My grandmother is one of the most influential women in my life. She’s played a significant role in me becoming the man that I am today. She’s a child of God, a hard worker, and was loved by everyone.

At the age of eight, I learned a valuable lesson from her that I still apply to my life every day. I grew up on a farm. My grandmother would get up at 4:00 a.m. pray until 5:00, wake us up, cook breakfast, and off to work we went at 6:00 a.m. Work consisted of cleaning the chicken coop, feeding pigs, chicken, cows, horses, and picking weeds from the garden, and picking vegetables from the garden, fruit from the trees, and picking pecans (this was my favorite) during pecan season.

During pecan season we would go to the pecan area and pick pecans that have fallen for hours. This was a major source of income for my grandmother. One day I was on a roll. I picked three bags of pecans. The most out of all the grandkids. My grandmother was super proud. So proud she gave me two dimes. I was delighted as that was enough for two packs of Now & Laters.

The next day, the lesson was taught. I was at it again, I was picking pecans as if I was a machine. Again, I had three bags. I couldn’t wait to meet my grandmother. Upon meeting her I was filled with energy, excitement, and enthusiasm about my accomplishment. I approached my grandmother and she asked, “How many bags did you get?” I smiled and said an emphatic “THREE” as I was smiling ear to ear. My grandmother looked me in the center of my eyes and yelled that’s it, that’s all? You picked three yesterday. I was crushed.

She then ordered me to pick another bag. I cried the entire time. After bringing the bag to my grandmother she sat me down and said “Marcus ALWAYS Be Better Than Yesterday!” Even if it’s just a few pecans or ½ bag, just Be Better Than Yesterday. From that day on, I was better at every task on the farm than I was the previous day and this quote became my daily inspirational message. So today I’m challenging you to approach every day with the mindset that I will “Be Better Than Yesterday.”

Dream enormous,

Dr. J