January 3, 2013

Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!

As discussed in previous posts, I often come in contact with students- namely CreComm students- who are in the midst of making some big decisions. These include (but are not limited to): what they want to major in, what the want to do for their IPP, where they want to work... where they CAN work... etc. These decisions seem (as they did for me) to be vital to achieving success- make the wrong one and you're "screwed."

Well CreCommers (and students alike)- here's the truth. While important, these decisions will not dictate your success. You will. Making mistakes is just as important as being successful- it allows you to practice gathering yourself up, proving everyone wrong, and moreover- the success tastes that much sweeter once you've passed a few obstacles. I'm sure this sounds a bit cheesy, and I'm even more sure that there's a student out there who's thinking "yeah, right, easy for you to say... you have a job!" but I'm living proof that making mistakes can make you more successful. I won't name them, but I've made some big ones. What has allowed me to be successful is my ability to always get back up, learn from my experience, and try again.

It's true!

If you've ever been a part of a sports team- it's the same mentality. The best teams are those who can come back from getting their butts kicked in the first set (reference to volleyball here, insert quarter, period, etc.) and win the game in four. Being adaptable to change and being able to think strategically when the odds aren't in your favour are extremely attractive characteristics to employers, so much so that they will literally ask you this in an interview.

"When have you faced an obstacle and what did you do to overcome it?"

Will you have an answer? Have you taken enough chances, made enough leaps of faith, gone 100% after something not knowing what the outcome would be?

Now I'm not saying go out and purposely make mistakes- but do something at least once a day that scares you. Trying a new class, calling someone on the phone versus emailing them (gasp!) and maybe even just having a truly honest conversation with someone, face to face. What challenges us is different for everyone. These experiences will help you grow, will make you better, and yes, will teach you how to be successful... even when you're uncomfortable. Finally, it helps you become self-aware-a quality that will be invaluable to you, and to employers. The ability to take criticism and actually USE it is something that will propel you far above your colleagues and classmates.

I'm currently reading Arlene Dickinson's book, Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds. Besides being completely inspiring, it's full of great wisdom on how to conduct yourself professionally while going after what you really want... and of course, how to use persuasion in the right way.

Below is a wonderful video that was passed on to me by a friend, who moved to New York to pursue his dreams. For students coming back from the holidays, this is a must see. Do what makes you happy, regardless of the path it takes to get there.

1 comment:

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