Confessions From An Almost High School English Failure!

I’m not proud of this fact, but it needs to be openly shared because perhaps it might inspire others.


The only person who stands between where you are presently at and achieving your dreams is YOU!

Back in 1980 when I was a senior in high school I struggled.   My worst subject?   English.   Perhaps a bit hard to believe, but my high school grades in English were so poor the University of Minnesota initially rejected my college admission application.   Dang!   Thanks to a combination of not applying myself properly by studying and not being inspired to achieve, I was nearly a failure in my written communication abilities—and about to pay a big price.

But I didn’t give up.   My life-long dream was to go to college and I parlayed that committed desire into a plan to make it happen.

Suffice it to say, my ability to communicate with the written language and do so in a grammatical, proper fashion was suspect to achieving a college diploma.   I was fighting the odds.   Yet, the only person stopping my eventual success and ultimate achievement was the person wearing my shoes.

Okay, it is not my purpose to be tooting my horn.   Nope!   Instead, I want people to know how the only person who stands between where you are at and achieving your dreams is YOU!   You can buy in to all the naysayers, or you can use their disrespect of you to further empower you to achieve greatness.

Listen, I will be the first person to admit I am no wordsmith who communicates with a flawless style.   I often times break many of the grammatical rules when I type these blogs posts.   I get that.   I understand that.   I don’t care.

What I quickly learned when I got to college is sometimes you can get hung up on all the rules of how to do things the right way.   Truth is, communication is an art and like any artist you only improve by practicing the craft.   Oh, and it helps to have some heart and soul you put into the effort.

Eventually in college I majored in Technical Communications.   How odd, considering it was the subject of communication that almost prevented me from attending college.

As I kick off a new calendar year of blogging I felt it important to share some of my personal history.   I don’t consider myself an elite communicator.   I don’t even consider myself a great communicator.   Yet, having been in this outdoors writing world now for well over a quarter century, I do feel I have some longevity working in my behalf.   I’ve seen many changes.   I’ve witnessed many failures.   Most of all, I have observed many people in this outdoors industry who have excelled with their chosen goals because they believed in themselves.

In summary, don’t let someone steal your dreams because you are up against all odds.   As I’ve proven, anyone can communicate when the proper inspiration and purpose is fueling the motivated effort.   The start of a new year is the perfect time to take the first step toward tackling something new…whether it is a writing project, buying some new hunting land, whatever.   Together, let’s make 2014 the year when nobody stands in our way to achieving our individual dreams or personal goals.

©2014 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.