By Stephanie Butzer
For having written 10 books, appearing on TV as well as in movies and being featured in several magazines and national newspapers, Jonathan Sprinkles is a humble, sharing man.
As soon as he entered McCrary Theatre Aug. 28, a cheery exhilaration was in the air. It was his second time at Elon and he was sure it was going to be a meaningful night.
“Just trust me, just believe me, we’re going to have some fun,” Sprinkles said.
To kick off the night, he asked the audience to meet a handful of others in the room and greet them from different perspectives, such as meeting a best friend at the airport or meeting a potential employer.
What Sprinkles explained afterward was he never told the audience what to do. He simply told them how to think and they did what was perceived as acceptable in that situation. Then, Sprinkles dropped an interesting point.
“I’m here to talk about, ‘Why not?’” he said.
Sprinkles explained how everything a person could want is right outside the line to which they are willing to stretch. That line, or wall, contains what is seen as each individual’s perception of normal and acceptable.
That wall, he further described, is also what keeps other people distant and what keeps a person tucked away in their own comforts.
“It’s time for us to simply stretch outside your comfort zone,” Sprinkles said. “I believe there’s a hero in you waiting to happen.”
Sprinkles brought the concept of heroes into a visible perception when he said there were heroes right in Elon University. They are the people that say yes to challenges. They want the change and instead of waiting for somebody else to take the first step and then follow, they dive into their passion first and don’t mind who follows, he said.
But the ways in which people perceive others was a topic Sprinkles could not skip, and he had the audience do another exercise to enforce his point. Sprinkles asked everybody to think of three words they would use to describe themselves and three words others would use to describe them. What the students came up with varied, but there was a disconnect between who each person was in their mind and who they were to others.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” Sprinkles said.
Everything in life is a result of each person’s belief system and that can be hard to change when it is all they’ve known, Sprinkles said.
He explained that if a student ends up with a 4.0 GPA this semester, it is because they believed they could earn that 4.0. The same goes for if they thought they deserved a 2.0. What they truly believe in, they work toward. The way individuals see themselves is the way they get the results they receive. While these results usually require more effort and are usually very challenging, they are the things that bring the most pride to a person once they are completed.
Lastly, Sprinkles invited the Elon student body to accept the invitation to make the rest of their lives the best of their lives. There isn’t time to be second or third when one can be first, he said.