“Rise to the occasion, look at yourself den say yuh strong
No-one can stop yuh, oh yeah
Rise to the occasion, go ahead you know you strong, no-one can stop you.”
~ Excerpt from Rise to the Occasion by Sizzla Kalonji.
That’s the challenge I put forward to the students in attendance at the Career Day Seminar I was honored to be a Guest Speaker for on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. And that’s the challenge I put forward to you, my readers – RISE TO THE OCCASION - no matter what. It’s also a challenge I had to embrace when I was called upon to do this speech.
You see, I am not one who’s much into a public display for speeches, presentations, the works. Funny yet, I use to be a Trainer, as part of a previous role and I’m a Mentor. So why is my first response usually NO when asked to do these things is beyond me. Well, not really, it’s called imposter syndrome and all those other names by which it is known. Well, this time around I was not afforded the opportunity to say NO. I was called and told that I was scheduled to be a speaker and that the only choice I had was what time I wanted to be on stage. And if you know the person who called me, as well as I, then you know it was really pointless to argue. The guilty party will know herself.
So off I went to hyperventilate and have my usual series of panic attacks. Once that was over, I put on my big girl panties and started to think about what I’d speak about. Took me over a week to get my head in gear and my thoughts aligned. More panic attacks, more hyperventilating. Then it hit me! Girl, you love using songs, quotes, and acronyms to get your points across – use that! And then it hit me again. Girl, you says you is a writer – THEN WRITE!
Scribble, scribble, erase, erase, scribble, scribble some more, anxiety, anxiety, breathe, breathe, scribble…then puff, light bulb moment. What are some of the words that you love to use and have shared before with your community on Instagram? What is a song that really resonates with you that you can use? Puff, puff, puff, and like magic the words appeared and an acronym was created, a song selected, and it all started to come together beautifully. You see, the writing is not really the issue here, it’s the getting up in front of people to express what’s been written. Work-In-Progress!
"HOW I PIVOTED: USING MY I C APPLE PRINCIPLES"
That’s the topic I came up with. And the song I selected was Like You by Tatiana Manaois.
How I Pivoted seemed befitting a topic because, as you’ll eventually find out, I'm not your average cookie; I’m not a one-size fits all kinda girl. I Am Miss Multitalented, Miss Jill of most things if you will. Much like Jack of All Trades, except I’m a girl. And I know you're thinking of that saying, "Jack of all trades is a master of none," right? And immediately you have a negative connotation attached to it, right again? Well, what if I told you, you were wrong and that the quote didn't end there. It actually goes like this,
“a Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
So as a Jill of all Trades, I'm a General Management Professional, Writer, Blogger, Proofreader & Editor, Organizer, and an Aspiring Author, among some other stuff like Foodie, Gardener, Best Auntie Ever, etc. My point to these students, and to you too, is that you too can do just as many things and be great at them all if you want to. It's just going to take some work, having a solid foundation, continuous learning, and the right attitude to get it done.
And that my friends lead me into My 7 Guiding Principles, MY I C APPLE. These principles have never failed me, irrespective of the fields I have worked in, and they have played an integral part in my personal life. I embrace them even more now as I get older and my perspective on life evolves.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THESE 7 GUIDING PRINCIPLES: I C APPLE
1. Be Intentional - be clear on what you want to achieve, who you are, and what you bring to the table. However, give yourself grace if you can't always figure it out. Just work on becoming a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday or even the week before. And if something doesn't work out don't sweat it. Take the lessons and move on.
2. Be curious - talk to people, read every and anything, be willing to explore new things, be open to learning (there is a lesson in everything), don't be afraid to ask questions, and make Google and YouTube some of your best friends.
I’m a lifelong learner and our possibilities are endless.
3. Be authentic, be you. You don't have to fit into any one mold or anyone's perception of who you should be. There's a quote that says, "you are unrepeatable, there is a magic about you that is all your own." Bring that authenticity and magic wherever you go." You don't have to be everybody's cup of tea.
4. Be Proactive – You gotta PAP. Plan, Anticipate what might happen, and Prepare in advance. And sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horn - don't wait for things to happen - make them happen.
5. Be patient - I have a confession. This is the hardest one for me. Mi nuh have nutten name patience. But yuh si when di Creator decide say yuh need fi develop likkle patience. Memba. Yuh going to have to just bill, hole a chill and gwaan wait it out. I learnt that after my job loss in 2018 when I was home for 11 months 11 days 15hrs and 30 minutes. That’s a whole lotta time to develop patience. Trust me. And I did. Not 100% yet – more like 65%-70%. Again, I’m a work-in-progress. Nevertheless, during that patience learning phase, I learnt to express myself through creativity and that’s how my website was formed, and my Instagram page created.
6. Love - Do everything from a place of love - no matter what it is - whether you're doing it for yourself or others. Accept and love yourself first so you will have and know how to show love to someone else. A question I find myself asking more often these days is, "are you doing this from a place of love, and will it inspire?
7. Have a passion for Excellence - Let's make something very clear here. Having a passion for excellence is NOT perfection. When you strive for excellence, it means you are always looking at where you are now and how you can get a little bit better. I strive for excellence, not perfection...perfection may come along the way (if there's such a thing as perfection - that's still debatable). Always strive for excellence.
There you have it. Those are my 7 guiding principles – my I C Apple. Let these 7 principles be a part of your growth and development. Believe in yourself, even amidst fear, failures, anxiety, and people telling you that you can't do it, or that it's already been done. Just remember, as Tatiana says in her song,
“You are strong, you are wise
You are worth beyond the thousand reasons why
And you can't be perfect, baby
'Cause nobody's perfect, darling
But, no, no, no, there's nobody in the world like you”
And as Richard Branson says, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
Thank you for reading and remember
There’s nobody like you
You can do anything
It’s ok to ask for help
Just rise to the occasion with I C APPLE
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