PERSEVERANCE. Are you a “finisher”? How do you remain focused and not let criticism and obstacles shut you down? After the devastating loss to Bobby Rush in his bid for Congress in 2000, Barack Obama could have given up his dream to break into national politics. The defeat weighed heavy on his ego…
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PARTNERSHIP. Are you a loner or a connector? What type of genuine partnerships have you formed in your life? I was a tom-boy athlete growing up. I ran track, swam and did gymnastics competitively and was successful at winning many medals. Although I was technically on a “team”, I realize now that in all of those sports the final result was really determined by my individual performance. Except for in a relay race, I wasn’t really dependent on the other members like with sports such as football or basketball.
QUESTIONS. How curious are you? Do you take things at face value? Do you ever avoid asking questions because you think you’ll sound naive? Are you willing to ask the tough and unpopular questions? If you’ve spent time around a young child then at some point you’ve probably experienced a seemingly endless stream of questions, such as “Why is the sky blue?”, “Why does a dog have a tail?”, “What makes the grass grow?”, “Where do babies come from?”
NO. Have you ever agreed to do something you really didn’t want or have time to do? Have you ever said “No” to something that seemed like an opportunity to other people, but just didn’t “feel” right for you? How do you respond when you are told “No”? There’s a funny thing about this simple two-letter word. It is a word we’ve all used and we’ve all heard before. When it’s said to you, you may not like it very much; when you say it, it can be quite liberating. Sometimes the word is open for interpretation; other times, it is absolute. For example, when making a sales call, “No” may very well mean, “Not right now.” However, when asking for a romantic date, “No” most likely means “NO!”
FREEDOM. How free are you? Is your freedom dependent on someone else? What are your divine rights? When I was in China in 2006 I was struck by the display of prosperity in places like Shanghai, with its large LED screens touting the latest fashions and movies. It was like New York’s Times Square on steroids.
IMAGINATION. How much do you dream? Can you envision your possibilities? Are you using your imagination to empower your life? When I was five years old, I ran the “Gal’s Club.” It was an exercise club that consisted of three members: Mom, my sister and me. It was exclusive to girls, so I didn’t invite my brother and Dad (“gal” was my version of “girl” which came from my initial schooling in Australia). I even created membership cards and established rules – maybe that’s why one of my kindergarten classmates gave me the nickname “boss lady”. I was set on making sure we were healthy and fit, and I enjoyed being in charge.
KINDNESS. Is your outlook one of compassion or indifference? How often do you perform intentional acts of kindness? Are you a considerate person? Do you show love every day to those who love you? With the calamities of recent times, we have witnessed ordinary people perform extraordinary acts of heroism.