It may be ridiculous to say, but I’ve been inspired by a book that I haven’t even read yet. I’ve been intending on reading “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell ever since I first picked it up at the Barnes & Noble store where I worked while I was in college.
When I read the back of the book, I was instantly fascinated and intrigued to learn about the science of success. Is there a methodology? A pattern? Or just pure dumb luck and timing? Without ever having read the book, I can only hope that my theories align with that of Malcolm Gladwell’s.
Based on personal experience, I can proclaim the theory that the science of success is based on a compilation of factors that include Methodology, Pattern, and timing. Here is why:
Below, I provide you with a breakdown of the series of events that caused the interpretation of my own success.
I.) Methodology –
I’m a firm believer in destiny. However, I also believe that destiny is determined by our actions and the decisions that we make on a daily basis. Essentially, we are in control of our own destiny. Similar to the movie, “Back to the Future”, I think that alternate lives can be created depending solely on a single choice or occurrence. Our approach to the methodology in our daily lives such as the courses that we take in college going all the way back to our decision between playing a sport or playing an instrument determines the kind of life we’ll lead. Of course, this is not set in stone, but it sure does map out some sort of direction.
In all honesty, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I first entered college. I didn’t even figure it out until the very end of my sophomore year, in which case, I still had to apply to get into my major.
First, I asked myself, “What do I like?”
What do I care enough about to the point where I’d voluntarily sit through numerous days of hour long classes and actually enjoy it? What have I been doing with my life up until this day?
At first, my answers seemed silly to me.
It was simple. I liked to run. I liked to write. I liked showcasing my love for these things. I wanted to be in an environment that supported my love for these things.
I chose Exercise Science, concentrated in Sport Management, because I could be in a field where I was able to be involved in the realm of Sports and Exercise, without actively participating as an athlete. I wanted to be behind the scenes.
Entering my Senior year, I knew that I was required to apply for an internship in order to graduate.
Similar to when I first entered college, I had no idea where I wanted to intern when I reached my Senior year of college. I didn’t even find an internship until after the deadline had already passed. Fortunately, thanks to good timing (which I’ll discuss in my third point) I found one that suited me perfectly.
Pattern, though, was the other factor that aided me a great deal towards landing the job that I currently have job.
II.) Pattern –
Pattern, or routine, is necessary in ensuring that you are on the right track. After all, practice makes perfect (as long as your practicing correctly)
In many previous posts, I’ve discussed how time management and the ability to balance the many areas of my life was a very significant skill set that I learned. Being able to maintain a daily pattern in my schedule helped me stay focused.
I juggled between part-time work, full-time school, a boyfriend, a social life, and relaxation time all throughout college. Figuring out a way to incorporate all of these things into my life without completely losing my mind wasn’t an easy task. Fortunately, I was able to develop a routine and stick to it.
I devoted certain hours of the day and certain days to schoolwork, my part-time job, spending time with my boyfriend, my friends, and myself.
Once that foundation was established, it was easy for me to go about my days without being stressed out all the time.
It’s imperative that one establishes some basis of routine or structure. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for spontaneity and randomness, however, spontaneity and randomness in excess leads to chaos. And chaos leads to destruction. We need to be in control of our lives, but still be open to the idea that life throws curveballs at us.
Some like to call those curveballs “conflicts” or “struggles”, but I like to call them life lessons. And we need to take those life lessons and learn from them in order to grow. Life is all about timing. Everything happens in our lives as it should. As the saying goes, “God never gives us more than we can handle” (or something along those lines)
Anyways, this brings me to my third and last point, timing.
III.) Timing –
Have you ever been somewhere at exactly the right place or time? Well, this happens to me a lot.
My family and friends have always told me that I’m a lucky person. I always tend to find money on the ground, run into some sort of wild event, or win things.
Instead, I’d say that I just have really good timing.
There have been many times where extremely unfortunate occurrences have happened to me. In High School, I suffered a serious eye injury while playing soccer just weeks before attending Junior Prom. In college, I caught Mono and Strep Throat in the same year and then the following year, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I partied my way into Academic Warning during the first semester of transferring to Rutgers University from Montclair University. Somehow, I miraculously overcame all of these obstacles and managed to avoid major life events that could have collided with these unfortunate circumstances.
My eye was fully healed in less than the time predicted by my Doctor and I was able to attend Junior Prom. I caught Mono and Strep Throat in between the Fall and Spring Semester, in which I didn’t have to miss any classes. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease during the semester prior to my Senior Year, in which I again didn’t have to miss any classes. I bounced back from Academic Warning the following semester and was able to graduate college with a 3.0 GPA.
I can label all of these things as pure dumb luck, but I won’t.
It was a combined effort of good timing and willpower.
All of the tragic events that have happened to me happened during the best timing and I’m eternally grateful for that.
This series of ups and downs throughout my college career were the building blocks for the type of future that I was going to have. More importantly, how I reacted to this series of ups and downs determined my success.
In life, we must learn that endless waves of good and bad happen to us. Our methodology of approach, daily patterns, and timing all contribute to our direction. Ultimately, the science of success is in our hands. We have to play the hand that we are dealt, whether it be good or bad.