I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one any day.
I’d rather one walk with me than just to show the way.
The eye is a better pupil and more willing than the ear.
Advice may be misleading but examples are always clear.
And the very best of teachers are the ones who live their
For to see good put into action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn to do it if you let me see it done.
I can watch your hand in motion but your tongue too fast
may run
And the lectures you deliver may be very fine and true
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the fine advice you give
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how
you live.

- Langston Hughes


I love, love this poem. And love this motivational video I made back in March just as much. I used to recite this poem every year on the first day of school for my students. It was to let them to know what kind of teacher I would be, what kind of leader they had stepping in front of them. You see, leadership and stepping up to the plate isn't about showing others you are better than them, but it's about leading by example. I don't know about you guys, but I'm a visual learner-- like Hughes says, "And the lecture you deliver may be very fine and true, But I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do." That's beautiful, you see, because when you take on a challenge in your own life, you don't know who is looking to you to see if you follow through or not-- not to see if you fail or give up, but for inspiration so they can do the same. So your goals aren't just about you, they're about everyone watching and supporting you too. 

You empower those around you just by attempting to be a better version of yourself. And because of that, you will realize that your goals become far bigger than you. Take that into consideration next time you think about giving up or slacking off.