I can’t believe it’s already Friday! This week flew by…I came back from Virginia on Sunday, had my first two days of work Monday and Tuesday, secured my new apartment, and will be taking the GRE tomorrow afternoon. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous! I don’t think I’ve ever studied this much for an exam in my life. I’ve spent every waking moment of the past two months preparing for it. The GRE is basically like the SAT on steroids…almost 5 hours of qualitative and quantitative reasoning with two timed essays. Originally, I was going to take it next Friday, but of course they decided to cancel that exam date! So I figured I’d get it out of the way tomorrow. Please wish me luck 🙂
I’m very excited to have some free time again. As I mentioned in other posts, I’ve been neglecting areas of my life that need my attention like my friends and family as well as myself. So, I think they’re just as thrilled as I am 🙂 I plan on using a little of that time to redo this blog! I officially bought out the site, so I want to revamp it and change the name. I want it to be more focused on self-care and empowerment, since this definitely is not a nutrition blog anymore. If you all have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them below!
Wednesday morning, I read an article that spoke about the importance of following our stars…that light in the distance that seems to lead us where we need to go. It’s the little guide that navigates us through hard times and gives us the courage to carry on. It’s what we owe much of our successes to, even if we don’t know it. Most importantly, it’s what helps us create our stories…powerful tales that make us who we are. To illustrate this concept, I want to share two stories of people who followed their stars and rose to success.
The first story is about a man named Mark McCormack. Mark is a man from Cleveland, Ohio and an avid golfer. One day, he was at the range and saw a young man with great potential. After watching him for a few minutes, Mark knew this was no ordinary player. All he needed was a little boost, and he would be a pro. On a whim, Mark approached this man and asked if he had a manager…he did not. So, Mark offered to be his manager, despite not having any experience in the field. The man said yes, and IMG International was formed.
In that moment, Mark helped Arnold Palmer become one of the biggest starts in golfing history and created a company that manages celebrities like Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Schumacher, and Tyra Banks. Mark took a leap. He followed his intuition to create one of the most successful companies in the world. He followed his star.
The second example is of a man named Conrad Hilton. Conrad was a poor Greek immigrant that couldn’t find a job back home. Since he couldn’t read, no one would hire him…not even to be a janitor. Frustrated, Conrad took a leap of faith and moved to the United States. After years of trials, tribulations, and following his star, Conrad founded Hilton Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains in the world.
Mark and Conrad are ordinary people like you and I. They weren’t born into wealth. Mark was an especially ordinary man who just so happened to be in the right place at the right time. Conrad was poor and castigated, but what makes these two men unique is that they followed their stars.
We all have a guiding star in our lives. We can think of it as our own personal North Star. It serves to lead us. As we follow it, we depart on a journey. A journey where we will hit plateaus, climb mountains, run free in valleys, and jump cliffs. A journey that will ultimately create a story that differentiates us from the crowd and makes us who we are.
Living our story is powerful, but what I’ve found is even more impactful is owning our story by sharing and voicing it to those around us. In doing so, we reveal what makes us unique. We let people know why we stand out, and we show others why we should get that job, grad school acceptance letter, etc. When people know who we are and where we come from, we can connect with them on a deeper level.
Doing so also serves a great purpose for us individually. I think people that own their story have a greater sense of self-awareness and a wisdom that can’t be found in others. They have a peace in life that is unmatched, and opportunities seem to fall in their laps.
Last summer, I went on a 3,500 mile road trip to tour nutrition grad schools. When I met with advisors, they almost always asked why I had a passion for nutrition. So I told them my story…how I was so stressed one semester that I ended up developing IBS. I have to live with that for the rest of my life, but it’s something that could have been prevented. I wanted to be a dietitian so I could help others who faced similar nutrition and lifestyle issues. I wanted people to see proper nutrition as a simple tool that could fix whatever was ailing them.
Being authentically myself and preaching my story made me stand out against other applicants. I was even offered a full ride to one university despite not having applied.
Am I still going into nutrition? No, but that part of my story served as a stepping-stone for my future. I followed my North Star to realize that I can impact peoples’ lives on a deeper level by helping them with mental health. Not to sound pretentious, but I’m great at talking to people. People are naturally drawn to me when they need a pick-me-up or a shoulder to lean on. When I think about it, I’ve been a therapist my entire life. It’s what I’m called to do. Had I never gotten IBS and experienced other rough patches, I never would have found my star.
You see we all have a story because we’ve all followed our North Stars. Their light has led us to this exact moment, and they will lead us in the future. Owning our stories and voicing them will open countless doors for us…we just have to be ready to walk through them. While we may never found companies like IMG International or Hilton Hotels, we can create a unique niche where we can shine.
So this weekend, I challenge all of us, myself included, to spend some time reflecting on our story. Start from the beginning. Think of the moments you remember most from your childhood and teenage years. Think about recent setbacks and advances. Think about the moments you’ve found peace and happiness. What characterized them? Write them down and look for patterns.
Reminiscing on our stories can help us find our North Star. In doing so, we can all become the best versions of ourselves and do what it is we were put on this earth to do…
I hope you all enjoyed this lengthy post! Please like, share, and comment. Tell me what you think below…do you agree or disagree? Heck, don’t be scared to comment your story. It might inspire someone else to do the same.
Have a wonderful weekend 🙂
“To be a star, you have to shine your own light, follow your own path, and don’t worry about the darkness for that is when stars shine the brightest.” ~ Napoleon Hill