Cutting-Edge Leadership

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10 Values for College (and Life) Success

A list of values to live (and thrive) by.

This guest post is by Jessica Dang, a very recent graduate [2013] of Claremont McKenna College. Besides being a terrific student, Jessica was a very positive role model, and an active and engaged citizen. Jessica will be joining Teach for America in the Fall. Here is her post – a list of important values for any college student, and every adult. 

“Just found a "Top 10 Life Attributes List" I created back in 2011. It's crazy to think that I came up with this list 2 years ago, and I am so happy that I did because it's exactly how I feel now that I have graduated from college. I am surprised at how ingrained these values are to my life today, but at the same time, so proud as I continually stand by this list. Here it is:

 1) Health - the number one most important thing you should take care of is your health...and this should be in all aspects: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. So that means sleeping enough, eating right, exercising daily, and staying true to yourself and others. Everyone doesn’t think of their health – until there’s a problem.

2) Learn everything - you should take the opportunity to learn as much as possible, even about the little things. Read poetry, watch old films, or even browse through the library to learn about a completely random subject. You never know what might spark your interest! If you keep your mind closed to one subject, you'll be missing out on the rest of the world.

3) Be focused but flexible - It's important to be focused, but it's even more important to be flexible. What you think of the world now will (and should) change within the next 10-25 years. Things won't always go the way you want them to but if you can stay flexible, you'll stay focused.

4) Passion > Money - when it comes to finding a job, or work in general, it should be because of something you are passionate about. People think they should have jobs that pay them well...although that is certainly an important factor, it's more important to realize that the jobs you are passionate about will bring in the cash flow, more than you can ever expect. Passion comes first, then money. If money comes first, the passion may or may not come...and 9 times out of ten, it never comes. 

5) Keep it balanced - In addition to staying healthy mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, be sure to keep it all balanced as well. Basically, don't focus too much on one thing, such as work. It's okay to be a work-a-holic, but don't forget to have fun as well. Alternatively, don't have too much fun and not do any work...yikes! Keep it balanced. 

6) Keep a strong work ethic - don't ever get complacent. Period. If you do well, keep working at it. That's the only way to keep succeeding. If you aren't thinking about what's coming next, you're already behind.

7) Integrity - If you say something, do it! Character counts. It's important to keep a good reputation so that other people will take you seriously. Plus, being honest with others and keeping to your word will make you a lot more happier with yourself. Just remember the golden rule.

8) We are all equal - so be sure to respect EVERYONE and anyone. It doesn't matter if you're the boss/leader of someone...you have to remember that they are human, just as we are. We all live in the same world, do the same things, and make the same mistakes. Be sure to treat everyone equally and with respect. Basically, don't let your head get too big and remember to keep your feet to the ground. 

9) Learn to take risks! - “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take” - Wayne Gretzky. Don't miss out on life.

10) Always keep a sense of humor - we are human. We will make mistakes. There's no use in beating ourselves up about it. Instead, laugh it off. Learn from it. And move on. Don't take yourself too seriously or you'll just be another person alive on this earth, not someone who actually lives. As Drake would say, "everybody dies, but not everybody lives."

I hope other people would agree with most, if not all, of what was written, and I welcome you to share your thoughts and/or other attributes you might find important to life. Thanks for reading!”

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https://twitter.com/ronriggio

Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D., is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College.

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