Monday, June 3, 2013

Lesson 4 of 5 from TED - Humility

Five Lessons (Re-)Learned in a Day at TED – Part 4
Lesson Number 4: You’re not as awesome as you think you are.

 Much to Prof. McHie’s dismay and disappointment – this blog post has been a long time coming.  I apologize for the delay as I got caught up in finals and graduation and moving and etc…

My new office in Carlsbad, CA
To be honest, I have written this blog post several times.  Its central theme – humility – is one of those topics that you have to tread carefully in speaking of.  I personally don’t believe in the “Gold Star” culture that dominates a lot of our daily activities, but I also believe in empowering others by giving credit where credit is due.  However, as I opened my draft this morning to proof read what I had written a few weeks ago, it struck me that with all that has recently happened in my life, this lesson from TED was particularly relevant. 

A lot of really good things have happened in my life and that is great cause for celebration: I graduated with my MSBA and earned a 4.0 GPA in the process.  I moved into a nice new apartment close to the beach in San Diego.  I started a fantastic new job at TaylorMade Golf.

Jack Andraka at TED2013
 All of these things recently had me in an “I’m pretty awesome” mood.  So when I opened my previous draft, I thought back to TED and what made me think of this lesson in the first place: meeting Jack Andraka.  If you don’t know about Jack and his story, I highly suggest taking a moment to read about him on the TED website here.  If ever there was a moment in my life to believe that I’m not as awesome as I think, it was meeting Jack.  After all, what I have accomplished in an even longer life than him?

CUA commencement
Congrats Class of 2013!
Remembering my time at TED with Jack quickly put me back in my place.  In the MSBA program, you always have a lot going for you.  Your professors are encouraging and they root and cheer for your success every step of the way.  Your classmates are smart and challenge you intellectually in ways you never could have thought.  You go to school on a beautiful campus in an incredibly amazing city.  All of this culminates in an indescribable feeling of proud accomplishment that you get to celebrate at Commencement.  It’s easy to think, “Wow!  I am awesome!” just as I had been doing the last several weeks.

But it is in moments exactly like that when it’s important to remember the Jack Andrakas of the world.  Step back and remember, you’re not as awesome as you think.  Don’t think of it as a put down, but as a challenge – an opportunity to become as awesome as those you admire most.

Neil Watson
MSBA Class of 2013

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