*Late Week One (Why Special, Simon Sinek, Not Special, Smart Leaders)

I did these blogs late, so I am doing them now keeping in mind with the notes that Professor Gower made for me!

Gower’s Notes: “Start with why. Your why is the purpose and what inspires you to do what you do. Consider the how’s and whys for every article you read and blog post you write. Ask questions!”

Why you personally ARE special

I think there are two ways to see what makes us special. There is the one that is told by outside influences. There are people that say “you are not like other ____”. The saying “you are not like other girls” is a statement I do not like, but that can be a whole nother conversation.

I have been told I have a genuine heart, and I make other people feel special. Another thing that makes people tell me that is special about myself is that I am unapologetically myself. I like myself for trying not to follow the trends to fit in. Of course, that depends on the situation. Sometimes we need to conform to the group. I do think I am comfortable with making a fool out of myself, so having that sense of security makes me feel special.

Those things above are things that people have told me to make me special. I do not think that those things make me feel special. I personally it is hard to feel constantly that we are special. I compare myself to other people all the time. It is also sadly a negative trait for women to feel good about themselves. I am glad the culture of that is changing. I think things that we like about other people is something we want for ourselves. I realized I like people because I appreciate the things they are comfortable being. I like how people can just feel like they can be themselves. I am usually conscious of what people think of me until about my Senior year of high school. I realized people liked me more when I was comfortable with myself. The more I was comfortable doing embarrassing things I was able to feel more like myself.  It is such a simple to do, but it is hard to do. I do think I am special in the fact of my identities. I have been able to put myself in uncomfortable situations to learn more. I think those traits will help me in politics one day. I want to run for a state-level office one day, and I need to be confident in who I am. I need to know what makes me special in order for others to see it. These articles helped me in seeing a clearer vision of that.

Overall, I see that what makes me special (or what I think makes me special) will help me find my own happiness. I need yo know that I am me for a reason. It seems to be more of an internal thing.

Simon Sinek – Why 

“Why” of the article

I think the purpose of watching this Ted Talk is to have a background on all the other articles we are going to read and watch. Simon talks about how companies like Apple have successful sales because they make us believe in the “why” of their product. He explains that we need to find the motivation and inspiring message that helps connect a person to your company. Simon Sinek says “people do not buy what you do, but why you do it.”

Overall, I think it talks about how we need to find the “why” in what we do in order for other people to believe in what we do. That is important to be a leader. It is important to know that firsthand, instead of trying to go out of order with the method he talks about. I need to find my “why” with the obligated classes I take and the issues I believe in. I want to become a politician one day, so I know essentially I need to sell myself. There is one way to do it by showing my stances and being a picture perfect politician. I think though if I am not passionate about what I am doing, then I cannot convince people to believe in me. It is about being genuine and passion to get you where you need to go!

“How” of the article

Simon Sinek does this by showing visuals and graphics of his examples. He used the “Golden Circle” method where there are three circles. The biggest circles show the “what” of a situation. All companies know to show what they want to sell to you. The circle in that “what” circle is the “how” circle, which shows that only some companies know how they will sell the product. The smallest circle in both of the other circles represents “why” companies make the products they do.

It was interesting because he mentioned that some people think they do things because they feel it in their heart or soul, but he says that is a biological decision. If something links in our brain that we believe in it, then we do it for ourselves. It then becomes a chain reaction, and you will have people want to be a part of what you want. You will also have people that will be loyal to you. The example I liked is the one about Martin Luther King Jr, and it helped because it was someone we all know. Sinek talked about how Dr. King believed in his cause, and he had the gift to make other people believe in his issue also. The individual then makes it their own, and they ended up showing up to the talk for themselves because they believed that is what their America should be. For the most part, we all end up wanting the same thing, but the way we go about it is the great divider.

Personally, the “how” in being an innovator and taking a chance is very hard for me. My parents are immigrants, and they work hard to make sure I am happy and stable. I do feel like it is my responsibility to choose a job that will help me succeed, but if I want to be a politician it is quite a gamble. My purpose to become a politician is to genuinely see what my perspective of being a woman of color and living in a community of diversity can thrive. I know many people say that politics is corrupt, and there is no use to being a politician. But it will be like that if no one tries. I need to find my “why” of changing the world. The sky is the limit as the Orville Brothers demonstrated. I want to learn and help all kinds of people, so I hope people will learn and help me.

You are Not Special (You are Not Special Commencement Speech from Wellesley High School) 

I like this one the best! So why am I watching this?

David McCullough Jr gave a commencement speech about telling his high schoolers “you are not Special”. I actually read the book for this before this class, and it honestly made me feel much better about myself. I think we watched this because it gave us a perspective on what our motives should be in life. One of the biggest insecurities people have is not being good enough, and they do that by comparing themselves to other people. America has such a mentality that there can only be one great person, so we create that environment. In order to be worth something, we need to be special. We need to differentiate ourselves in order to then feel better about ourselves. It then creates a dangerous path, and happiness becomes second in deciding what to do with our lives.

