In my house I could be considered as the queen of self-help books. It’s kind of a joke with Jimmy who loves to point out how they are the only books I enjoy.

I’m not sure if he is making a dig at me that I need that much self-help or what! I joke all the time I could solve all the world’s problems if only someone would ask!

All joking aside, I genuinely have a passion for people, personal psychology and the “why” behind the way people behave. From an early age of 15 I picked up a copy of Zig Ziglar’s “See You at the Top” and I was captivated.

Rhonda Sexton

This one book taught me that regardless of my circumstances, I could achieve any goals I set for myself as long as I was willing to put in the hard work and dedication that it would take to move me from Point A to Point B.

Sometimes I wasn’t willing to put in the work, sometimes I was too scared to try. But every time I did try, I succeeded; maybe not always by the world’s definition of success, but a success for me.

Wow! The hope that a poor little backwoods girl who came from nothing in the middle of nowhere could actually achieve something? I was pretty stoked about that!

Of course my goals and dreams have changed many times in the journey that has been my life since then, and I’ve gone on to study many other books and authors that have dedicated their lives to the idea of personal growth and development.

What I’ve gained has been a better understanding that the circumstances of our lives, such as the area of the world we have been born in, economic status, education of parents or even our own IQ, isn’t the final say in how much we can accomplish in and with our lives.

So with all this knowledge that’s available, why don’t more people apply these principles? Why don’t we teach these skills at school? Why don’t more businesses focus on building individuals?

Well that, my friends, may be the million dollar question.

It’s my opinion that back in the good ol’ days more of these concepts were taught at home. But as we all know the decay of the American family structure has taken a huge hit in our society.

I won’t go into all of that in this limited space but I will say that we, as a society, need to shift where we are putting our focus. We need to do some self assessments and decide what we really want. What are our goals? What do we want for ourselves and our children? Then believe we can achieve just that.

I mean after all, if I can do it, why can’t everyone else? Put in the hard work to get from Point A to Point B and keep doing it until our lives resemble something that makes us happy and proud again.

Materialism and the false ideals that have been shoved down our throats from Hollywood and the entertainment industry has people depressed and disillusioned. I tell my kids all the time that “reality tv” is not reality.

Wintertime in Missouri is reality! It’s bitter and cold, it changes every day, it’s a hard life. We still have to go outside and feed the dogs, break the water that has iced over for the animals, de-ice the windshield and warm the car up. It’s not easy or always fun, but at the end of the day the work is worth it.

We get to come together at the end of the day to enjoy a bountiful meal, sit by the fireplace and be blessed by the warmth and love that fills our home.

I’d challenge you to give your goals another thought as we start 2017. Maybe some self-help wouldn’t be such a bad idea for all of us!

By Rhonda Sexton

(Rhonda Sexton is a staff writer for The News-Dispatch. She can be reached at or 417-389-1222.)


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