Academic Forum

Expand your horizons, take time to reflect

Who am I?

Who am I?

geplaatst: 14-02-2011

Who am I?

In our current society your position is no longer fixed by birth or privilege, but by merit, talent and effort. Everyone can climb the social scale, what implies that you are responsible for your own success and for your own malaise too. The recent crisis functioned as a purification: nothing is a matter of course anymore. You have to work for earnings, that is the way you can make it. Success and achievements are important. That is what we are judged on, not on our aspirations. But how about making a career for oneself?

A career is more than a professional education. It is also an education with respect to character and the building of a personality. To make it, you need to have a certain drive and to collect setbacks. The main point of succeeding in life is to endure. Intelligence and talent are necessary conditions to achieve something. But what is the determinant factor? That are not only the chances you get. Everyone gets chances. It is all about dealing with setbacks. No pain, no gain. By touching the limits of your capacities, you back frontiers. By touching the ceiling, the ceiling rises. That is the moment you achieve something, and that satisfies. Remember the task you performed that gave you the most satisfaction. Wasn't it the one that cost you blood, sweat and tears? Besides, with patient and dedicated practice, by seeking out and overcoming difficulties, you will develop self-confidence. And that makes you dare to extricate yourself from fixed, final goals.

But what about career planning then? In fact, you cannot plan your career, but you certainly can use your talents and do the things you have a passion for. A career is a way you go. You set yourself a target, a point at the horizon. The goal changes every time. After all, many things are the coincidence of life. Like the brook meanders through the landscape, the process of your career finds its way through life. The satisfaction does not lie in the achieving of the goal, but in the process you undergo. You strive for the process, and the career follows on that.

To reach your aim you have to make sacrifices. Being a young professional is the perfect time to chose the most difficult way, to test yourself and to try out your own limits. How far can I go? That is a question of self-realization in the modern sense. In fact, it is a task and a duty to oneself. To realize yourself it is important to know yourself well. What kind of things do I really like? What am I strong in? The recent crisis showed us, that in the next few decades knowledge of oneself will be as important as or even more important than knowledge as such. When you do have self-knowledge, you also know your unused talent. As role models of society the professors at universities should pay attention to this building of the character and the personality of the students, by giving lessons in life that are based on their experiences in the working field during their lectures.

To conclude, what kind of qualities are needed to endure difficulties in the process of making a career for oneself? That are passion and commitment. And when do they occur? When you are intrinsically motivated for something. It are often people's hobbies that are intrinsically motivated. Therefore, turn your hobby into your profession, then you do not need to work anymore - in the knowledge of course, that a hobby is not a nine to five occupation...


Sylvester Eijffinger
in samenspraak met Annemarie Hinten (Academic Forum)