Despite my disposition, I actually really dislike talking about myself, moreover, talking about things that I excel at. It was a difficult task to dig through my lifestyle and find traits that I’m willing to brag about; but with that being said, Here are a few of the skills that I believe portray me and my lifestyle most effectively.
Ability to learn:
Scholastic learning is something that is required of everyone while in the modern education system. We become accustomed to knowledge being spoon-fed to us which results in a lazy mindset when it comes to education. Often times the best education derives from good questioning and challenging ourselves with our own initiative.
I have the ability to learn and adapt quickly because of the way I critically think. An example of this would be my current certification course – OSCP. A bit of background – the OSCP aka. Offensive Security Certified Profesional is a highly regarded certification that is recognized by the NSA, tech giants such as Microsoft, and many other organizations that rely heavily on cybersecurity. The exam itself features a 24-hour hackathon that requires 5 compromised computers and a professional-grade report on how said machines were exploited. The recommended time for course study is a minimum of 3 months because of the rigorous course load and abundance of information that must be mastered. I gave myself a single month, which is pretty unheard of, due to the fact that I can research and grasp concepts at a quick rate. So far, I’m on track to being one of a handful of 18-year-olds holding this certification in the world.
Shortly after taking the exam I will be releasing a follow up blog that will go over my experience with the certification, so stay tuned!
Drive… You’re probably thinking that drive is a cliché skillset to have, but I believe that my drive sets me apart from the rest. My drive derives from past experiences and the notion of time. Sitting at my local coffee shop and hammering away at tasks is one of the most rewarding experiences. The euphoric feeling of going to bed and reflecting on the progress I’ve made is irreplaceable. Sometimes, all it takes is some motivation from Tony Robbins to understand the impact that each hour can make on your future!
As far as examples for my drive, I have had a very impactful experience in my youth that disciplined me and primed me for my future. Few people know this about me, but I am a former nationally ranked gymnast. Yes, I can still do the occasional flip but that’s beside the point. I was notorious for getting injured before competitions which did not bode well with my coaches. One day, I had finished a bar routine and performed a double backflip before fracturing my feet on the metal horizontal-bar. Kind of a freak accident – also wasn’t the first time! After three weeks of minimal recovery, I had placed first in the nation on the rings apparatus and walked… well… limped away with 2 other medals. From then on I realized that the only thing standing in my way of becoming something great was myself. I made it a mission to get out of my own way and do things that no other person would think possible.
Initiation can be depicted in many different ways so I just want to set the stage. To me, having initiation means to embrace the mentality of putting things into action without much hesitation. I made this skill a priority after going through high school and understanding the utter importance of it.
Going to STEM School Highlands Ranch was an amazing experience. I was afforded the opportunity to work with peers that were just… geniuses. I had an interview with an MIT Alumna where I talked about the progression of math at STEM, to which she was very impressed with, to say the least. I became fascinated by the level of education that many of my peers had accomplished and did everything I could to keep up. I soon found that the issue with incredibly smart individuals is that they are never fully content with their understanding in a given subject which made them feel obligated to further mature their knowledge. There is nothing wrong with this approach, however, it delays any application of their skills because they have become accustomed to intaking information but scarcely applying it.
I came to realize that un-applied knowledge is useless; actively pursuing activities outside of school that were self-initiated has taught me more than I could have ever learned in a class. The best way to learn something is to actively pursue ideas that may very well fail, then learn from the outcome whether it’s good or bad. It’s a very common trend to be complacent and avoid taking risks. I would actually condone that you should be complacent because It leaves more opportunities for people like me to take advantage of!
Extra Excerpt of Personal Inspiration:
I was watching a video from yes theory which is a fantastic YouTube channel dedicated to approaching life with a “Hell Yeah!” mindset. This specific video titled The STRANGE advice ELON MUSK gave me at age 18 featured an interaction with, you guessed it, Elon Musk. When presented with the question of “What advice do you have for young people and startups?” Elon responded with “Don’t do it” followed by reasons that made business startups incredibly difficult to achieve success with. This response was so vivid to me because hearing that was the spark that ignited something inside of me. A mixture of my competitive nature and the urge to challenge myself made me want to, in a sense, prove him wrong. This correlated so well with me and made a solid stepping stone for what was to come in my life.
Here is the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uvzimVM7n0