Map It!

20130930-112757.jpg

Sometimes it helps to make a map. Not just of where you’re going–but also of where you’ve been. Mapping out your progress toward a large goal can put current struggles or deliberations into perspective, and give you a visual report on how much you’ve invested, committed, and succeeded up to this point.

20130930-112812.jpg

It can also help you articulate what you’ve done and learned, so that you can share your findings with others when the time is right.

20130930-112825.jpg

As with all projects, it never hurts to add a little Pep Talk Smiley (TM).

Flap and Glide

20130928-181707.jpg

So, it happened. I went to another amazing networking event on Friday, complete with UNM alumni and inspiring career advice from people who’ve lived it. I stayed for an hour, gathered some great take-aways, and then had to run off to what turned out to be 4 hours of group project work.

Afterwards, I crashed. Not like crashed=fell asleep, but crashed=”I can’t do this anymore, I can’t fit five classes and two part-time jobs and a career search and Legacy Scholar work and two mentors and all this amazing advice into one semester!!!”

Like that.

It wasn’t much better the next morning, though I did knock out some homework and set a schedule for the rest of the weekend.

I know I’m doing fine, and everything’s under control, and the semester’s nearly half over, and I am on my way to reaching a lot of huge goals (!). But for the next 24 hours: I am taking a time-out.

If life is a series of flaps and glides (bird-style), it’s time for some glides.

I’ve got a lot of flapping to do next week (including two second interviews!), so today I’m going to be indoors, in sweatpants, textbook open, college football on TV, taking some deep breaths.

I feel better already. :)

Stick Out your Neck

20130924-210729.jpg

Failure. Rejection. These are scary words. Because I’ve worked as an actor and had aspirations on the poetry front, I have had innumerable opportunities to experience rejection. The acting rejection is usually quiet–they just never call you back in for a second audition. The publication rejection is more forthright–you get a letter in the mail (usually in an envelope you addressed to yourself many months before) with a brief (usually very brief) announcement that: Thanks but no thanks and we wish you luck.

The first couple of these letters were rough–how could my most favorite magazines not want to run my poems?! But after a few go-rounds, I realized that the rejection letter is actually a cause for:

Celebration.

Yep, celebration. The same with failures and rejections of all sorts. See, you can only get rejected if you put yourself out there–if you’re in the game. And being in the game is 85%* of the battle. It’s difficult and it’s commendable and it’s the only way you’re ever going to succeed.

So stick your neck out, like this guy I saw at the zoo yesterday. Fail. Fail better. Fail with gusto. Fail until you succeed.

*Approximate

The Power of Why

My mom emailed me this morning about this great TED Talk by Simon Sinek on How Great Leaders Inspire Action.  I’ve actually already seen it (and read his book!), but it’s an inspiring watch if you haven’t.

In his book, Start with Why, Sinek explains that companies with a clear sense of “why” (a purpose, cause, or belief) have a greater power to influence and inspire than those built on merely “what” they do or “how” they do it.  In the TED Talk he applies this reasoning to the development of powerful leaders.