Graduation is a time to reflect on all that you’ve learned. Looking back at the steps and goals you had to work hard at in order to achieve this milestone.
When you were in elementary school you looked forward to graduating and moving on to high school. Then in high school, you worked towards graduating to either launch a career or continue your studies. If you take postsecondary, everything is about graduating so you can start your career.
These are important milestones in your journey.
Before you get busy doing the next thing, take a moment to celebrate your success.
Success is not about the destination, it’s about the journey
Most of what we do at Edge Factor is aligned with the school year, because we work to provide high-impact multimedia tools to inspire students, like you to explore, prepare and connect on your career journey. So this time of year, causes me to pause and reflect on the successes and challenges I have faced in my own life. As the President and Founder of Edge Factor, many may look at me as a successful person, but what does it even mean to be a successful person?
In the past year, I have traveled around to film and share stories about the people I work with through Edge Factor. The individuals allowed me to tell their stories and in the process, I learned so much from them. We share these stories through the media we create so you can be inspired by them, relate to their story, and explore careers in industries you may not have known existed. Many of the people features in these stories had to work hard, overcome obstacles, and face seemingly insurmountable odds and they pushed through to experience success.
The Traits of a Successful Person
Achieving success is not about arriving at the final destination.
You might think I will be successful when… I buy that house, the car I want, or I make a certain amount of money.
Success is a process. As you work through the process you are learning and picking up skills so when you reach the end of the process and look back you can say, “I did that successfully,” even if the end result didn’t get you to your goal.
Here are some traits to keep in mind as you move forward and work to develop the traits of a successful person:
Act with integrity: Success comes from the way you live out your day-to-day life and the way you interact with other people. It’s possible to achieve your goal and look back and realize the way you reached your goal, was not good. The process was done poorly. It could be that somehow you achieved your goal at the expense or the sacrifice of others. Perhaps you didn’t demonstrate a good work ethic or attitude. So the end result may seem as if you were successful, but the journey was costly because of the way you treated others along the way.
Practice humility: Humility is not weakness. You don’t have to have all the answers. Demonstrate humility and a willingness to learn from others. In that same humility, you pass those lessons on to others who come along behind you so you help them achieve success in their life.
Try new things: This might require you to get out of your comfort zone and take a problem and turn it into a solution. You may need to accompany others to learn from them and pass on what you have learned. This is why Apprenticeship Programs are so appealing to me - it’s an opportunity for two people to walk beside each other to build success as one person transfers knowledge to another.
Have a curious mindset: Curiosity is what drives you to the unknown, it’s where you discover opportunities, and build relationships. According to Science Daily curiosity can actually make your brain more receptive to learning and coming up with new ideas. So ask the questions, listen for the answers and ask more questions, show a genuine interest and you never know when you may be inspired to transform that curiosity into an innovative idea.
Find joy in the journey: Does success lead to joy or does joy lead to success? Joy isn’t found in things or events. Being a joyful person comes from an internal attitude, one that allows you to be joyful regardless of the successes or failures you experience. Being grateful for every part of the journey, and having a positive attitude will impact your productivity and the way you treat others which will help you celebrate the successes along the way.
Success is achieved one step at a time
Success…. Life…. Is a journey. It’s about putting one step in front of the other, intentionally moving forward in your journey.
It’s important to know, that people very rarely experience a magical moment of “ah, I’ve made it.”
Setting a goal is important - but be open to the lessons you learn along the way to achieving that goal.
If you look at my own career journey, I went from high school into a manufacturing career. My years in manufacturing led me to where I am today, as I discovered a passion for making things with my hands, but quickly realized others I spoke to didn’t really get why I was blown away by the world of manufacturing. Then I started telling stories of manufacturers, launching a whole new career as a filmmaker. As we made films and needed to distribute them, another phase of my career as a platform & App developer became a new chapter…. and it is not over yet! On the Edge Factor site there are so many similar stories of others who rose above whatever obstacles they faced.
Don’t wait to do something, success begins today.
Perhaps you studied something that wasn’t what you thought, or you’ll start a new career and realize it’s not a good fit for you. That may initially feel like you are wasting your time, but so long as you are doing something, you are not wasting time because you learned something about that career, or about yourself and you take those lessons with you as you move on to the next thing.
Some of you may not be sure what to do next, or if what you decided to do is the right thing for you. So long as you are doing something then you are growing and learning. If you decided to just wait..wait until you know what you want to do with your life, then you shrink. You put yourself at risk of picking up bad habits to fill your ‘waiting’ time.
The building block to success is to move towards something, so layer upon layer, you are building up your skills, learning from others, and enjoying the journey.
So get out there, be a person of integrity, be humble, be curious, try new things and laugh along the way.
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