Earlier this week I was moved to repost my piece about “voluntellism“, which discusses the curious phenomenon and have to decide what to do with it. Well, now I stand at the brink of the next step in that process: So you’ve been voluntold. Now what?

Yup, we’re using Disney quotes to make a point.

After taking some time to think about it, an important phrase came to mind. “Bloom where you’re planted.” Whether this volunteerism was a display of your own agency or not, whether you like what you’re doing or not, bloom where you’re planted. Make the best of your situation. Do the best you can, whether it’s actual adversity or just a challenge you wouldn’t have chosen for yourself. We tell students often to stretch themselves beyond where they’re comfortable, why should we not follow the same advice? Treat the unexpected or uninvited challenge, as much as you can, with the enthusiasm you put into your most exciting and energizing projects. With any luck, it’ll be like faking a smile- fake smiles, if you hold them long enough, become real ones. Wait out the real smile here, see where it takes you.

How have you had to bloom where you’re planted? Any tips to offer on how to turn duties thrust upon you into defining moments?

One response to the question at hand was posted on my friend Katie’s blog- check it out here! I love what she has to say, especially the final line: “Straw can be spun into gold if you work at it.”

6 thoughts on “Bloom Where You’re Planted

  1. I can’t wait to read it! I love it when sometimes a response to something turns into its own treatise.
    When are you back stateside? I’d love to see you and catch up!

  2. Yeah, not every role has to be transcendent. And not every situation has to be a negative. You can learn even from the stuff you don’t want to do. It’s not always about hitting home runs, sometimes just being at the plate and walking to first base has an effect.

  3. Ron, this is a great point. Not every role is going to be transcendent. The way you worded that, combined with some of my MANY questions about new professional dissatisfaction and/or attrition, makes me wonder if there’s a link somewhere…
    Thanks for starting some additional wheels turning!

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