Today I had to speak to 500 people at a graduation ceremony. I was given the opportunity to share insight. Looking out at the audience, I saw students with huge smiles and proud family members. Given the significance of the opportunity, I had to dig deep to think of something profound. The theme and emphasis of my talk was simple…’What defines you’. I think we spend a lot of time trying to figure out our destination and how to get there but do we ever really think about who we are? All the students today walked away with a piece of paper that has been a major accomplishment in their lives; however, they all have a piece of paper. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is fantastic what each one of them accomplished. Today I was no less proud than I am when I see my own student graduate; however, what defines them? What defines you?
My signature tag line is: “Everyone’s life is an autobiography…but you have to make yours worth reading”. What are you doing to build on your autobiography? While driving to the event, I had a thought about what defines us. If you were to sit and think about who you are, what are some of the words that others would use to describe you? Perhaps it is time to ask people around you about what those words are. In my case, I would describe the following words for me:
• Authentic – what you see is what you get
• Genuine – I try to be true to who I am and true to you
• Caring – People matter to me. Even if I just meet you, I try to build an instant connection
• Persistent – I will always strive to get things done
• Passionate – I have an intense desire within me and pursue my passions
• Calm – I try not to let things rattle me – maintain a constant calmness
• Creative – I try to work outside of the norm and look for innovative ideas and solutions
If these words describe me, how about words to describe you? What are the key words you embrace? Take time to sit and contemplate this. It is more than sitting and just rattling off the first things that come to your mind. This starts to build your foundation and allows you to really get to know you. These attributes are not set in stone. Feel free to change them as you change yourself. Words to describe you?…simple concept yet something we might not do. Knowing the single words about you will lead to your success.
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