Are You Willing To Do?
Willing to Follow Through
writing today’s article in-flight, on the way home from attending
my stepson Jordan’s college graduation in Hartford. During
this trip and through the example of three people close to
me and in their 20s, the theme of willingness presented
itself as the message to share with you this week.
I’ll begin with Jordan who is 28 and has a solid job in his
chosen field of computer network engineering. At various points
in his 20s and making a good salary, the necessity of a college
degree could have been questioned. Yet Jordan made the decision
to follow through, going at his own pace and taking classes
at night, while continuing to work full-time. His persistence
paid off and his options are now multiplied.
Gregory S. Babe, the commencement speaker, addressed a group
of graduates that included his own daughter. He spoke of some
childhood dreams that had not come true and one dream he had
surpassed. “In my opinion, it is not about your batting
average when it comes to dreams. It’s about what you are willing
to do to make them reality.”¹
That brings me to the other two examples of willingness that
I observed on my trip east.
Willing to Stand Up
Christina² is a very bright and accomplished young woman,
currently pursuing her masters in psychology. Her experience
as an intern for a renowned professional was ultimately worthwhile
but came with one big negative: working for someone with a
volatile temper and manipulative management style, if you
can call it that. Her big moment of willingness occurred last
weekend when she realized she was no longer willing
to be treated poorly and that she is now willing
to draw the line and stand up for herself.
The third example is that of Mike, the son of lifelong friends.
As he completes the last two years of his service as an officer
in the military, Mike is contemplating his future career in
the business world. “Some people tell me it’s unrealistic
to want to work at something I’m passionate about but liking
what I do is important to me.” I know you’re not
wondering where I came down on this issue and how I responded
While in their 20s, Christina and Mike demonstrate the essence
of so many pivotal life decisions that present themselves
in every decade: What am I willing to stand for?
When you say the words: I am willing, there’s something
empowering that happens because you are focusing on the choice
you have, what you can do, and the aspect of the
situation you can influence. You may even find that what seemed
insurmountable before is now a reasonable climb.
This Week’s Call To Action:
Get clear on what you’re willing to do.
- Follow through on something, just as
Jordan did. Make the extra effort and see the work as simply
what needs to be done to serve the bigger vision. Respond
in a new way to whatever has blocked you in the past. Map
out your goal to its completion.
- Like Christina and Mike, stand up for yourself
and what you value.
- Like Mike, go beyond the “realistic” suggestions of others
and consider where your own passion and opportunity
Your willingness makes the difference.
Here's to you,
¹Gregory S. Babe is president and CEO of the Pittsburgh-based
Orbital Engineering, Inc. More about the commencement here:
commencement a celebration for graduates
²Name changed for privacy.