The Fit Student—How to Become a Superstar

Know your values, strengths, and personality.  I mean really know these things.  They can guide your choice of academic discipline and career.  They can turn you into a star at a young age: a star employee, a star student, a media star, any kind of star.  A superstar.

Seek your lucky stars as early as possible.  Stand out from the crowd right away. The Open University says, “Your personality, combined with your values, strengths, knowledge and experience, is what gives you your unique personal brand. No-one else will be able to offer the same combination of factors” (35%).

So, how do you figure out what your values, strengths, and personality are?  We’ll explore that soon, but first let me tell you a story that might hit home:

I greeted the young barista, a new employee, I guessed.  She had glasses and a straight-faced expression—like a scientist.  I asked her, “Are you a student?”

“No,” she said, “I’m taking a year off to figure out what I want to study.”

“So, how are you figuring it out?” I asked.

She shrugged her shoulders. “Just, you know, working as a barista and hanging out with friends.”

So, I seized the moment, “You should take career and personality tests. There are some free ones online.”

She shrugged my advice off.

So, I pushed further, “I wish I had taken career tests thirty years ago. I could’ve been a master in marketing by now.  Instead, I’m a newbie.”

Her eyes suddenly widened, her pupils skirted upward in thought, and I knew I had reached her.

I’d love to pass the advice onto you, my sizzling star.  But you may already know the ins and outs of your values, strengths, and personality.  Just in case a little more insight could free your inner stardom, please stay with me.

The Open University e-book called Personal Branding talks about personality, values, and strengths as part of your brand.  Celebrities have brands, but you may be an even bigger superstar.

Let’s explore:

Know your personality type—and aptitudes. To become a star, you should know what stardom to strive for, right?

Oh, how I wish I knew thirty years ago. Please let me help you seize your lucky star today.

Tap into your personality type with a Myers Briggs personality test.  Once you know your personality type, find e-books and articles that go in depth. You can also discover your aptitudes with this free career test.

Dig deeper by discovering your values.  Here’s why: “The more closely you can align your values with the way you live and work, the more satisfied you are likely to be” (33%).  And I want your life to bubble over with joy.  You deserve the stars!

To discover your values, The Open University says, “Spend a few minutes thinking about times when you felt happiest, proudest, most fulfilled, or as Gayle [Johnson, a freelance copywriter and coach] puts it –‘alive’, ‘on fire’ and ‘working at my best’. You can include examples from both your home and work life” (33%).

I feel most alive praying for others and sending them unconditional love. Nothing feels more delicious than that to me—not the high I felt after my first studio recorded song, not the rush of winning the silver medallion in my undergrad program, not the thrill of winning a $24,000 scholarship. Just prayer and unconditional love.  Mmm!  A celestial star.

But what makes you tick might be just as delicious, but unique to you.  Ask yourself what makes beautiful energy sear through your soul? What gets you in giddy hysterics every minute as you fall asleep?  What pumps you like Christmas or Diwali did when you were a tot?  Hidden inside those thrills await your values.

Gayle Johnson says that knowing your values “stops you comparing yourself to others, because it doesn’t matter if your values are, let’s say, growth and ambition and wealth. That might be what you’re really all about. And then someone else’s values might be around harmony and community, those sorts of things. And they could be doing the same sorts of work, but their vibe will be very different” (95%).

Yes, values can be about goals and dollars, too.  But I believe the values from the heart are the best kinds to nourish.

All of us are superstars when following our values: the chef serving the hungry, the parent homeschooling a family, the student forging a future, and the child sharing her toys.

But to truly shine, we need more than values; we need strengths and skills, too.

Stars know their strengths and skills.  But what’s the difference between strengths and skills? Well, “strengths are innate, whereas skills can be learned and developed” (34%).

So, how do you know which skills are strengths?  Which skills tug at the heart of your stardom? The Open University says, “Think about the things you do, in work or outside, that really energise and enthuse you. Now choose one of those activities and analyse the skills you are using when you do it, for example, communicating with others, organising something, being creative, etc. Of the skills you have just listed, which are the ones that make you feel energised when you use them?” (36%).  Those skills are your strengths, claims The Open University. Those skills are the shimmer on your lucky star.

I urge you to seek your stardom young.  Learn your values, strengths, and personality type as soon as you can.  And do take a year off, if you need time to reflect—but take career and personality tests to discover what truly thrills you.  After all, your destiny is to shine, you lucky star.

Open Learn: Free Learning from the Open University. (2019). Personal Branding. U.K.: The Open University.
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