Discipline as the Key to Success
Gage Johnson is busy. His day starts at 4 in the morning. He gets up to teach CrossFit and Boot Camp classes at his gym, before speeding off to attend his college classes. After class, he goes to work and doesn’t make it home until 9 in the evening. It’s usually around midnight when he finally gets to lie down. And the next day, his routine starts all over again. And he’s only 17.
“I’ve been working out consistently since I was 12,” Johnson said. “My parents always taught me that if you want to get stuff done, you’ve just got to do it and be disciplined with it. I knew if I were lazy, it would never happen.”
Born in Albion, IN, Gage moved around with his family, first to Evansville, IN, then Texas, then to Corinth, MS, at age 15. At age 16, he enrolled in Northeast Mississippi Community College’s Adult Education program. Having been homeschooled since 4th grade, he had developed a knack for self-reliance which served him well in the program.
He also had a knack for achievement had was accepted into the Gateway and MIBEST training programs, earned a platinum score on the Career Readiness Certificate (the highest possible score), and obtained high scores on his high-school-equivalency exam.
“He was always a top-notch student in my class,” Deanne Droke, Gateway Career Specialist and Smart Start Instructor, said. “He is the most respectful and mature 16-year-old I have ever had in my class, or met, for that matter.”
How did he achieve so much?
“I didn’t want to get the minimum,” Gage said of his achievements. “I wanted to do better because I knew I could. Sometimes your school work gets boring, but you know you have to get it done to finish what you want to achieve. If there’s something you don’t want to do [to succeed], you say, ‘Well, I have to do this if I want to achieve my goal.’”
Gage found NEMCC’s program to be a good complement to his intense internal motivation.
“If I didn’t have them [the adult ed staff] I wouldn’t have known what I was supposed to do. Every time I had a question, it got answered. If I asked for help, I got it.”
So, what’s next for Gage?
Gage plans on completing his college degree in Criminal Justice, then pursuing a career in law enforcement, first with the highway patrol, then federal law enforcement. He doesn’t want to stop achieving.
“I think accomplishing your goals is (the definition of) success.” Gage says, “It’s important when you finish a big goal to set another one. You don’t want to just stay in the same spot.”
Some students merely learn. Students such as Gage also teach by setting an inspiring example for others, and by achieving and accomplishing goals, over and over again.