This photo shoot brings me back to the unforgettable SWEDISH SUMMER (SVENSK SOMMAR in Swedish)I had more than a year ago and as it’s a New Year statement – I made this post to be my, not New Year’s solutions but New Year’s self-exploration.
2016 was a tough year for me. I was going through a year of transformation, and I ended up exploring a new me. Some of you might have known that after I sold my education business at the end of 2014, I took a whole year break travelling around the world, and I marked 2016 as a start of a brand new era for my career. I was back in the workplace just in time and started looking at who I am; what I want to do in my life.
I guess it was karma that I got involved to tech, which was totally new area for me. I was fascinated about how we can use technology to re-order the world’s resources and make our life much more convenient and sustainable. I started dreaming big, therefore, I started crazily self-learning and being a “startupper” building the vision I had in mind. As the new journey began, I started feeling frustrated about getting the right people to work with me, and right recourses I needed, thus I got stressed, felt anxious and lost the motivation for a little while. I’m glad that I found my way back to the original purpose of starting this project and learned about my own personality traits that stop myself flying higher.
HIGH EXPECTION – I was born with high expectation; it wasn’t the expectation I gave to myself but from my family in the beginning. I have always been the smartest and coolest kid among our three, yes I’m a middle child; many science articles proved that middle children are more successful. Whether it’s true or not, it does apply for my case. In order to keep my cool-kid image to my family and friends, I hold the high standards to myself, and as people always thought I can handle everything and that became the voice to myself that I have to handle everything and stay impressive. I have come to realise that how much I like to surprise people and how afraid that I would disappoint them. All of these I make myself too heavy to fly higher so that I don’t even have a chance to fall down in some cases.
INSECURITY – like most of people out there, we’re all very insecure. Are we good enough and capable for this or that? Because of insecurity we need education to prove that we’re smart; need others’ “likes” and “compliments” to prove we’re respectable and needed; need a marriage certificate to prove that we’re in love. Insecurity pushes us to achieve something that might be unnecessary in our life. If I didn’t decide to pursue my startup, I would have chosen to do my MBA last year. I got this idea in mind while I was running my own business. I asked some of my friends if I needed to do an MBA. Many of them said yes sure, it’s very cool without even asked me what the main path I was planning to do in my MBA. Some much wiser and older friends asked me what I was expecting from an MBA. I was afraid to tell them that the certificate could make me feel much securer for my career and said that I needed to learn about entrepreneurship, instead they laughed and said:
“But you’re running your own business now, the best way to practice your business knowledge is through execution, and knowledge is anywhere, online recourses, tons of books in the library. Why are you going to spend half of a million for a certificate?” Yes, they were totally right and I knew that was all about insecurity. If there is no love a relationship, marriage can’t bring it to you, same principle to education, if you have no talent and don’t have the capacity to learn, a certificate can’t secure your career. I glad that I spent the money wisely and wasn’t fooled by the current ridiculous education system. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that education is useless. Education is indeed strongly related to your success, but it doesn’t make your success. If you find your love, a certificate will be a beautiful plus in your love story, nothing more than that.
PERFECTIONISM – First of all I have to say: sorry, I’m a Virgo. I was born as a perfectionist. I don’t know if astrology works for all, but I have to admit that I’m quite a perfectionist, and as of it my life has been affected by it for personal and professional parts both. One of my professors back in university said to me once: “Cynthia, you’re brilliant, just a bit too perfectionist. It’s actually a great trait that enables you to achieve the ambitious goals you set in life but it could somehow stop and slow down the process in some situations.” I didn’t really fully get what he said, but after several years, I started to realise that perfectionism does really affect my daily life, especially when I’m making decisions. However, what I have to learn is how to dance with my perfectionism perfectly so that I can get the most of it. Just like Steve Jobs who was also a perfectionist, lived in his own world, but due to his strongly distinguishing character he created the Apple mystery.
Well, I didn’t expect to change these traits of mine I explored. In fact I can’t even if I want. A person with no character is like a drink with no taste. Who wants to be that boring one anyway. When I looked back to see myself being trapped somewhere struggling, I laughed and gave myself a big hug and staid: Cynthia, you have been doing great, don’t be too hard to yourself. Go, keep running, you’re catching the sun.