So one or two days ago I posted a recount about what had happened at this four day forum called ANNPower. But then I realized that there's no point in having gone if I can't share the ideas I birthed - and so that's what I'm going to do for the next couple of days/weeks/months/years/lifetimes. (A little disclaimer: these are just ideas - they're not right or wrong, just something to think about).
This is the first idea - one which I credit to Kay Krill and Jennifer Morrison - about the idea of "making it".
If you're like, "Maheen - what the heck is ANNPower?", then I present to you an almighty link that will maybe tell you almost everything you could kinda know about where I spent four days of my life and what I did there. Have you read it yet? If so, good because I'm not sure if the rest of this is going to make sense otherwise. If you didn't read it, godspeed.
For four days I spent every waking minute (not sure if I sleepwalk) talking to 49 high school girls who are like me but not quite the same, in that we were all type-A personalities obsessed with making a difference no matter if it ends up on our resumes but come from all walks of life and thought processes. Simultaneously we were brushing shoulders with some of the most successful in a smorgasbord of industries - from U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios to actor/director Jennifer Morrison to Yale Executive Director Patti Russo to Vital Voices CEO Alyse Nelson to almost a dozen other phenomenals , we talked to those who had "made it". And on the fourth and final day I, along with 49 girls, were inadvertently told that we too had "made it" by a single statistic - we were part of the 1% of applicants selected for this program. ONE FREAKING PERCENT! THAT'S A PERCENTAGE THAT BEATS THE FAT CONTENT OF (SOME) MILK! Back to the idea of "making it".
The thing is, nobody ever really "makes it". Right before we had been told this statistic, we had been asked what lessons we'd learned in 96 hours. And I think I put it pretty eloquently (#humblebrag) when I shared my lesson learned -
"Once you pass the finish line, keep on running".
And lo and behold, Kay Krill herself looked at me with an understanding that you yourself may not hold yet. This is my ANNPower idea of the day - you should never be done working and achieving. Life should be an endless cycle of working towards a goal, achieving it, and immediately setting a new one. Because without partaking in this cycle you're going to be satisfied with just enough and think that you've "made it" - and when you think you've reached success, it's at that very moment that you close your mind off to the prospect of doing even more. To quote Admiral Ackbar, "It's a trap!". Make sure to do more than you think you can do, because it is at the brink of failure that we discover what we are capable of. I was part of the 1% for four days but it doesn't mean I made it. I'll never make it, and I'm glad I won't. And you should be glad too.