I’m so excited that one of my friends, Ruvini Godakandae, who I have known for almost 15 years is sharing her thoughts on perseverance with us today. We have seen each other through many important times in our lives. She is such a sweet and kindhearted person. I had to ask her to be involved in this series and I’m so glad she agreed to participate. Thanks Ru!
Ruvini is a writer, blog contributor and web communicator who loves taking in an interesting arts event or chatting online or in person with like-minded individuals. When she’s not busy working, she’s checking out festivals and events around the city, following her social media networks, and staying active with recreational activities, sports and dance.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who did you receive it from?
I have been given so much good advice, but something I learned from my dad has always stood out. No matter what you do or what other people say, as long as you work hard and do things with good intentions, no one can ever say you did anything wrong. We sometimes worry too much about what others will think or do. If we are confident in our actions or decisions, what anyone else thinks shouldn’t matter.
How important is mentorship in terms of your success?
Mentorship is really important to me. I am actually in the process of finding a mentor to help provide some guidance in my career objectives. A lot of friends of mine have become my mentors without knowing it. They lead by an example and showcase areas that I can become better at through showcasing their strengths or provide suggestions and ideas to obtain my goals.
What has been the best moment in your life so far?
I want to say that my best moment was graduating from university and gaining my journalism degree since a lot of long hours and hard work went in to getting to that point. I felt that getting through a competitive program was one sign that I could be that much closer of obtaining my dream job. My other aspiration was always to do a long trip overseas to one of my favourite places – Australia. Despite some initial setbacks, I was overjoyed when I got to fulfill that dream by spending a few months down there.
What tips would you have for living a healthy life?
I think that leading a healthy life is not only being physically, but mentally, happy. It can sometimes be hard to find that balance and know what it is to make you healthy. I think leading a healthy life comes from taking steps to learn more about who you are, what you want in life, and taking those steps to get there. Then, ensure that you stay physically active and surround yourself with good-hearted and like-minded people. Positive thoughts and support can grow from positive people.
How do you motivate yourself to persist despite setbacks?
I must admit the setbacks are hard to keep motivation going but from career to personal setbacks, the mantra is that there will be that silver lining or something positive will come when you least expect it.
What has been your biggest setback? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it?
It’s funny, because reading this question made me think of what I considered to be career setbacks I have had while doing contract work and the emotional rollercoaster you go through as one contract ends and you struggle to find another (creating that limbo). I learned that, although it felt like a never-ending struggle, the process allowed me to re-evaluate what I really wanted to do. My next steps would be to research other career opportunities, look into courses, and talk with friends or people I knew in the field to help me achieve my end goal.
How do you deal with critics?
It’s never easy to deal with a negative criticism, but some people are better at brushing it off than others. When you write anything, especially at work, you’re bound to be met with criticism. Even if the criticism may hurt, I find what helps to keep me feel at ease is taking the time to reflect on the good things around me (i.e.. family and friends) and focusing on the people that support me; then, I’m able to rise above it.
How important is social support in overcoming obstacles?
I can’t tell you how important social support has been for me over the years. I’m lucky to have great friends and a best friend who has always given me solid and honest opinions on anything from relationships to career obstacles. Sometimes you think you know yourself well, then you find there are others who know yourself just as well and are people you should listen to once in a while.
What advice would you give others about goal setting?
I think goal setting is something that you always need to do. I find it’s helpful to write goals down or cut out images that represent those goals, so you have something to look at to remind you of them. I think setting goals should not just be something done at the beginning of the year when it’s time to set New Year’s resolutions, but throughout various stages of your life. They help remind you what’s really important to you both in the short and long term, so you know how to better organize your time.
Also, telling others whom you trust and care about can further ferment the goal. I remember telling people about my Australia trip a few months prior to going. I had always wanted to go but wasn’t sure I could get all the documentation and other logistics ready on time. The more I said it, the more I became determined to do it, so I wouldn’t let myself down.
What life lesson have you learned that you would like to pass along to others?
I find myself learning a lot of life lessons on a daily basis. But one that I often need to remind myself is to not set goals in comparison to others and to not feel I have to be at a certain place at a certain time. Things always come and go – just like the famous Buddhist saying, “Nothing is permanent” – and it’s true! Whether it’s your current state, to possessing a material object, things will come and go; but it’s important to cherish the people and things that mean the most. We can get so caught up on what we haven’t achieved yet, that we often forget the accomplishments we have gained. I used to think that pushing myself to do more and more was a good motivation, but then I would find that what I achieved was no longer satisfying. It’s great to dream but it’s also good to be content – not the same as settling though. Often at times, it’s not always the obstacle in front of us that hinders us, but our own negative thinking.
Thanks, Ruvini, for sharing your thoughts with us! Keep up the amazing work you are doing!