This past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity of attending the Residence Leadership Conference here on campus. There were roughly 150 Westerners, mostly first years, who came together to listen to various speakers on topics like independent leadership styles, landing your dream job, and effective communication. We also had a keynote speaker, Andrew Horn. He started off by asking, “Who all knows exactly what they are doing with their lives?” and to no one’s surprise no one raised their hands. He asked another question, “Do you guys know what you’re passionate about?” and a few hands went up. Then he asked, “Okay, who knows what they are good at?” and a few more hands across the room went up, but there were several that didn’t. Basically, he wanted to show to us that it’s hard to know what direction to give to your life, or to even discover what you’re truly passionate about and good at. And… it is more than okay to say “I don’t know” to all of the above questions, because you are most definitely not the only one. Just start with one goal. That’s all it takes.
We all have an internal GPS: Goals, Passions and Skills. Don’t forget to use them! (wise words from Mr. Horn)
I can into Western with my first year nerves thinking that I was definitely going to pursue my undergrad in psychology, but after thoroughly reflecting on what I am truly passionate about I’m not sure if I can still say it’s psychology. But that’s okay! I bet lots of you, first years to fourth years, are still trying to figure out this crazy thing we call life, and growing up is definitely not the easiest thing by any means. Just start with the question, “What are you passionate about?”.
Take the 4 Cs approach to discovering your passions: Creativity, Cause, Community and Curiosity
Andrew spoke to us about finding out what we are passionate about, and building our skills in that area. This idea really hit home for me, and I hope it can give you all that little bit of reassurance we all need from time to time. I left this conference constantly thinking about my goals, passions and skills, and allowed me to self reflect on all of these things. For me, my passion is music, and has been since I was four years old. It’s all about finding what makes you happy, and I’m not talking about short term pleasures, but eternal fulfilling happiness. A happiness that will become your purpose and passion.
I urge you all to do the exact same things. Start of with thinking about what things you are getting really good at, what things make you passionate, and ultimately what makes you happy! Once you have these driving forces behind you, your goals will become your realities.
I want to end with one last really important note. CONFIDENCE! Because it really is your key to success. Never be afraid or ashamed to feel good about the things you have accomplished. You deserve it 100% 🙂