To say the least, state office is a learning process. We are now about nine months into our year (I cringe just typing that) and we’re beginning (yes beginning) to learn the tools and tips of the trade. Having said that, let me transport you about six months back in time to when the gang and I were learning how to facilitate.
I love opportunities to grow….that is after I’ve grown from them. Facilitation training is unique because the only way to really get good at it is to completely face plant a couple times. And, when I say face plant I mean completely mangling a couple direction sets, forgetting what you’re going to say, and looking like a goon while all the while being in front of a group of people making notes on what you can improve on. This sounds pretty terrible, but luckily for me I was with a group of people who were all in the same boat. I remember one time in particular when I was working on a direction set; I had gone through this set a couple different times, and it was just not clicking. As I mentioned earlier, I love opportunities to grow; one of those opportunities for me just so happens to be patience. After tripping over this set more than once I was getting a touch frustrated. Mr. Martin (our program specialist) happened to be walking by at that point, so he stopped and talked to me. While helping me with the direction set, as well as giving me a small pep talk, he offered me a piece of golden advice. As I told him how I just wanted to come running out of the gates with a perfect direction set, he smiled and cocked his head.
“Kathleen it’s not going to be perfect. State office is a process….don’t expect perfection.”
This hit home for me, so much so that I have his quote hanging over my desk so I don’t forget. So many times people assume that the first time they do something it has to be perfect. Whether that be nailing your first lay up in basketball or placing first at district in your speaking event, most people want to get it right the first time. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the perfection of something rather than seeing the beauty of the journey. My experiences this year have taught me more lessons than I can express in one blog post, but one of the most important is that you need to enjoy the journey and let it grow you as an individual.
The next time you practice for a speech and keep stumbling on the second line of the third paragraph, take a deep breath and say it to the mirror yet again. It’s a process. The next time you land on your back rather than getting a goal in soccer—smile and try again. It’s a process. The next time you’re studying for a calculus test and keep forgetting the formula, don’t throw down the pencil—keep working on it. That is DEFINITELY a process (I speak from experience).
I don’t think many people sum it up as well as Asha Tyson; “Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think you've lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.”
Each and every person reading this has amazing potential inside of them. Maybe you’ve reached that potential or maybe you’re just beginning to learn what your potential is. Regardless, I hope you are enjoying your journey. Take time to learn from your mistakes, be willing to take constructive criticism from others, and be excited to try again. Remember: it’s a process don’t expect perfection.
Wishing you the best of journeys,
Indiana FFA State Treasurer