Learning for fun.

Are you going out of your way to become the best version of yourself?

Every day you have the potential to learn something new, whether that be a new skill like coding or a new language so that you can connect with a wide variety of individuals. Today, I am going to provide you with three different resources that will make learning a part of your everyday life while also keeping your professional goals in mind. The main opportunities that you have for becoming a profession that continues to grow intellectually would be to attend conferences, taking courses on Lynda and learning others cultures.

Living the conference lifestyle. Conferences can seem like an overwhelming challengeScreen Shot 2017-04-10 at 11.05.02 AM.png for many young professionals because of networking with other professionals or being able to grasp so much information in a short amount of time. Do not fear, I have already suffered through my first ever conference and I have some tips to give to you so that when you walk through those doors you will be prepared for anything. I attended the University of Florida’s Retailing Smarter conference in June 2016. This opportunity was given to me by the David F. Miller Retailing Education and Research Center within the University of Florida’s Heavener Business School. The annual Retail Smarter Conference “brings together a diverse group of retail and industry participants for two days of speakers, panels, round-tables and networking,” while also providing insight the world of retail. There are some tips to remember:

There are some tips to remember:

  1. Research, research, research. There is nothing more awkward than meeting a presenter and not knowing what company they represent. Most conferences will give you an agenda with the speaker’s name and company so that you have the chance to research more about them.
  2. Bring the correct items. Laptop or phone charges, enough business cards and proper business clothes.
  3. Stay organized. Once you have the itinerary you should have a game plan for what you want to attend and the amount of time you should allocate to getting there. Between the multiple breakout sessions, you will come away with more notes, names and numbers than you can possibly remember.

To help you find a conference that is best suited for your interest, here is a link that will connect you to any conference in your area.

Utilizing Lynda. The definition directly from Lynda.com states that it is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 12.42.24 PM.pngskills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the Lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.” Recently I finished an online course through the University of Florida called Solving Problems with Computer Software and this course used Lynda to become familiarized with products like Microsft Excel and Word. We also needed to explore the different applications it provides such as learning how to code and using Photoshop. This could create a wonderful extension to your resume with the skills you will learn through the different lesson plans.

International learning. The photo towards the title of this blog is a snapshot of me and an international student from Taiwan studying Mechanical Engineering to obtain her masters degree and is learning English at the same time. I participate as a conversation partner for the English Language Institute a the University of Florida. This is an opportunity to learn something about a culture you do not identify with and to build a connection with someone who can give you insight on international customs if you decide to venture abroad for a career.

Overall, your goal should be to always prepared to learn and establish new skills in order to further pursue a passionate career.

Here is a quote to leave you with about the importance of learning.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

– Mahatma Gandhi



Finding your purpose.

Do you know what your purpose is or how to find it?

Today, I will go over how to not only find what drives your passions but how to use that momentum to pursue your purpose. The three main lessons I have learned about finding your passion would include taking a new perspective, learning from the past and having bravery.

Start With the Right Perspective. Growing up, I believed finding your passion would be just as easy as finding out what you want to eat for breakfast. it is not. This takes time and experience to discover what makes you want to get out of bed and save the world. I also realized that my perspective is shaped by the individuals that I accept into my personal life. This lead to the decision to surround myself with people who would influence me to become not only the better person I inspire to be but also establish the profession mindset that will allow me to reach my goals. Here is a ted talk that explains how not having a passion is totally acceptable. Terri Trespicio is a branding strategist who helps visionaries, experts, entrepreneurs, and businesses communicate with power and precision across media platforms. She consults with a wide range of experts, everyone from surgeons and social media celebs to startups and brand managers. She makes some interesting points about the work passion and why searching for it could potentially stop you from recognizing your destiny.

Learning from the past through journaling. Recently, I purchased A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel. The explanation for this journal states that it “is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 9.39.35 AM.pngself-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.” I chose this journal so that I might be able to right down lessons I have learned through personal experience and professional tips that will continue to inspire me. I personally need motivation to write about my day and would have no idea what to write without a guided journal like the one to the right. 

Some of the reasons you should journal include:

  • Encourages you to write out your goals.
  • Permanent record of our progress.
  • Think beyond the obvious.
  • Provides accountability.

