If 2020 showed us anything, it’s that everything can change at any minute. Brandon Gosselin, the author of My Path to the Presidency: An Action Plan to Realizing YOUR Aspirations, understands this more than anyone.
Only a few days after graduating high school as Valedictorian and a Top 10 basketball player in the state of Oklahoma, he was involved in a four-wheeling accident that pronounced him dead. Coming back from that was no easy task, he sustained life-changing brain damage and injuries, and could have easily lived his life blaming that accident for ruining everything. In his book, he not only reveals the thoughts that went through his head when he woke up for the first time, but also the steps he took to achieve his aspirations.
He explores the universal struggles we all face. He delves into the human condition; what it means to live, die, love, and lose. I was up to the challenge of going on a journey to self-discovery during a global pandemic. The best part of his book is that there aren’t complicated, abstract, introspective prompts. They’re real, digestible questions paired with Action Steps you can take to improve your life. What I’ve learned is our goals may not all be the same, but our journeys have a lot more in common than you think.
The differences between motivation, inspiration, and aspiration seemed trivial to me at first. Brandon included a conversation he had with Frank McKinney, an ultramarathon runner, real estate mogul, international best-selling author, and philanthro-capitalist, who inspired him and explained the nuances.
Motivation is momentary, it’ll be here one minute and gone the next.
Inspiration ‘lasts as long as a bad sunburn,’ which thankfully isn’t very long.
Aspiration is perpetual, DNA altering, and it can change your life and those around you.
Abstract words that aren’t grounded in real-life examples are tricky to contextualize. So I took these words and thought about what the last thing to motivate me was. Sure enough, it was something simple: I was motivated to take my dog for a walk this afternoon because the weather was nice.
Then I thought about inspiration, what was the last thing that inspired me? Seeing the dangerous misinformation being spread about COVID-19 inspired me to join an organization that makes resources and FAQs easily accessible via text message.
Finally, aspiration. This took some more reflection… what was my true aspiration? What have I been working toward that will one day change my life and others’? Becoming a dentist to change people’s smiles and hopefully change their lives. This is not a fleeting motivation, it won’t go away by tomorrow afternoon when the weather changes. It isn’t an inspiration, I won’t take a few steps then consider it done. It’s an aspiration because one day, it’ll change my life.
The few times I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Brandon, I could tell how genuine he was. Like many of us, he didn’t grow up rich, so he doesn’t do this for the money. The sole purpose of his book, his public speaking events, and his scholarships are to help people like you and I take the right path towards our aspirations.
He doesn’t define what it means to be successful since it’s subjective, he leaves that up to the reader. Whether it’s small goals like losing weight or paying down student loans or large goals like graduating college or starting a family, the steps remain the same.
My Path to Presidency isn’t preachy, and he isn’t speaking down to the audience. The current global pandemic has forced us to reflect on our physical health, our livelihood, and our mental wellbeing, so what better time to reevaluate our mindset and goals? At the very least, reading this book will be an educational and entertaining experience. At most, you will learn helpful tools and skills to achieve your aspirations and change your life for the better.
This article was written in partnership with Kailyn F.