For this months blog post I’d like to share with you an excerpt from my first book: The Achiever’s Digest. This novel began completely on a whim, more for myself then for any audience. It gave me the opportunity to reflect, assess and grow as a person and my hope is that by the end of this novel I will understand myself better and you will come to learn something about yourself along the way. Welcome to my mind; the mind of an achiever.
“First, I suppose I should explain the “Achiever” part of this digest since it is possibly the most important. In my final year of college I took a silly online test during a careers lesson to discover the strengths and weaknesses I would bring to my future workplace. Ridiculous, I know, bear with me. When I completed the test the Internet took a few precious moments to “think” and then revealed its answer to me. The result that unfolded before me was like one of those eerily accurate Saturday morning horoscopes that pegs every aspect of your personality. My personality points included things like leader, welcomer, organizer, fearless one, achiever. The last one stuck with me. As I read into the descriptive paragraph it was like reading my own biography. “You strive for greatness” ”You feel frustration when others do not bring as much passion to a project as you do” “It is difficult for you to motivate the unmotivated” “You WILL succeed” This one simple moment planted a seed that grew and developed in my mind until one day it would no longer fit and had to be unleashed across the pages of scrap paper floating around my desk and thus; a novel was born.
To truly understand what motivates an achiever to strive for success at such a young age we must first re-train our minds to truly understand how we measure success. At different stages of life, success has a completely different definition for example: success to an infant is discovering their own hands, a toddler may speak or walk for the first time, a child may get a sticker on a test, make a friend at school, tie ones own shoes or learn the alphabet. As you may notice, as you age the list of possibilities becomes longer and the achievements we choose to pursue defines our personality and shapes us into who we are to become. To continue; ‘big kids’ achievements become more credit oriented such as a grade on a test. The success becomes a goal, a numerical and comparable fact that can be made into a competition. Teenagers achieve during exams, and by getting their license or first job. Adolescents may strive to get into a good school by maintaining their marks and getting involved in school activities or sports teams. Achievers will start to build a resume, maybe without even knowing it, through volunteering and school or sports involvement. As we move into the area of young adults the measure of success becomes much more stressful. The demand to choose between college and university or which career path to follow is daunting and frustrating. This task becomes even more difficult for an achiever who wants to try it all. The pressure to take responsibility for ones actions, pay ones own way and to head out into the world all alone is a terrifying but wonderful challenge.”
Throughout my next few blog posts I will be releasing small sections of my book to raise interest, start conversations, and hopefully stir some motivational monster inside each of you. I welcome your comments, thank you for reading and look forward to sharing with you again soon.
– Kat Cullen
Broadcasting – Television & Communications Media, ’10
Follow Kat @katkx947