Do You Have What It Takes?

This past weekend I attended the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference in Indianapolis-which is a gorgeous city, incidentally-and it was incredible. Thousands of students, professionals, and companies were represented in one mind-boggling conference, and a question appeared immediately in the back of my mind, walking into the hotel for the first time:

Do I have what it takes?

In stepping into professional life, we enter a transitional phase unlike almost any other in our lives. That step is itself, off a cliff into a brilliant azure sea of unknown possibility. Although I haven’t quite taken it yet, this conference was a chance for me to catch a whiff of that ocean of opportunity. But with it carries the scent of storms, of danger that looms as large as the possibility.

Do I have what it takes?

For the first time in my life, I wielded business cards. I wielded the knowledge that anyone I might meet could become a potential employer, a potential colleague, a potential opponent. I shook hands, smiled wide, took pictures, exchanged information, and a whole host of other things. I stepped into worlds that interested me, I stepped into conversations that invited me, and all along I wondered:

Do I have what it takes?

A conference like this one is a game-changer. It is an eye-opener, and a wake-up call. It is a slap in the face, a hard kick in the pants, a fire lit under your tail, a sparkle in your eye, all at the same time. It is a rush of hope, of anxiety, of wonder. It is the knowledge that here where you stand, eyes are on you, and here where you speak, ears are listening, and nothing is the same is it was before. And as I stood and spoke and smiled and shook, I thought:

Do I have what it takes?

This question isn’t a yes or no answer. It isn’t multiple choice or short-answer or an essay question. It is a lifetime of decisions, achievements, failures, successes. It is being present every step of the way for whatever God may-or may not-deliver to you. So the answer is, right now, I don’t know. But since I may never know for certain, I will continue on laboring under the delusion that I do have what it takes. The alternative is defeatist, and that’s never been my style.

But now I have a different question. Do you have what it takes?

“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.” -Alexander Hamilton

By Elijah Svoboda, Junior Account Executive, Exploration Station





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