What has happened in your pre-adult years that have shaped who you are as a person today? Think about it, shaping you for good and / or for bad! There are a number of experiences that I can relate to which have shaped the person I am today. A few examples:
- Winning choral scholarship in order to go to one of the better private schools in my home town
- In relation to the above point, getting a very good education when my family were not very well off
- Starting my full-time work career prior to finishing my university degree
- Being brought up by well traveled parents
- Having a sibling etc.
This week I read one of Seth Godin’s blog post on the theme of initiative. In summary, the takeaway is that you are never given initiative, you have to take it. It made me think about some of the conscious and unconscious initiatives I’ve taken over the years.
During my teenage school years I didn’t have overly strict parents. They both finished school early (approximately at the age of 15 / 16). They also never completed any tertiary education. When it came to homework and school projects I didn’t have constant pressure to work hard. I never was told to put the constant hours of effort in. All I typically received was the repeated words of “do your best” or “be confident.”
It wasn’t until I read Seth Godin’s post this week that I realised my teenage learning experience for me was about taking initiative. Because I didn’t have pressure from my parents, I had to take my own initiative in developing a work ethic. At that time I was an average student at school. However, as I have traversed through tertiary education (e.g. completing a bachelor degree, masters and professional certifications / programmes) I have continued to perform better. Now, when I engage in any self or professional development I’m all in and the result are excellent (both tangible and intangible).
Where have you realised that you have taken initiative? It wasn’t until this week that I realised an earlier experience for me that I originally thought was negative actually was a positive one. Reflecting is important, however taking initiative is more important!