~Hello Friends, below is the transcript of my message to the Centurions, Bobcats, Saints, and Pilots, students in the Southern Illinois schools I recently visited. Here’s to your success!~

  Derek E. Eurales, Jr’s Message to Students:

**Never apologize for your unique gifts and talents. Instead, use them for something positive.

**What are some positive things you are good at? Start cultivating them.

**If you want to become a [insert what you want to become], start taking the advice of those who have already done it. You can do that by studying their biographies at the library.

**Surround yourself with the right kinds of influences.

**Learn how to ask for help from the right people. Here is a quick guide:

  • Be able to articulate your vision/plans.
  • Be able to list your unique challenges in comparison with your unique opportunities.
  • Be able to tell them how they can help you achieve your goals.
  • Be appreciative of the help you receive from others, and learn to say “THANK YOU” more.
  • Most importantly, be prepared for a lot of “NOs”, and be o.k. with it, understanding that it’s all a part of the process. Sometimes, you will have to stand alone for something you truly believe in.

There are three things you should do once you discover what it is you are uniquely gifted for:

1.  Discipline Yourself – the struggle to find the right focus becomes a constant battle throughout this process.

Take the time to perfect your craft. That takes focusing on your education! If you know that getting better at something you are good at will require giving up a certain activity so you can focus on it, make the sacrifice. The question is who are you willing to sacrifice for, yourself, or others who may not have your best interest at heart?

2. Become Successful – the struggle to find the right focus becomes a constant battle throughout this process.

Being successful does not have to be some elusive idea that only people on T.V. experience. A person can be successful at getting good grades, or making friends, or helping others. What is your definition of success? Once you define it for yourself, it will give you a roadmap to achieve what you want out of life.

3. Reach Back – the struggle to find the right focus becomes a constant battle throughout this process.

There is a word that I want you to study: Philanthropy.

I believe everybody can be a philanthropist because everyone has within them the ability to do something for another person. A smile, a helping hand, or good listening ears are all examples of helping others. Once you become successful at something, reach back and help others. With your accomplishments, there will always be people you can encourage by sharing your experiences.

Become a mentor, and you will find a sense of satisfaction that will not come any other way. Use your knowledge, skills, gifts, talents, and abilities for others and you will make your community better, and you will make your school proud!


Author, speaker, musician DEREK E. EURALES, Jr., loves to share his faith, motivation, and music. His book, Principles of Christian Living, has become a “must read” for believers of all ages. To order your copy, click here.