In my Leadership and Personal Development (LPD) class we are assigned weekly reflections. Normally, I respond only to our professor Mary Kay. In the sake of transparency and to provide some personal insights, I’ve decided to share one of those reflections with you.


Here I am sitting in a beautiful condo in downtown Seattle. I look out of the window to my left and see the Seattle Space Needle. I look behind me, and I see the beautiful waters of the Puget Sound. Several of my goals have come to fruition. I’m in a great graduate program. I’m in a beautiful city. And I’m surrounded by wonderful people. I should be feeling great. And for the most part, I do. However, at the same time, I just can’t release this feeling of guilt—this feeling that I don’t deserve the success I’ve achieved up to this point—the feeling that I am sitting on this couch because of pure, undeserved luck.  That’s what I need to let go of.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been trying to fight this feeling. I think, finally, I may be starting to win that fight. I had a conversation with a couple of friends about it and, through that conversation I learned three things. 

  1. It’s an obligation to take full advantage of the opportunities that are presented. To not take advantage of those opportunities would be a waste.
  2. There are systems and institutions in place that play a major role, many of which I cannot be held responsible for (e.g., family, social, financial, educational, access, etc.)
  3. The best place for me to make a difference in those systems is a position of success.

Success with compassion is what they explained to me. It’s great to care, but we can’t let the caring become a debilitating factor in our quest to promote positive, social change.

I want to keep my drive. And I want to keep those positive people in my life. I want to keep making progress.

What would I like to create? I’d like to be part of a community that helps ensure that everybody has the opportunity to dream.