ESTIMATED READING TIME: 8 minutes
- How your perspective can change in a matter of moments from something small to something larger to focus on.
- Highlighting a life changing moment.
- The impact of Girls On The Run
- My Challenge to you!
I had a bad day, or so I thought before I entered my advanced statistics class. It was a Tuesday. I woke up excited for a meeting, but left the meeting feeling somehow inferior.
I was overwhelmed by one of those “you need to be better ” feelings, as if I wasn’t balancing two jobs and going to graduate school full time already.
It was a Tuesday and my workout at the gym was cut short because I got called into the office. No big deal, except that exercise is the best way I can relieve stress. After being at the office, I had to race to another meeting with my program director. I was also excited about this meeting because I was about to pitch an idea regarding a research project. However, I was struck again with bad news. I wasn’t ready to embark on such a project. I was advised to wait and revisit the idea after taking more classes.
By now it was 5:55pm and I was sitting in my statistics class waiting for the professor to walk through the door. I remember thinking “I feel defeated from today, and I really don’t want to learn statistics for three whole hours”.
Our professor entered class.
Instead of introducing the topic for the day, he drew a big circle on the whiteboard. He said there are 7 billion people in this world.
He drew a smaller circle within the big circle and said, of those people who are fortunate to go to high school only a small portion graduate.
He drew a smaller circle within the other two and said this amount represents the people who get a Bachelor’s degree.
By this time the circle was so small that he drew dot. He point to the dot and said this dot is you! This represents the people who are in a Master’s program. That dot represents roughly 0.07% of people in this world.
At that moment I was less than 1% of the population of people in this world lucky enough to receive higher education.
Our professor told us, “being within the 1% means that we have a responsibility to make change in the world.” We have the knowledge and skills to make a difference. At 5:55pm on a Tuesday I thought I had a bad day. Sometimes it feels like the weight of the world is pushing down on us. All it takes is one person to remind us of our greatness and to restore our gratitude.
As I write this, I reflect on the “Be That 1%” mindset. I am reminded of the responsibility that I have to change the world. To help others. To spread my knowledge and advocate for a better community.
Being that 1% means you have an obligation to the world. Achieving the 1% is overwhelmingly exciting, but it also means you must take the feeling one step further. You must share yourself, your values, your talents, your knowledge, your love with the people who need it. You can no longer can be selfish, single minded, or unkind.
Being part of the 1% is more than just achieving your goals. It is also about giving back to your community, to your people, and to your family so that they can also one day reach the 1% mindset.
I would like to share a small part of my 1% journey with you.
I decided to get a Master’s degree because I knew I was a helper, I knew I was an educator at my core, and I knew I wanted to make a difference. I needed to make a signal amongst all the noise in the world.
A few months into my Master’s program I felt empty, but I couldn’t pinpoint why. I was working towards my goals and all my basic needs were being met. Then I realized I wasn’t making a difference in my community and I was not getting experiential education. This wasn’t my graduate program’s fault, it was mine. I thought I couldn’t handle more than graduate classes and working, but it turns out the only way I can handle the stress is giving back and having truly meaningful experiences.
Most people think of donating money when they hear the phrase “giving back”. This is silly because giving back means offering your community some part of yourself, usually done by sharing your talent. For me, my talent is educating.
So I decided to find a way that I could share my talents and the “Be That 1%” mindset.
My interest sparked with Girls on the Run (GOTR) Treasure Valley because the program not only focused on physical activity but also youth development. I found it particularly unique that it was gender specific. Girls on the Run Treasure Valley in Boise, Idaho is a non-competitive, after school program for 3rd-5th grade girls that combines physical activity with a confidence building curriculum. The curriculum focuses on improving girls’ self-esteem, body image, and eating attitudes. The program is offered nationally in 50 states for both Spring and Fall terms. The overall goal of Girls on the Run is to empower girls to build confidence and develop an appreciation for health.
In the second semester of my graduate program I became a Program Assistant for GOTR and a coach at a local elementary school. As a Program Assistant I was able to experience the behind the scenes of a non-profit.
I had the honor to meet all of the GOTR board members, who are amazing female role models doing great things in the Boise community. I will admit I experienced a small amount of “Imposter Syndrome” when I was invited to sit at the same table with them. However instead of being intimidated by these successful women I was overwhelmed with joyous curiosity because I was the lucky one who got to learn from them.
The 1% mindset recalls us to remember that it is better to be the unskilled person in a room rather than the most knowledgeable. It enables our ability to grow.
As a GOTR coach I got to see the program in action. There were sixteen girls on my team. I am impressed by teachers who can remember the names of 35 students, because trying to remember 16 names took a moment. However, today I don’t think I could ever forget those girls’ names.
They never ceased to amaze me by their ability to break through physical limitations and by their vast mature knowledge about life. What I love about the GOTR mindset is that it mirrors the 1% mindset in so many ways. I get the opportunity to educate youth and give back to my community, and for that I am so grateful.
I hope as you read this it opens up your heart to want to give back to your community by sharing your talents. Do some research and find a cause that speaks out to you. I challenge you to spend 3 extra hours a week doing something bigger than yourself. Offer up some of your time to become a volunteer, an educator, a mover and a shaker in your community. You’ll be surprised at the way it will change your day, your mood, and maybe even your life!