Some things are just not about you

There are some things that are beyond your control. You might not get the job or win your true love or make the sale…and it might just have nothing at all to do with you. No use gnawing on the bone – get back out there and try again.

My daughters love to perform. They both dance. They both sing. They both ham it up. And they have been through several auditions for TV, movies and educational videos. So far, none of the auditions have made them into superstars. In fact, there has not been a single call-back.

In some cases, I can guess what might have been the reason. There are often numerous factors that are stated in the call for auditions, and often one of my daughters meets most of those, but not all. In some cases, the requirements seem contradictory (like when they asked for a girl of about nine years old for a role that was stated as sixth grade (typically, eleven years old).

In other cases, I have no idea why my daughters were not chosen, and I will never know. The casting directory might have had in mind someone with darker hair. Or lighter. Someone shorter or taller, thinner or plumper, more confident or shyer…who knows? Maybe it’s the audition process itself.

Who gets cast in Barney?

Have you ever noticed the one thing that almost all the children on Barney and Friends have in common? Sure, they are all cute. But what specific cute trait do they all have in common?

Toothy grins
They all have big, toothy grins. If you know the show, you know there is no point auditioning if your smile isn’t 90 percent teeth. But if you didn’t know the show, you would have no idea that you never qualified in the first place.

Tweet this quote: “When you get passed over, it might have nothing to do with you.”

So it is for a new show or a movie – we have no idea what unspoken factor the casting director has in mind. When you don’t make the audition, it does not mean you are a poor actor. It might have absolutely nothing to do with you.

If you don’t get the job, it might just have been chemistry. Or it might be that someone who is the perfect fit also interviewed.  Or the interviewer might have been distracted at the time of the interview.

You just have to brush it off.  Somebody else got the job, or they decided not to fill the position.  That is not a judgment of your skills or talent, nor a dismissal of your worth.  It is simply a sign that says you should look elsewhere.

Take this self-esteem test.


The magic of mentoring

There are many benefits to mentoring, and some of the biggest benefits are how the mentor grows as he gives.

A couple years ago I reported the figures below, which I found on the Big Brothers / Big Sisters website.  I have no idea how these figures were determined, but they certainly are believable. A child with a mentor is:

  • Become a mentor80% more likely to finish high school
  • 46% less likely to use drugs
  • 27% less likely to use alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school

The website also reported on numerous other happy benefits of mentoring, which really is an exercise in community-building at the micro level.  Mentoring is an investment, not a cost.  It’s an investment in helping the mentored grow and reach his full potential, and it is equally an investment in helping the mentor grow – because there is so much potential in the mentor waiting to burst out, as well.

That’s right, you grow at least as much by mentoring as by being mentored.  You learn valuable leadership skills that you can’t learn through books or courses; leadership is learned only by doing.  You learn management skills, similar to leadership skills in many ways, and also learnable only by doing.  You learn problem-solving skills, because you are helping the mentored person solve his problems.  You learn interpersonal communication skills, too, which is pretty obvious.

Most of all, you learn to give of yourself.  This is not a skill, so much as a virtue.  It is what makes each of us a better person, when we help someone else, and that is something as important as any skill we can learn.  After all, why do we exist if not to help each other?

It has been said that when we reach a hand out to help someone else, to pull someone else up, we lift two people with that one arm.  Talk about miracles!