This week I have been watching my daughter work intently into the night. With painful concentration she taps away furiously on her laptop, willing the words to come out in the way her mind envisages. I see her scratch her head absentmindedly as her mind works overtime. Occasionally, I see her smile, sometimes I see her shake her head as she reflects on what she has written.
Sabrina is working on her applications for a masters program. Part of the process is writing a compelling Personal Statement of who you are and the impact you want to have in the world. And she has 600 words to do this. In addition to grades, GRE scores, work experience, etc. the Personal Statement is an integral part of the application process. There are no interviews for the school to assess you. So your Personal Statement is your opportunity to convey who you are and why the school should accept you. And when your school of choice gets 9000 applications, and accepts only 10% of those students, your Personal Statement is essential to set you apart.
That got me thinking. What if we made a conscious effort to create a Personal Statement that reflects who we are, what we stand for and the legacy we want to leave behind. What if we had only 600 words to do this? What would it say about who we are and what we want in life? More importantly, what is it about each one of us that makes us unique and special? What gifts do we bring to the world? What are our talents?
In the past 9 months, my Personal Statement has changed considerably. It used to be that my focus and priority revolved around work. Work really did consume much of my time and thought. And while that served me well, perhaps I compromised other facets of my life. Now my Personal Statement has words that are a bit foreign to me, but are beginning to grow on me. Words like compassionate and kindness. Words like play and fulfillment. Words like family and friends and community. Words like joy and legacy. And I am trying to fit patience in there as well, which is something I need to learn!
I read a wonderful quote by Leo Buscaglia the other day that said, “Your talent is God’s gift to you; what you do with it is your gift to God.” Life is fragile and time is not an unlimited resource. Now is the time to unleash your special gifts and talent into the world!