If you think you can make a difference, then go for it – you can overcome the obstacles in your way. This principle is what The Honorable Orlinda Naranjo believed as a young adult, and with this principle in mind, she put herself through school to become a lawyer.
I was very pleased to see an article about Judge Naranjo in the Texas Lawyer this week (article is free with registration here). I had the honor of working with her briefly to assist her as a staff attorney several years ago, and knew then that she was inspiring. But after reading this article, I realized she really did overcome obstacles.
We have all overcome obstacles of some sort, but sometimes the obstacles can get the best of us, and we aren’t able to achieve what we’d like. Judge Naranjo makes a good point – she thought she could make a difference as a lawyer. That must have been the driving force behind her working as a waitress and later as a law clerk while putting herself through law school. She believed she could do it, and she believed others would benefit from her efforts.
She points out that there will be naysayers and difficult times, but that you need to focus on your goal. She states that things won’t just come to you, but that you have to make things happen. She’s outlining exactly what my favorite quote – and sometimes my mantra – really means: Don’t wait for your ship to come in… swim out to it!
That motivation obviously took her places, as she is now an elected, sitting judge in the 419th District Court in Travis County. Needless to say, she’s come a long way, but she also sets a great example – it can be done. Obstacles can be overcome.