November 19, 2010

Learning from Rent

I just returned from seeing a local production of Rent, a show I'm sure most of you are at least somewhat familiar with. You are also probably familiar with one of the central themes of the show: learning to focus on the present and live each day as if it were your last. However, you may not know that the show was written by Jonathan Larson, who never even lived to see the show performed. At least, his dream lives on and has clearly become a cultural phenomenon. After all, who hasn't at least heard the song "Seasons of Love?"How does this relate to you and your career, though?

In some way, we can all learn to apply Rent's "No Day But Today" to our lives.  Learn to focus on the present and give your all to make the most of each opportunity you have. Don't let mistakes you have made in the past drag you down by focusing on your failures. Instead, learn from them and turn them into success. Pursue your passion, not just what you think will earn you the highest income, because when you love your job it will rarely feel like work. Try to find a way to take at least one step towards your goals each day. Don't just "network," build real relationships. Avoid getting caught up in the stress and serious nature of work life, in most instances, you're not trying to cure cancer and most mistakes you make can be fixed with work and time. Take chances, fight for what you believe in, and try something that terrifies you every once in a while, if it doesn't turn out as well as you'd hoped, at least you will learn something. Don't compromise yourself, your voice, or your morals in favor of fortune, people can see through the inauthentic anyway. And, of course, remember to have fun.
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