Can we also note he made a joke about Donald Trump way before the time a joke like that would be so relevant?!?!

If everyone is special no one is special. I think what I can get from this video is that I need to find my own gratification in what I do, and I cannot do that by other people telling me that I am special. At the end of the day, we cannot rely on accolades. We need to find our own happiness, and we owe it to ourselves to live our best lives for ourselves.

The “How” of the Article

He portrayed his message in such an understandable and likable way. He gives statistics. In reality, over 3.2 million other students graduate from high school the same year you did. There are even over 37,000 valedictorians. He really put things into perspective. Essentially McCullough tells us that we are not the center of the universe, which is how we are taught to feel.

He tells us the things we can do. He first talks about how we know very little when we graduate high school, and it is bad to think we know everything. He says it is important to read because we owe it to ourselves to keep on learning. In that way, we will able to be the best version of ourselves. He says “to read all the time for self-respect”. He also talks about to love what you do, and believe in its importance. There is one thing to be good at things, but there is also an important part of being passionate about what you do.

This reminds me of going to school. I usually know “what” classes I have to take, and “how” to take the classes. I usually have an artificial answer for the “why” part. I take classes to better myself, and to be more aware of the world around me. It is not just to complete the degree requirements. It is more than that, and it is hard to feel that all the time. McCullough talks about to “resist the easy place of complacency”. Sometimes I feel like that, and it does not help me at all if I do that.

As for things that I can do to change my mindset. I need to be more in the moment. This goes for several things. He uses the example of “going to Paris to be in Paris, and not to just check it off the list”. I think being in the moment is so important to do. In the world of social media, it is so hard to do things without doing fun things without posting about it and thinking about how it will look like in the pictures and videos we make. I do not use social media as much, so I have been able to avoid that. What I do need to do is to not look at other people’s lives so much. I need to just live my life. The other way to be at the moment is to be selfless. I do need to let other people know how much I care about them enough, so I need to presently tell people how much I appreciate them! I would want that done to me, so I need to do it for others. That is a way we can make people feel special. Not for the accolades, but because we appreciate them in our life.

Learners and Leaders (How Smart Learners Stay Smart: 16 Ways to Stay on the Cutting Edge)

“Why” read this article?

Jeff Boss talks about what things smart learners do. I think we reading this article because there is always a “why” we can ask with things that we do. We do not always have to just do the status quo. I think it is important to learn more than just what is required. We will never really learn until we think about the undiscovered. It is up to us how much we want to get out of an education. It is our responsibility to be smart learners not only for ourselves but for other people. We all need to work together and to do that we need to learn about each other.

What is the “How” of the article?

There are the different ways to be a smart learner. One of the tips is that “smart learners question the question”. Sometimes our yearning for learning more is stunted when we are younger. I think of times when little kids keeping asking “why?” over and over again. Most of the time they are told to stop asking those questions during class to not stop the lessons. This is when they just go to the class, and the student becomes complicit. I think my college classes I have been able to do this more, but when is the line drawn. I know that there are people that play devil’s advocate, but sometimes there are times when the professor does not want that kind of conversation. I think the “how: can sometimes be difficult. A question I have is “how can we properly question the questions without seeming rude?”

One thing that I do that smart learners do is “focus on the micro while keeping the macro in mind”. I like to think of the big picture a lot, and so I think that helps me become a smart learner. I like to take a step back most of the time, and that helps me be better at my work. Another thing I like to do is “surround myself with smarter people”. I like to think that the talks and discussions I go to will help me gain more perspectives. It is important to always train your mind to listen and discuss with other people to make good decisions. I always think if the world was just a world full of me’s, then we would not have the things we have today. It was because of people building off of each other to create the civilization we have now. Who knows if the wheel would have been invented if the world was a bunch of Alyssas?!? The last thing I will use to be a smart learner is to “listen intently”. I would like the same done to me if I wanted to give valuable information, so I need to do that with other people. I need to work on this. Sometimes when I am listening to people I need to talk out loud what I heard to make sure I understood. Sometimes that messes up the thinking the other person had. I need to allow the other person to speak, so I am able to fully learn from them.



Overall, I was interested in the You are Not Special video because I think that resonated with me the most. I think it is important to get a message across in the most out-there way to get the point across. He did it in a way where the things he was saying was understandable to everyone.It seems harsh at first, but honesty really is the best policy. It is important to be real with yourself, and sometimes it is about facing the things you have been avoiding. In that learning about yourself will help set you free.

I think the information of Boss and Sinek were useful, and it helped reiterate the things I need to do to be the best version of myself. It all was rather simple advice, but seeing it in different ways would allow any person to understand the message. I think the message talks about self-reflection, and once that is done you can achieve with other people. I like to pose the question ” what is the next step?”

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