When my younger daughter graduated from college. Her accomplishment got me thinking about how graduation is an opportunity to reflect on what’s possible.
As you reflect, I want you to explore big dreams and move forward with a sense of purpose. And I want you to seek joy along the way.
EXPLORE BIG DREAMS
My daughter has big dreams to be the world’s best third grade teacher. Her passion and drive remind me of my early career. On my first day working at a small women’s college, I was passionate, legacy-driven, committed. The women I served were my top priority, and I wanted to make a difference in each of their lives.
Early on in that job, I met a high school senior with limited resources. I encouraged her to apply for a full scholarship. Over her four years with us, I watched her bloom and gain confidence. We still stay in touch, and she’s grown into a successful entrepreneur in her own right. I cannot help but feel we can all make a difference one conversation at a time. She had big dreams, and so did I; we supported each other.
MOVE FORWARD WITH A SENSE OF PURPOSE
You may feel a strong sense of purpose on day one of this new life adventure following graduation. I felt a calling early – I knew I was a born coach. I knew I was a teacher, an educator.
But it took me years to realize that my work was fulfilling my purpose to coach and lead high-talent, women leaders. I was able to get here now because I had key women and men who gave me a chance. The Academic VP at a woman’s college hired me. A mentor made me teach large university classes at a young age. Two female executives at a large financial institution gave me my first significant contract which launched my solo practice. Now, I am in partnership with three talented women leaders and we own a multimillion dollar company.
Embrace that person who believes in you and wants to show you the ropes; ask them questions; let them know what you’re “doing”. The dots will connect much faster, and your purpose will reveal itself to you sooner than you think.
In her recent commencement address at Berkeley, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg talked about joy as ever present; we forget about it because we are bombarded with negativity. So we must SEEK joy. Turn off anything that’s reminding you of the world’s problems or bad news. Yes, work gets hard and life throws mean curve balls. But, there are things for which we are grateful. Before I left for my freshman year of college, my childhood home burned to the ground. It was a devastating loss for our family. But my mother’s response shifted everything for us. “Well, now at least we can rebuild the house we dreamed about,” she said. I could have been trapped in that burning house, but I survived. We survived. I am forever grateful.
Seeking joy means seeking gratitude. I reflect each and every day and ask, “For what am I grateful?” My kids hated this ritual at the dinner table. But, today they would say it paid dividends. They are joyful adults exploring big dreams, moving forward with purpose, and making a difference.
The future is simple: It’s shaped by the magic that comes from your passion, purpose, and joy.
About Diana Faison:
Diana Faison is a partner at FHHL and worked with the firm as a consultant for over 10 years prior to her partnership. She began her career as a teacher of Leadership Development studies and a Dean in Student Affairs at Queens University and the University of North Carolina—Charlotte. Diana is a sought-after keynote speaker on business leadership topics such as political savvy, brand, personal power, authentic leadership, and well-being. She is also the co-author of The Influence Effect: A New Path to Power for Women Leaders.
Originally published on the Flynn Heath Holt Blog