Monday, May 18, 2009

Infatuation with Pleasing

Four wordsthank goodness it's summer!

Yes, I LOVE Kansas State, more than anything, yet sometimes you just need a break. Adults take vacations…us students-well we take the entire summer! Of course for many of us summer isn’t just laying around on a beach with a coconut drink in our hand.  As a matter of fact, I would say that the majority of students spend their summer making money working hard, or gaining valuable career experiences through internships. 

The summer is overall a great catalyst to remind ourselves of who it is we should really be pleasing.

You may be thinking, “What are you talking about? I please number one, myself and that is it!” Well, for most of us this is not true.

It is human nature to desire to please others and receive positive affirmation I return. That may mean striving to please your parents, teachers, boss,  or friends. However, does it ever get to the point where your infatuation with pleasing others takes over your life?


A few weeks ago I was sitting in a work meeting when my boss asked who would be available to work a Saturday for a special banquet. While the other employees waited to respond (I’m sure because they were thinking about their previous plans), I eagerly volunteered—thus cancelling out any other plans I had for the day.


It wasn’t until Friday this past when my boss asked me how the semester ended up for me? Somehow, that question spurred into a conversation about me spending time in areas I really deemed important verses always trying to please other first.


It was at this moment that I realized my infatuation with pleasing others.


Whether it is being the team leader in a group project or volunteering to work for others on my days off, I love serving others! This is good to an extent, yet too much of anything is bad.


During my recent reading in the book A Purpose Driven Life, I have come to really reflect on whom I am trying to please. It is important to be our best for everyone—yet it is also important to please the one that really matters. It feels great to have others praise your hard work, yet if your hard work is not serving something larger than yourself, larger than us, then is that really how you want to spend your energy?


As the summer begins, it is a perfect time to re-evaluate who we are trying to please. Forget about those expectations of your family, forget about those few percentages that make up your grade for six months of your entire life, and think about how you will please that relationship that it truly important to you?


What are my summer plans? Well, as of right now I am sticking around Manhattan for two more weeks to assist with the KS State FFA Convention, and then on May 31st leaving town to serve in an internship with Cargill in Wichita KS doing corporate training. During my term in Wichita with Cargill I hope to gain a new insight into a career I may be interested in, but more importantly I hope to take the extra time working on personal improvement. My goal is to work on improving my personal discipline in mind, body, and spirit (no, I have not become a hippie, just some one interested in being the best me I can be).


This summer, choose to say no to your infatuation with pleasing everyone around you, and ask yourself how will you improve who you are as a person? How will you serve those who really matter to you? Don’t just let this summer be a break from classes, but really use it. How will you be a better person when you return to school? Who do you really want to be and how can you get there?


I'll be working on it….will you take part in this journey? The choice is yours. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here is to you!

Finals week is here! No only are many of us students wishing we had doodled less in class and listened more, but we are also realizing that the summer is nearing! Exciting...but also a bit sad. This Saturday is KSU Graduation, a time where friends celebrate their hard work and relationships they have built the past years. 

Although I am not graduating, some of my dear friends are. To those of you who will be leaving us here at KSU to join the "real-world workforce," thank you. You will always be with me in my heart-I couldn't ask for better friends. 
For those of you staying around...can't wait to create more KSU memories together and enjoy living in the purple city just a little bit longer! 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Snapshot of You

Every Wednesday I attend a two-hour leadership course at Kansas State University called “Leadership in Practice.” This Wednesday was our final class, and a powerful one at that.

Heather, one of our teachers, decided to show us one of her favorite inspirational videos called “Celebrate what is Right with the World.” It is a story told by a National Geographic photographer who has learned many different life lessons through his photo shoots across the world.

While watching this clip, I couldn’t help but jot down quotes the photographer made about his journeys.  Here are just a few of my favorites:


“You won’t see it until you believe it”


“Celebrate what is right with every situation”


“Be the best YOU for the world”


“Light shines not on us, but from within us”


“Change equals possibilities. Times of change have the most potential.”


“It is on the edge where we find the wings to take us higher”


“There is a difference in living for success and for significance”


While the photographer made MANY good points, there are two that really stuck in my mind: 1) Be the best YOU for the world, and 2) It is on the edge where we find the wings to take us higher.


1)   Be the best YOU for the world.

Yesterday I bought and began reading the book called A Purpose Driven Life. The title is pretty self-explanatory as to what the books point is all about. What is your purpose here on earth?

The first chapter mentions how we are all put here on this planet to fulfill a specific purpose. You were no accident, but rather specifically created to serve this world in a unique way only you can. Every talent you have, skill you develop, personality trait you posses, and even your appearance has been designed to help you serve your purpose. 

Our photographer friend found his purpose photographing the world to share with others. He mentions how he strives to find the unique beauty in every situation—he knows it is there he just has to find it.  He changes his angels and point of view to shoot an even better picture for his audience to enjoy. Our photographer friend strives to improve for the world, not for himself.

In order to find and fill your purpose you must strive to improve yourself not for you, but for the world. Who are you to keep all your god-given gifts to yourself? They are meant to be shared to make this world a better place.

So, in times you are seeking motivation—think of the world. Those people living right next to you each day should be your motivation, your reasoning for working hard and striving for continuous growth. Even if you don’t know what exactly your purpose is yet, that is ok, by improving yourself eventually it will all fall into place.

2)   It is on the edge where we find our wings to take us higher.

Two weeks ago I saw a clip from a commercial for Honda engines. It has a race car driver talking about taking racing to the limits. She mentioned how there is a find line between going your fastest to win the race and driving to the point of recklessness. Every time she practices she pushes that  boundary, taking it to the point where she is as close as she can be to driving without crashing the car, and then she goes just a little bit farther. This is what the truly successful car drivers must do to continue to improve. Push to your limit, and then push just a little but harder to create a new dividing line for next time.


No, I am not telling you to go out and start drag racing the first person you see. Rather use this theory of “pushing to the edge” in other areas of your life. Perhaps you do this by deciding to run that extra mile you feel you are too exhausted to run. Maybe you take on a new project at work that stretches your current knowledge base.  Possibly you make a decision to take a heavier course load of classes next semester and make the commitment to study a set amount of hours a week.


If we are always on stable ground, we will never find the wings to really take off and fly into something even better than what we are experiencing now.  Settling for status quo is boring! Push yourself and feel the job of achieving a new bench mark in your overall goals!


Think about it…


Be the Best YOU for the World,


Push Yourself  to the Edge and Find the Wings to take You Higher.