your own forest, and traversing through a new journey in life, just know that you will never be more ready than in this exact moment.
These are the tools that I’ve carved in my traversing through the forest. Keep these 5 things stapled in your conscious, no matter where you are going:
- Make sure your physical and mental health is always a priority. Take time to workout everyday. Go for a walk. Get the right amount of sleep. Spend time with others. Read a little every day. Drink a lot of water daily. So on and so forth.
- Angela Duckworth describes grit (perseverance) as “endurance” not “intensity”. Pace yourself and don’t rush anything. If you are, think again.
- Have a set vision on where you want to be in 2–3 years……..and if you don’t, IT’S ALL GOOD! Go discover and dabble in many things. Find something that clicks an interest for you. Then, go from there.
- You’re alive. Be grateful.
- At Dream BIG & Co, our slogan is #ImproveYourselfImpactLives. In short, that means you should prioritize yourself before helping others. Get to know yourself, accept yourself, and develop yourself. After that, your external reality will fall into place the way you want it to – allowing you to lift up others along the way.