In Every Room!
In every room you will ever enter, there will always be an opportunity for you to make a positive difference. There is going to be a need you can meet and someone you can help. Where there are people, the opportunity to stand out will always exist. I received my first birthday card at the age of twenty-two. Before then, I never received a gift for my birthday. The fact that I had received my first birthday gift at that age was not what stuck with me, but rather the words and the picture on the card. And also, the person who gave it to me.
I had been working at a convenience store in a rough neighborhood for about seven months when my birthday came around. Upon getting to work, my boss and owner of the shop handed me the birthday card. On it was a picture of a giraffe, with its tall neck sticking above the green vegetation, captioned with the words “You’re outstanding.” I still have that card with me.
Why did I receive such a special card from my boss, who I hardly knew outside of work? Over the remaining time I worked there, I discovered why. I went above and beyond my job description. The store was better in terms of cleanliness and customer relations. I used my liking for order and neatness to rearrange the store, making merchandise more visible and accessible to customers. I also used my personality and customer service experience, which I learned from my parents’ businesses, to cultivate a wonderful relationship with the customers who lived in the neighborhood. A good public relation drove down shoplifting, which was a major problem. Lastly, I provided ideas such as selling hot chocolate as there was a bus stop outside, and people were always waiting for the buses in the cold winter weather. In a short time, I witnessed sales go up, not only for the hot chocolate but also for other snacks people bought to take with their hot chocolate.
My Ph.D. Journey
Two years ago, I embarked on my final academic goal. Having made the decision, at a very tender age, to pursue a doctorate when I was in fourth grade, over 20 years ago, and being accepted in a highly competitive program was super exciting. My experience working with Ph.D. students while an undergrad made me understand something important in my field of study, taking classes was not going to be my biggest challenge. Rather, finding and working with the best principal investigator who would mentor me as a graduate student would be one essential factor to achieve. So, in my first year, I visited various labs that interested me and interviewed professors to determine which lab and professor would be my best asset as a Ph.D. student.
Today, I work with a productive professor, who in terms of research, produces excellent and well-trained students. I see myself graduating on time with outstanding scientific research aptitude. Over the time I have worked with my mentor, I have seen her find resources to consistently move our lab’s research goals forward, making our team win at science competitions. But what has made my academic journey a success? Most importantly, what has made our lab a success story at our university? It has been working with a professor who has decided to be resourceful to her students.
With the two stories as our backdrop, let’s look at how to become resourceful as a way to become an attractive person.
A few years ago, I heard Tony Robbins say, “Resources are never the problem, it’s a lack of resourcefulness is why you failed.” I struggled to believe this statement because I held a reverse picture. I thought to be resourceful, I must first have the resource at hand. But over time, I began to notice something crucial that was common with all people within and outside my circle who I considered to be resourceful. I realized that all of them did not start with resources, they began by noticing a problem. Not only did they notice a problem, but they also sort ways to find solutions. When I made this seemingly simple discovery, I came full circle to embrace what Tony said. I concluded that resourcefulness is the ability to identify a need, being courageous to find solutions, and the intelligence or brilliance or talent to recruit others in pursuit of solutions. So, in addition to having a keen eye to identify a need, the courage to find solutions, and intelligence/brilliance to recruit help, what must be in place to be resourceful?
1. Shift in mindset
At the root of resourcefulness is a set of mindsets. Anyone who possesses these mindsets has the foundation to be an attractive person. The first one is an abundance mindset. It is impossible to find solutions and meet people’s needs without this mindset. A person with an abundance mindset always knows that there is more than they can readily see. They believe in endless possibilities and their imagination is not limited to their current conditions. An abundance mindset is both an ignitor and fuel to resourcefulness. Second, is a creative mindset. Creativity is the mother of invention. Resourcefulness is about inventing ways to serve others. When you have a creative mindset, you always find ways to improve people’s situations. You don’t freeze when faced with obstacles since you have developed the ability to elevate your vantage point. The third important mindset you need to be resourceful is a growth mindset. To be resourceful requires self-development, which means expanding your skills and improving your attitude, which is only possible through a growth mindset. Regardless of who you are, shitting your mindset (to the mindsets I have mentioned) is the first step to being resourceful.
Without these mindsets, you will not be proactive, which is a critical step towards being resourceful.
The first person to volunteer to help is the one who is mostly remembered long after their actions are forgotten. Remember a time when you need people to help you, it’s not always the person who did the most that you always remember, but you will always remember the person who came to your aid. To be the person who will always leave a long-term positive impression on people, you must be proactive in serving others. To be proactive you need to do three things. Anticipate making a positive difference in people’s lives. Prepare to add value at a moment’s notice. Look for opportunities/ways to personally serve others. (You’re the best gift to people). When you become proactive in serving others, you will easily pay the price of being attractive, which is paid by sacrifice.
The last piece to being resourceful is sacrifice. While being resourceful will definitely make you an attractive person in any arena of life, it comes with a cost. But don’t allow the cost to shun you from desiring to be resourceful since the R.O.I is astronomical. To be resourceful, you will have to sacrifice your tangible resources such as money and your intangible resources such as time and your emotions.
In conclusion, the only way to be attractive, especially in the marketplace, is by being resourceful. Like my professor, who I mentioned earlier, you have to find a way to add value to others. You must shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance, from dull to creativity, and from fixed (stagnancy) to a growth mindset. And importantly, be proactive and pay the price for resourcefulness through sacrifice.
Next, I will share with you the secret to getting everything you want. Before then, to instantly apply lessons from today’s post, in every room you enter, always ask, How can I serve? Who can I help? What can I do or bring? You will instantly stand out like the giraffe on my birthday card.