“I feel just like somebody else,
man I ain’t changed,
but I know I ain’t the same”
-The Wallflowers – One Headlight
The second week of August marks a significant milestone for myself and this email/blog. A little more than one year ago, I published the first regular post themed around the PGA Championship (when it was still held in August). Designed as a method to educate, motivate, and inspire, I had no idea how it (or I) would evolve over time. Fast forward to today and the quote above perfectly describes me…I haven’t changed, but I know I’m not the same.
I’ve found inspiration for posts in everything from holidays, sporting events, quotes from movies, songs, literature, Broadway musicals, & viral YouTube videos. Somehow, I managed to use alliteration to find an appropriate title for every post but the first. But in reflection, what have I learned from writing all those posts that you apply to your life and career? And what is the significance of anniversaries and other milestone dates for you?
First, I’ve learned a few lessons from writing these posts that I’d like to share.
1. It’s OK to be bad at something. If I’m being honest, the early posts are really bad. So bad in fact, that it pains me to go back and read them (see for yourself, but be gentle). But being OK with being bad provided me the space to make mistakes, learn from them, and find my voice. You have the same opportunity to learn, build or create too, you just need to be willing to be bad for a while.
2. Progress can be slow and often unrecognizable. I kept writing every two weeks, always with multiple drafts and feedback from my colleagues. But it wasn’t until I re-read old posts to prepare for writing this that I realized I’ve gotten better. Your personal journey is the same, so don’t be afraid to stop and reflect on your growth.
3. You can impact people in ways you can’t imagine. I wish I could share all the positive comments I have received from readers. Each time I press “Send” I worry that the message isn’t clear, or the words won’t resonate, but somehow, it always reaches the right person at the right time for them.
What is the importance of recognizing anniversaries and milestone dates? Because they not only force us to look back on the year that was, but to look ahead at the possibilities in front of us. In short, they also allow me to ask my two new favorite questions:
What accomplishment from the past 365 days are you most proud of, and what do you want the answer to be one year from now?
Your answers to the first query are your SOAR Stories. In the workplace, they are the basis of your perceived value (and the items that become bullet points on your resume). They also form your personal narrative, the story you tell yourself that influences both your self-confidence and self-worth. These are valuable things, so make sure your personal narrative is full of SOAR Stories.
I imagine your response to the second question consists of your dreams and aspirations and should be the basis of your goals for the coming year. The presence of the word “proud” ensures that your personal values will be considered, and that success will strengthen both your career aspirations and your personal narrative.
Do me a favor and write down the answer to the second question on a piece of paper. Share that goal with a friend, co-worker, or mentor so they can both hold you accountable and provide necessary support. If everything goes well, I promise that you may not change, but you won’t be the same either.
Looking forward to hearing about your year,
Michael Mueller, PGA Career Consultant
Proudly serving the Carolinas Section
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