Welp. I am a true product of [The List].

In 2011, leadership educator Drew Dudley demonstrated the extraordinary power of an [invisible] list we each follow to success.


Click the image above to listen to “TEDxUWO – The List”.

Recently, I have been haunted a by The List, fearful that I have lost sight of my [priorities]. I am a young graduate student who has been in school continuously since kindergarten, and have worked countless jobs to build a confusing and cluttered resume. Drew tells us to stop treating the list like a prison and ask ourselves how far we would drift from it for simple happiness.

Does your list say you must accomplish A in order to get to B? Probably. Does it tell you to smile along the way, listen [truly listen] to what others have to say, and be genuine? Probably not.

We check each item off our list, living a false agenda as we climb towards a magical golden thrown. Our successes might be great, but the things we cannot control are remarkably the most influential. For many, the negative forces we have feared and resented in our lives have ultimately motivated us to do and be [great]. Drew reminds us to be reckless and deviate from The List because we have that obligation to make changes in our life that we deserve. Leaders, he says, “are not made from a manual of academic degrees”.

I have been reminded to take chances, challenge my weaknesses, and let my strengths shine beyond any formal accreditation. Through Challenge Detroits’s 5-Pillar Foundation I seek to embrace playing, giving, leading, and living into my working life- remembering to enjoy the moment, make sacrifices for others and share generously, take a stance, and embrace my community.

We are not programmed.  We should lead and follow simultaneously, with flexible goals in mind, and allowances for unforeseen opportunities. Life is not a race to the top, so go and make your own list of successes and failures for the completion of today will be your greatest feat at hand. Create a journey that belongs to you and no one else, and remind yourself of your passions along the way.

Remember: “The only thing [predictable] about life is its in [unpredictability].” -Remy (Ratatouille)

To 2016-2017, and the #GoodVibesYearFives: #Don’tSettle #Climb #Challenge #ChallengeDetroit #ChallengeYourself #Deviate #Smile & #Listen