Last weekend, I went back to Stanford for my 15th undergraduate reunion. I’ve been feeling all sort of ways since then! Grateful for the amazing time I had there as an 18- to 21-year-old and thankful for all the friendships I’ve developed over the years. And, now that we’re in our mid-30s, I’m so happy to see my classmates settled.
One of the most interesting takeaways from the reunion was our class panel where several of our classmates explored the topics of how to redefine success and how to develop resilience in this challenging world in the midst of setbacks.
As Stanford graduates, we often have the expectation that we will have been successful, achieved certain things, fixed the world’s problems, and made a positive impact on other people’s lives by certain age—that is, now! Everyone wants to leave a legacy and many classmates talked about the pressure to have done that by our 15th reunion.
For the past few years, I’ve been on a journey to redefine success at Heels & Yield. It’s so exciting to see my classmates doing the same and to know that I’m not alone.
One of my classmates Melissa had her whole life mapped out to become an astronaut. Then she received the disappointing news that she couldn’t pursue that career because of her eyesight. Instead, she became a life coach in the military. She shared her journey, how she found herself, and her favorite quote from Howard Thurman:
She was empowering people to find what they can offer to the world.
As we’re wrapping up another year, I also feel motivated to get more done before January. I’m feeling the pressure because there's so much more to do.
But I’ve also realized over the years that good things take time to build. I know it’s not what we like to hear, but it’s true. Building something that matters, growing as a person, or achieving your goals takes time. And more than time, it takes patience, strategy, grit, and a new definition of holistic wealth.
Success doesn’t happen overnight and will require us to commit to the journey fully. Notice I said journey not the easy 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-step plan.
I’ve found the journey easier when I draw on my faith and spirituality. For me, faith gives me hope. In today’s world, we often consider dependency to be a weakness. We’re taught that we don’t need anyone and we should figure things out on our own. We’re also taught to focus on our minds and not her hearts. I’ve found that maturing as a person has less to do with my mind than with my heart. A lot of times we’re told we should do this by this age, and we have to do this to be successful, but I’ve found that this is not sustainable (doing this out of fear, out of desire for acceptance or will power alone is not sustainable for me) and what works for me, is when my heart changes and this often happens when we have faith and we trust in something greater.
As I experienced life after college, I learned to depend on a spiritual family for support. I discovered that community is the antidote to loneliness, fatigue, defeat, and despair during setbacks. For me, having a church family in addition to family, loved ones, and friends is important. No matter where you find your community, it’s important, because we need others to walk with us, work with us, watch out for us, wait and weep with us, and witness with us.
Strategy helps you to move forward with clarity, competence, and confidence (3C’s). What’s your strategy for navigating life’s up and downs? Have you given yourself time and space to think through your strategy—for your life, career or business?
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