Fresh faced and out of University, I remember applying for a number of grad positions to finally secure a role at a Company X. I was so incredibly excited having excelled in the interview process and chosen for the role out of a hundred or so applicants. I had worked before whilst at University but never full time and this was my first step towards building a career.
Besides the steep learning curve, what really stood out for me during my first six months in the role was that in life there seemed to be two groups of people. These were miserable people and happy people. The miserable people seemed to consistently stay in bad situations for far too long and the happy people simply didn’t.
What do I mean by this? Well, it seemed that the miserable people didn’t empower themselves. They stayed in unsuccessful relationships, they worked in jobs they thought were beneath them and they didn’t (or were afraid to) take steps to change their lives. The happy people on the other hand had a bigger plan. They either accepted that their current situation was a means to an end or they weighed up the options and took calculated risk to get to a better place.
I understand that my perception may seem overly simple but that’s how I viewed things and continue to view things. I accept that life is challenging at times but I genuinely believe that through adversity one can excel beyond their wildest dreams. I made a promise to myself that if ever I am consistently unhappy, I would make my life better through calculated risk. I’d take this risk by weighing up the options and asking myself “What is the worse thing that could happen and could I live with that should it happen?”
I would empower myself to get to where I’d be happy again. I strongly believe that you have as much power as you think you have. So if you think you don’t have any power, then you don’t but if you think you’re powerful, then you are.
I also made the commitment to myself to take “personal risk” for people or projects I believe in. For example, an exceptional leader to me is one who is willing to take “personal risk” in recommending high performing staff based on potential. This means should the person recommended fail, the leaders reputation may be affected but they believe in that person so much that the reputation-al implications (should it happen) pale in comparison.
So – which type of person/leader are you? What changes can you make in your life to empower yourself? Who or what do you believe in? So much so that you’re willing to take personal or calculated risk to ensure they/it has a chance to succeed! You only have one life so make it a life that you’re proud of.