What I’ve learned working with the Humphrey fellows this semester is that you don’t have to take yourself too seriously. Observing their year as an outsider has shown me that you can be brilliant, but you can have fun doing it. You can explore the world, share your ideas, have fun, and learn how to overcome new situations and obstacles while doing it. This semester, I’ve learned more about work life balance and how to work with others from other cultures.
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To continue learning about leadership, I recently signed up for Notes From the Universe, a daily email letter written by New York Times Best Seller Mike Dooley. Celebrities like former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo and everyday people praise Dooley for his inspiring, cheery and funny letters. Many people start their day reading his letter and have the motivation to get through tough situations.
Signing up for Dooley’s letters is just one step I’m taking to better face adversity. Sometimes all it takes to have a more fulfilling life is hearing how someone faces challenges like you and I and lives a happier life because of it.
I also read an article by Mike Maddock on Forbes.com about three ways good leaders face adversity. Maddock explains that good leaders become great leaders when they share their experiences with others, laugh about their troubles and consider alternative outcomes. Unlike the leader Maddock describes, many have a one track mind and miss opportunities to be more successful.
It’s important to remember that life won’t go as planned, so don’t expect it to. Consider your options and don’t forget to laugh along the way. Signing up for encouraging notes is just one way I hope to grow as a leader. Coupled with Maddock’s leadership tips and my experience working with the fellows, I’m leaving the class with a more open mind and a more realistic idea of what it means to be successful.
I will leave you with a Ted Talk called “The Opportunity of Adversity” by Aimee Mullins, a paralympic athlete. Whether physical or mental, adversity is an essential part of life and being a leader because it helps people learn more about themselves.
Edited by Armen Sargsyan