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June 12, 2010 / Brent Sears

The One Thing

In 2005 I wanted one thing: to travel while in college.  I am not even sure I knew it was called study abroad.  I had no money to do it.  I had never won an academic scholarship.  I didn’t know if I could learn a foreign language.  I didn’t know anyone who had ever traveled abroad while in college.  I did not know how to make it fit into my schedule.

So, I decided I didn’t have enough to make it happen in a year, and the obvious thing to do was give up.  Nope!  I went for it.

From the time I walked into Cortland the secret was not brilliance on my part.  It was a singular definition of purpose.  I quietly looked for what I needed to fill in the gaps, and I found it.  All the opportunities to go on two abroad adventures were available to everyone else: scholarships, advisors, programs, classes, and planning.

My edge was that I knew what I wanted, went after it, kept my eyes open for opportunities, and figured it out.  I worked really hard because I wanted to do it.  The secret was singularity of purpose; singularity of focus.

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