Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

One of the hardest things for some individuals to do is take a look inward and examine who they really are, what they really want and what choices they really are or are not making. All too often I have heard people say that they either don’t know what they want or that they have a dream that will never materialize and they therefore sit back and watch life pass them by (while perhaps crying themselves to sleep at night).

Several months ago I was sitting in my mother’s house looking around (as if I hadn’t seen all of her belongings before) and I stopped on a picture of my grandma and grandpa. As I sat there staring at their faces, I began thinking about how my life could be more than what it was. I said to myself, “You CAN change your life or you can sit here in 10 years and have the same thoughts running through your head.”

That was only the beginning of a new journey for me. I started motivating myself to make choices that would benefit my mental and physical health, as well as choices that would aid me in my relationships and my career. Does that mean I accomplished everything in one night? Does it mean I have accomplished everything in a few months? No and No. I still haven’t completely accomplished “everything” I set out to do. I’m still having to make choices and pave the way. That is what living is all about.

Many of us may hate the words “You have a choice,” because hidden in those words is a lot of responsibility; perhaps more responsibility than we’ve ever been charged with. However, only we can change our circumstances. That doesn’t mean we can change everything all at once, but we do have the freedom to make choices that will improve where we are (if necessary) and push us closer to our dreams.

But we can’t achieve something/anything when we a) don’t take the time to look inward at what we may want and b) don’t accept the responsibility of making choices.

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It seems that in the year and a half I’ve been in graduate school I’ve witnessed more individuals being unprofessional than I can remember. Before I go any further, let me clarify that I in no way, shape or form consider myself to be all-professional, all of the time. I have my moments too. But when does one truly grow up, learn acceptance of others and of situations, and concentrate more on their own lives than the lives of those around them?

I recently witnessed unprofessional conduct from several people who are older than I am and who I thought had more of an ability to contain or control emotions in a respectful, professional way. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty details as I am not attempting to point fingers or place blame. What I will do is talk about what it means to be professional, particularly as a graduate student and working woman.

I read an article this weekend on Course Advisor about professionalism. The article discusses all aspects of the term and one of the subsections speaks to something I truly believe: “Professional Relationships Require Emotional Intelligence.”

In the section there are five points to be made:

1. It is natural to feel angry with others, even on the job, however it is never appropriate to act out on anger.

2. Take responsibility for your actions.

3. Develop solid working relationships by showing kindness and respect to all.

4. There can be incidents on the job or co-workers that may cause you unhappiness or harm. Figure out how to promptly, calmly, and matter of factly discuss this with the appropriate party, avoiding drama and tattling.

5. Avoid gossip.

I have been subjected to so much gossip that I finally told someone recently, “If people choose to talk about others, they don’t need to talk about them to me.” For one, I hate conflict and two, I feel like gossip winds up causing heartache, misconceptions, high-flying emotions, inaccuracies, etc. (BTW, in journalism, WE DO NOT REPORT GOSSIP!!!! No, we don’t. Instead, we report facts as they are reported to us. If someone else considers them untrue, they need to speak with the original source of the information).

Emotions are OK to feel. Please, feel them. But what is not OK is to attack others in an attempt to get rid of angry or other uncomfortable feelings. Everyone has the right to be angry, to feel hurt, misunderstood, confused, irritated and as I’ve said in other posts, it’s what we do with those emotions that can help or harm the situations that we’re in.

Also, I encourage anyone and everyone to learn about acceptance of our own actions. If we do something right or wrong, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, we need to be honest with ourselves, at the very least, and take responsibility for our actions. Blaming others when we know we are at fault is just a way to deflect the attention from us and onto others. Plus, it’s simply unfair.

Relationships are difficult. Meshing different personalities together into a way that works is probably one of the greatest challenges in life. We all see things from one perspective — our own — and it can be frustrating having to open ourselves up to or for others. After all, what is one of our our main goals as humans? To live our lives, right? Not to live others’ lives. However, we can let our own lives — which include beliefs, values, morals, judgments, opinions, rules, ethics, etc. — get in the way of developing healthy, professional relationships with those whom we work and attend class or with those whom we interact in any other capacity.

My challenge for this week is to attempt to increase my own awareness of my personal professionalism and I hope you will join in. Let us try hard to be who we are and feel what we feel, but without putting someone else’s well-being at stake.

Thanks for reading…

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