May I first begin by warmly wishing everyone a Happy New Year. And with the New Year, it is appropriate for us to look forward to the exciting possibilities of the coming year and reflect on the events, both good and bad, of the previous. As we do this, our natural tendency is to put our failures behind us and try to focus on the positives. Though it will never do to dwell on our failures, we must remember that these experiences had a significant role in shaping who we are today. To neglect them completely places us in a situation where we are looking to the future with only half of our perspective.
The Japanese practice the art of repairing broken pottery called Kintsugi. As we know, when porcelain pottery breaks, gluing the shards back together always leaves traces of where the pottery was once broken no matter how carefully or expertly it is mended. Rather than focusing on concealing where the pottery broke, the art of Kintsugi accents and highlights those places by mixing valuable gold and silver into the mending lacquer. The brokenness is thus celebrated, giving the original piece unique character as well as financial value due to the added precious metals.
Our experiences are like this. The truth is that we will never forget the negative experiences nor should we hope to. As we mend, the precious lessons and character we develop are our best allies in our future endeavors. It is indeed in the moment of victory that we are able to finally comprehend how necessary our past failures were, as well as our past victories, to shape the person we become – the person with the unique qualities needed to surmount our current obstacles. It is in that moment that we finally appreciate the gold and silver lacqured finish to our brokenness repaired. This is redemption defined.
I close with this very appropriate quote from comedian Conan O’Brien as he addressed the graduating class of 2000 at Harvard University. “I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve had a lot of failure. I’ve looked good. I’ve looked bad. I’ve been praised. And I’ve been criticized. But my mistakes have been necessary. I’ve dwelled on my failures today because, as graduates of Harvard, your biggest liability is your need to succeed, your need to always find yourself on the sweet side of the bell curve. Success is a lot like a bright white tuxedo. You feel terrific when you get it, but then you’re desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it.” (Conan O’Brien)
My hope for you is that in 2016, you will experience a victory that redeems the challenges you have faced in years previous. Happy New Year from the entire PolishedResume Team!