Challenge Yourself and Have a Plan

Excerpt from YOU’VE GOT THIS! The Grad’s Guide to the Big, Rich, Magnificent Life You Deserve 

Challenge myself? That sounds hard. When do I get to relax? When does life get easy? I know, I know—sitting around with no deadlines, appointments, or commitments seems ideal, but downtime is only temporary. We all need rest, but if we remain stagnant, we will wither away.

This may be hard to hear, but life isn’t about a big break or handouts. It’s about owning where you are and getting to where you want to go—one step at a time. Those who get the big breaks too soon often aren’t equipped to handle them. Good, long-lasting things in life take time and commitment; they’re worth fighting for. If they were easy, everyone would have them.

Take control of your destiny. You are either going to choose for yourself or have to accept what falls upon you when you don’t take action. Don’t wait for things to get easier, simpler, or better. Life will always be complicated. Learn to be happy right now and make a plan that moves you toward fulfillment. Trust me; it’s worth it.

When you are making wrong choices, you know it inside. You hear your inner voices: “Get up from the couch” or “Make that phone call.” The real you reminds you of the person you are supposed to be. One day you may no longer be able to rely on others to give you that loving nudge, so listen to the real you, even when ignoring it may seem easier.

I believe that many people walk around in a mental fog, seemingly half-asleep. Devotion to friendship, love, and self-fulfillment will awaken you. When you were a toddler, you beamed; you had that spark in your eye. Over the years, that childhood glow can be dulled in everyone. So tap into that magic, into that flicker, and be alive in your life. The world needs your unique self.

Being proactive and working hard catapult you forward. A sense of peace grows inside of you, as well as self-esteem and confidence. Taking the easy path is boring. You get what you give. For instance, if you eat healthy and exercise, you’ll feel better, and it will show.

Be inspired by others who excel. There are no shortcuts in life. (Dang it!) Today’s choices are tomorrow’s reality.

1. Make big goals, but also make smaller milestones to get you there.

Celebrate your accomplishments, big and small, along the way! Go ahead—do something you love. Reward yourself in a healthy way. This will help keep you going. One of my neighbors is an inspirational, confident, and strong eighty-eight-year-old woman. Every day she sets small goals and achieves them. She does a sit up for every year of her life. She reads the paper, but doesn’t let the headlines bring her down. She honors her passion for gardening by planting new flowers. By sticking to her goals, she thrives and moves forward.

2. Never stop improving.

Life rewards action. In order to survive, a shark must always move forward, pushing water through its gills so that it can breathe. You must do the same. Don’t ever become stagnant—keep going.

You’ve got this: Trust in yourself. Invest in the right people and put in the work – it will all pay off.


Dina Mauro

Dina Mauro has worked in the technology industry for over twenty-five years, twenty with one of the largest IT companies in the world. Through her love for animals, Dina began rescuing dogs, volunteering, and, ultimately, writing.

Dina is the author of A Dose of Tia: How a Woman and Her Rescued Dog Embraced Life Through Volunteering – and How You Can, Too. Initially, as a personal, heartfelt gift to her sons, but later published for the public, Dina went on to pen You’ve Got This! The Grad’s Guide to the Big, Rich, Magnificent Life You Deserve.

About You've Got This!

As a parent, author Dina Mauro was so hyper-focused on competing and comparing her children to other children that she almost lost sight of what they required to thrive. She realized that when they thrive, everything in their lives falls abundantly into place.

When traveling down life’s road, don’t simply step forward—leap toward your magnificent life. You’ve got this!

— Dina

You’ve Got This! The Grad’s Guide to the Big, Rich, Magnificent Life You Deserve steers the reader through critical “markers” along life’s way: improving oneself, conquering obstacles, achieving goals, and cultivating relationships. Other stops on the journey include heading off to college, entering the work world, making decisions, managing technology, speaking in public, and many more.

You’ve Got This! is a long-overdue guidebook that illuminates forty-seven achievable strategies and real-world advice for not just living—but thriving! Now grads have the roadmap for facing challenges that left untouched can become big distractions to an exceptional life. 

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