My family and I were recently traveling back to Oregon from North Dakota where we had a nice visit with my in-laws, brothers and sisters-in-law and lots and lots of nieces and nephews. We enjoyed everything from wake surfing on Lake Sakakawea to attending a Rascall Flatts and later Tim McGraw concert. It was awesome. 

Along our 24 hour drive home, we made Rexburg, Idaho our halfway point where we rented a hotel and stayed the night. We arrived well after dark and didn’t do much but get the kids in bed. The next morning, however, we awoke with the intent to drive around what I once knew as Ricks College. 

Ricks College was a 2 year college where I had elected to go fulfill my dream of playing college football my freshman year in college. It was a great experience and I loved the growth that I experienced on the team and being a part of that great college. I only spent a year there because after my freshman year I went on a 2-year church mission to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While in Brazil I was made aware of the unexpected announcement that they were going to turn this 2-year college into a 4-year university and that it would now be called BYU-Idaho.As a part of the transition from a 2-year college to a 4-year liberal arts university, and despite their sports teams competing regularly for junior college national championships, the new university would be stopping all collegiate level sports one year after my return from Brazil.

After a quick visit there after returning home from Brazil, I made the decision to forego my college football career and to transfer to BYU located in Provo, Utah. For over 20 years I had not visited stepped foot on that campus. As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to see the changes. 

I wasn’t just surprised, I was floored at how much growth that little campus and town had experienced. It was almost unrecognizable. So much change, so much growth… it was truly remarkable. 

I thought to myself, “I wonder if I’ve grown, improved and changed as much as this place in the past 20 years?” As I contemplated that, and as we took pictures in front of the temple that had been built in that period of time, I began to realize just how far I had come. 

I believe this is likely true of all of us ‘big thinkers’. Although maybe not as recognizable on the outside as little Rexburg, Idaho, those of us that are hungry for growth and work to constantly expand our own possibilities through bigger and better thinking, those of us that work tirelessly to improve our situation and the situations of those we serve in life and business, would likely be very surprised to put our minds, our hearts and our souls next to ours of 20+ years ago. 

A few more takeaways: 

    • Be grateful for the progress you’ve made
    • Be hungry…constantly be expanding your own possibilities by being around other ‘big thinkers’ and intentionally eliminating ‘small thinkers’ from your day and life 
    • Be intentional- realize that 20 years from now you’re going to be somewhere and by deciding very specifically where you want to be at that point is the first
      great determiner as to if you will actually be there
    • Make the sacrifice- choosing growth over comfort will propel you along your desired path
    • Get to work- the next 20 years has already started