As many of you know, my daughter has started college this Fall. Her workload is daunting as she majors in physics and music. Not surprisingly, about a week ago, I got the call. “Dad, we need to talk.” Like every other freshman, her world has been turned upside down. Surrounded by tons of people 24/7, but not really knowing any of them, suddenly having freedom, but buried with school work, she was living the avalanche.
During breakfast, I learned that she was confused and anxious about school, her abilities, and her “after life”. Some time during this, I decided to tell her the key to success. I made her hold on to the table with both hands and look at me. Then I told her- “The Key to Success is Having a Big Ego”.
She looked at me quizzically because we have stressed humble and kind before it became a song. I told her that if you do not have extreme confidence in yourself, what you are doing and what you believe, no one else will. You cannot be successful if you can’t speak about your ideas without conviction. And you have to believe that you will ultimately succeed even if you are hit with obstacles and temporary failures.
Since I was on a roll (and my fifth cup of coffee), I decided to tell her the next biggest key. You need to be flexible in your journey. When I was 18, I wanted to be an accounting major then get a law degree. Today, I hate numbers and don’t like to read volumes of legalese. I would have never succeeded if I didn’t change my path.
The goal for Katie was to give herself a large enough base that she could follow either of her passions or become something else. By studying both arts and sciences, she can achieve that.
How does this relate to you? Are you confident in yourself and your abilities to stand up for what you believe? Are you willing to stand on the proverbial ledge to do what’s right? Can you fail, pick yourself up and try again? Do you roll with the punches?
Unfortunately, the answer for most people is no. And to compensate for this, they use arrogance and bravado to cover for a lack of good ego. You need to work at being comfortable in your own skin and do what you feel is right- even if it is not the prevailing thought.
In this time of social discord, make sure you reflect on what you believe is right and follow it. It will make your personal and professional lives better. Please let me know if you’d like to discuss further.