Ruoyun Xu is a student at St. Edward’s University and will be graduating this year with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She is currently a Content Programmer at Blastro Networks, a music video platform. Apart from working as a Content Programmer, Ruoyun was able to become a Branch Manager for Vector Marketing at the age of 20, and she has volunteered in a variety of organizations including St. Edward’s Tour Guides and St. Edward’s Student Ambassadors.
As we grow up and get older in this world, we are faced with obstacles that challenge the very foundation of what makes us who we are. There are many quotes that I hear from famous people that resonate with me and make me think about who I want to become. Throughout my journey, I have also faced obstacles that molded me into the person that I am today. Today I will share with you three quotes that have made a difference in my life and helped me to grow as a leader.
The above quote rings true because people’s opinions will push you down if you take them too seriously. I grew up with two drastically different backgrounds: my heritage as an Asian woman and the Western environment that surrounded me. From an Asian heritage a woman is supposed to be married before 25; the concept of a strong businesswoman or the concept of a young woman who has her own ideas and disobeys her parents’ wishes in deciding her future career path are relatively new concepts in most Asian countries. In my personal case, I was given the option to become a nurse, or I had to find my own way to finance my college career. Luckily, my mother has stuck by me all of these years and any gap that financial aid did not cover was covered by her. I look at that point in my life as a major turning point.
Had I chosen to become a nurse, I don’t know where I would be. All I knew was that I would have been unhappy. So I followed my gut, I chose to disobey my father’s wishes and instead chose to study marketing. I chose to ignore the dissenting opinions from family members who felt that a young woman should not be allowed to go out and sell knives and because of my decision, I ended becoming a branch manager.
I’ve learned that even though there are these dissenting opinions, it is wise to listen to them but that doesn’t mean that you must follow their advice. If you are able to create your own opinion and act on that opinion without worrying about the opinions of anyone who disapproves, then you are able to free yourself and truly become who you are meant to be.
Never be afraid to wonder what is out there, to daydream. I have come to the understanding that daydreaming can be an escape from reality for a short time but what it really does is give us hope. It gives hope that our dreams may one day turn into reality. If we give ourselves the chance to wonder what is out of the norm, or the future that is different from expected, then we may be able to progress into something better.
Now “wonder” can be put into two different meanings. Wonder can oftentimes be thought of as negative. Many times I’ve heard that we should not wonder about the future but instead focus on the present. However, I think that wonder in that context is more like worry. In my opinion, wonder is curiosity, not worry. We are curious about what will happen the next second, and we may at times feel anxious about the future. Even though there is anticipation, curiosity allows progress. If we stop restraining ourselves and dream a little, we can then move to the next step, creating goals. Creating goals allows us to begin to accomplish these dreams. That is how progress happens: we dream about something, we create goals to achieve these dreams, and we take action to complete these goals.
This quote has been drilled into my head by my manager during my training days. And although I say it was drilled, I am grateful that he emphasized helping me to push past my comfort zone. If I didn’t push out of my comfort zone, then I would not have become the person that I am today. If I did not go past my comfort zone, I would not have sold knives, I would not have owned my own business as a Branch manager, and I would not have the dream job that I have right now. So here’s the next step in creating progress for yourself, be willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Be willing to take action to accomplish your goals and achieve your dreams.
When you combine these three quotes, they become a three step process.
1. First, you must be willing to wonder in order to gain wisdom, in order to gain a dream.
2. Second, do not be afraid to create goals to accomplish these dreams. Do not be afraid of what others may think about it.
3. Third, take action to accomplish these goals; be willing to go past your comfort zone to achieve your dream. If you set your mind to it, even though there will be obstacles, dissenting opinions, and turning points, you will be able to achieve your goal because you set your mind to it. This is because the person who separates you from your goals, is not others, but yourself.
So have dreams, create goals, and take action. Obstacles will always appear in front of you, that is life. But if you overcome these obstacles, they will make you a better person. However, it all depends on you.
Today’s post is the seventh of the SOS Leadership Austin Leading Ladies’ Blog Series. The purpose of this blog series is to share the stories and insights of women who are answering the call to leadership in their lives. Come back each Friday to read more!