It has been some time since my last post. Numerous factors, including various technical difficulties, kept me from keeping the site updated with fresh content. However, now that the school year has ended and my site is back up and running, I intend on updating MarkHanowski.com at least on a bi-monthly basis.
I have also decided to add a new category to my website. For those of you that followed my personal branding efforts in their infancy, you would know that I primarily focused on the topics of marketing, technology, social media, branding, and all things digital. However, while these are areas of extreme interest for me, it wasn’t the complete picture. Thus, I have decided to add a “Life” section to my blog. This category will encapsulate various personal aspects of my life and numerous personal opinions, statements, and perspectives. I plan to discuss everything from school attendance policies and social frustrations to perspectives on touchy subjects like politics and current event interpretations and opinions. Many of you will disagree with my opinions and that is awesome. What would this world be without the diversity of perspectives it encompasses? Everyone is entitled to their opinions as long as they are respectful and mindful of others’ opinions. If you disagree with me and choose to share that disagreement, please do so in a respectful, rational manner.
That brings me to today’s post. I was scrolling through Facebook this afternoon when I came across the above video. I have seen other videos by this publisher before and have always liked them so I decided to view it in its entirety. It was the best 5 minutes I spent all day. If you watched the clip and disregarded it as “just another motivational video”, leave now. I am not talking to you. If nothing about this video motivated you or sparked any intrigue or desire, you may have an underlying medical condition. The video brings about numerous points which should be taken to heart.
The underlying theme of the video, in my opinion, was self-awareness. One of my favorite public figures, Gary Vaynerchuk, harps on the topic relentlessly, and for good reason. It is single-handedly one of the most valuable traits a person can have. According to Gary, you can’t teach self-awareness. It is something which is developed over time and through numerous experiences. It is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and where you as a human, businessperson, friend, etc. are positioned in the grand scheme of everything. It’s being able to accept your flaws and the flaws of others openly and working towards improvement. It is having the capacity to know people are different, that everyone comes with their own baggage while having the integrity to hear them out and respect them as a person, no matter their opinion or background.
In the context of this video, self-awareness is knowing what you are capable of, knowing what you want, and finding a way to make them intersect. It is identifying, early on, specific life goals you want to accomplish before age restricts such adventure. It is knowing that although society has standards and bounds for what it expects of college graduates, you do not have to conform to the “tried and true” path. There is more than one way to live your life. You don’t have to simply go to college, graduate with a degree, find a job, buy a house, get married, have kids, retire, and die. Sure, that’s one way to do it! However, it is only one way and ironically, the avenue so many college graduates take. I think college students need to audit themselves and identify where they are in the grand scheme of the world. I am not insinuating that I am the most self-aware college student. However, I think so many people are so caught up in themselves and their current bubble, or sphere of influence, that they never realize they will be going nowhere if they do not expand themselves. This expansion starts and ends with self-awareness.
Self-awareness plays into the second theme of the video. It is impossible to have no regrets if you are not self-aware. Self-awareness helps a person understand what they are truly capable of. It helps them understand that regret is one of the most poisonous emotions. As college students, the world is our canvas, our runway, and our sandbox. We need to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to us. We can not afford to be scared of new experiences, new opportunities. All too often we are scared of change. We are scared of trying something new because we are afraid of failure. We continue to do the same things because they are comfortable. We know the ropes and know how to be successful within our current realms. We need to branch out. We need to make ourselves uncomfortable and force ourselves to try something new. This is the time in our lives when we are most resilient. It is easier to bounce back from failure now versus later in life. All of this seems to cliche to many. However, many college students write these ideas off as simply that, cliche. They don’t take it to heart and execute on it. We all need to continually audit ourselves and identify possible areas of regret and do what we can to avoid it.
In conclusion, the first lines of the video couldn’t be truer. Everyone dies, but not everyone lives. To truly live, we need to crave self-awareness and audit our current lives. Identify where we could possibly improve ourselves, our relationships, our experiences, and our attitude. We need to actively take steps to change these aspects if they are not what we want them to be. We need to challenge ourselves to be uncomfortable and try new things, go new places, and meet new people.
We are all going to die. Why not do our best to live, first? It is time to create a brand new ending for ourselves.