Here is the link to purchase this Self-Exploration journal or a search engine to find one that best suits you.

Being brave to step outside of your comfort zone. personally, I have a social butterfly characteristic that makes going to networking or socializing events enjoyable. Unfortunately, I have a very difficult time articulating what I want to accomplish in life or what path I hope to move towards when focussing on a career. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by john Walsh, an executive at Walt Disney World, shared his secrets to finding a purpose and making the statement into action. Walsh stated that finding your purpose consisted of understanding your values, having individuals with the same goals and being confident in what you want to do. When I say “what you want to do,” I mean understanding how you will affect others through your actions and career.   Overall, do not be afraid to not know what you want but be prepared to find it at any moment.

Please know that it is ok not to know what makes you passionate. It takes time to evaluate what set your heart on fire.

Here is a quote about finding passion and branching out into the world.

Finding ballet gave me passion for the first time in my life. I was always very shy and just wanted to fit in; I never daydreamed about what I wanted to be when I grew up. But dancing gave me a connection to my personality that made me grow.

– Misty Copeland

Thrive, don’t just live.

What constitutes a thriving lifestyle?

Today, I am going to explain the principles of having a thriving career like planning your path, recognizing potential and Triangulation. What does thrive mean? The correct definition of thrive is to prosper or to flourish. This verb is what will set you apart from all other professionals only seeking a paycheck and not looking to make a difference in the world. This is how you can take the leap to be the profession you want others to see while also having the soul of an adventurer.

Planning your path. Many individuals believe this is associated with finding your passion but I will discuss in a later post why not. This includes many different factors of your life like location and career goals. Starting with your location, you cannot thrive in a place that you are not fully committed to. Lifestyle weighs heavily when it comes to wanting to wake up every morning and begin a new day on your best foot and not living each day in a place that does not inspire you to be the best version of yourself. Next, let’s discuss career goals. Do you have any? If not, let’s define the difference between short-term and long-term goals. Short-term would include being employee-of-the-month or getting a higher ranking position that is one or tow levels above your own. Setting long-term goals takes time to fully comprehend and you must plan out while using the S.M.A.R.T. Method. The S.M.A.R.T. Method stands for specific, measurable,  achievable, realistic and time-bound. These characteristics will help you keep on track to reach that goal in the amount of time you put forth towards the challenge. Here is a link that provides multiple goal-setting worksheets from financial to workout objectives.

Recognizing the potential in every opportunity. Not saying that you should not be skeptical of must ideas, but without being open to a new way of thinking could diminish your chance of building something new and wonderful. Let’s look at Andrew Carnegie for example. By recognizing the potential that steel has in reinforcing railways and bridges he would have never capitalized on the steel industry which then made his life’s fortune. Money should not be your only goal when taking on an entrepreneurial spirit but rather the impact will have on others and society as a whole. Multitasking plays a large part in recognizing the potential of either people or possibilities. Emotional intelligence also makes a new opportunity beneficial and down the road will help your professional life thrive.

Triangulation. Triangulation takes focus on two ideas:  looking at a problem from more than one direction to see if the answers line up or disagree, making testable predictions. I received this knowledge from the website VisionCritical. This organization’s slogan is “collective wisdom starts here.” When reading about the topic of Triangulation a thought came rushing through my head, what if we looked at an issue or a problem in the same way a scientist would. Growing up I will attempt to introduce the scientific method into my daily chores such as washing a stain out of my clothes or deciding what to make for dinner. Going through the process of creating a hypothesis or theory, doing the experiment, refining the idea, afterward I would reproduce the experiment and then come up with a working theory. This can be used when creativity in your professional life is starting to become harder to generate.

Let’s go over what you can do to make a thriving career and not a barely surviving one. Start by planning a well-defined path that is reasonable and achievable, then focus on every opportunity while seeing the potential behind the idea, last but not least attempt to implement Triangulation so that you do not have to place you life n hold for every problem you face. Trying to meet the bear minimum will not work in the world of professionalism anymore.

Here is a quote that sums up the meaning to thrive.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

– Maya Angelou