To be your best self takes a lot of discipline and confidence. The key factors of being your best self to me include being healthy, ambitious, involved, responsible, and optimistic. Moving to the United States with my family over two decades ago, I gained a newfound respect for my parents to leave behind all known and understanding of life to having to learn a new language, profession, networks, providing a new comfortable home while not knowing the end results just so my brother and I will have the life my parents envisioned for us. Words of faith are the only thing that keeps me steadily walking along my path to success. Success is my only option failure is not. I have condemned myself to be a success. I dove headfirst into this assignment.
I collected 27 short stories from 23 people including: family members, past professors, current professors, current manager, past managers, co-workers, colleagues, friends, and even four of my past employees whom I managed. I analyzed the stories one by one in aggregate to find patterns and themes. In nearly every story I received back from my past professors, colleagues, bosses, and friends the writers highlighted how structured I was, focusing on timelines and deadlines. How seamless I made each long-term project into a series of specific short-term plans, and worked through each plan diligently. They appreciated my instinctive method for maintaining my progress and the teams and my productivity in the face of life’s many distractions. I came to recognize that others may not be as disciplined as I am and I should not think that everyone thinks like me. More often than not, the clumsy process frustrates me, but I must learn to look beyond it, and focus when in teams and by myself on their results, not on their process. The next reoccurring theme I came across was empathy. I have a great talent for sensing the emotions of those around me.
Working in healthcare this is a priceless skill to have, empathy, to feeling what others are feeling as though their feelings are my own. Intuitively, I am able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. At times this is very exhausting as I am not only dealing with co-workers and my subordinates by also patient’s going through a lot of difficulties being sick/confused or just lonely and in addition their family. I am able to anticipate the need, I hear and understand their unvoiced questions, which I address. Where others grapple for words, I am able to find the right words and the right tone especially helpful when dealing with residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s. I am able to effectively use my talents to forge a bridge of understanding and mutual support, which during tying times demonstrates my concern, thereby building loyalty. Most highlighted in this theme was my nonverbal comfort using a smile, pat on the arm/back or just a glance. Another reoccurring theme in my best self was optimism.
This is another one that I am particularly proud of, and I was very pleased to see this repeated in the stories written back to me which highlighted my ability to always see the positives in any situation and expect all to work out. In the worst scenario, I was never one to lose hope when a situation seemed doomed or difficult. I really enjoyed the stories about my ability to lead others through challenges simply because I always reminded them that everything is going to be okay, and would work out with the most positive attitude and a smile throughout the process. This type of behavior many quoted gave them motivation and changed their attitude, which in turn changed the whole environment from daunting to a very calm and positive one during the process(es).
Many commented on my love for learning, that the process more than the content or the result was exciting for me. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what I have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered is the process that entices me. This enables me to thrive in dynamic work environments where I am asked to take on short project assignments and is expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and move on to the next one. Reflecting back on this skill I need to be a catalyst for change. When others might be intimidated by new rules, circumstances, and/or skills my willingness to soak up this newness can potentially calm their fears and push them to action. “Polishing the pearl until it shines,” Executive Director from LCCA was my favorite comment about me.
Excellence, not average, is my measure. Working as a certified activity director for over 6 years I learned to take something from below average to slightly above average which takes a lot of great deal of effort and in my work for the residents if very rewarding! The positive emotions I receive and give to others in my line of work, which transcends into my personal life was my favorite theme that so many responds commented on. With all the above being said, I want my life to shine like the star. I am striving to be my best self. I found out who I really am, and now, I have shared myself with you.