This past week I attended a high school graduation. Wow!, its been a long time since I’ve done that. Since my own graduations were many moons ago, it was a great opportunity to reflect on all that has happened in the last few decades. What I realized is that its very similar to how we think about our work life. Time goes by so fast that we rarely stop to consider all we’ve accomplished. We may worry and notice what needs to happen, what we’ve done ‘wrong’, yet how often do we focus on what’s gone ‘right’? Graduation is a time to commemorate the end result, no matter how we got there. It’s a time to celebrate the ride and all its detours, challenges and pot holes – no matter what. So today, I challenge you to honor yourself! That’s right, YOU, and if you’re wondering where to start here’s a few tips: 1. Recall what you were like when you graduated from school, any graduation for that matter. (for instance: I was pretty nervous about going to work after University and if I’d like it, then discovered I absolutely Love working). Dare yourself to recall as much as possible at that time. 2. Next, think about what happened in the next few years following that event. Notice how much you’ve grown, and what you’ve accomplished. Be specific, including it all. (Wow, so much happens in such a short period!) 3. Then consider those same areas during the next chunk of time. Recall any special achievements or any big occurrence that changed your view of the world or of yourself. Its kind of cool to scan for the good stuff and see how you’ve grown. 4. Keep it up until the present time to see how you’re moving your life forward. Then do the same with your business life, or be sure to include any business ventures in the above process. For me its quite interwoven, so it all came rushing in like a giant movie. I was able to see how much I’ve grown from that shy, scared graduate and how this journey has actually been a pretty cool ride. The process helped put into context the ‘bad’ stuff as it brought me to the place I’m in today, and this broader view gave me a deep appreciation for all that’s been. All of it. As you move forward with your career, take time to recall where you’ve been. Take time to focus on what makes you special. Check in to ask yourself how you can leverage all that you are. Focus on your fabulous-ness. Be the biggest fan you or your business could ever have and see what happens next. Let the next part of your movie be as powerful as the beginning. At this point you may be wondering what this has to do with your business and life today. That’s the past, right? So what? Well, one of my favorite ‘Judy-isms’ is: The Journey Holds the Clues…. so within all of this is not only a nice exercise for self- appreciation, there are also the seeds here for so much more. Let’s look at a few as ways this information pertains to your present and future: Did you know that all of your strengths are demonstrated through our achievements. You can go through your list and identify your strengths. When we work our strengths we are less tired and stressed… we’re in our Genius Zone. (we could do this with weaknesses too but this is more fun) Your Brand essence is also contained within this information. NO one on the planet has had your exact journey, nor your responses to those events. When you can see those threads you can develop your Brand platform in a very different manner. Not sure? Ask me, I’d be glad to help. Your past holds all the keys to your next chapter. Everything you need to break through to you next level of success, all you need to create your next BIG dream. It’s all there. It may take a bit of digging to see it, but its all there. Sometimes we need to take it apart a bit with some help, but yes, its all in there. And this is just to get you started! Begin this process and you’ll be on your way to designing the next ‘degree’ to earn. Take this time to graduate to thinking of yourself in a new way. Oh, and Congratulations, you’ve certainly earned it! Stay Unforgettable!, J. xxoo p.s….If you’d like to do some break through work to up level your business, ask me about my Brand Leaders Strategy Session… only 2 available per month with my compliments. J. Winslow Branding Specialist and Strategic Planner, J. Winslow brings decades of solid experience to each project and leader she interacts with. Clients range from non-profits such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to Madison Avenue Biggies including: Women’s Day Magazine, Cover Girl and Elizabeth Taylor. She also enjoys working with TEDx speakers and students ready to leverage their own brand stories.