Achieving Success with the Four "F's"

by Edward Anthony Colozzi

New England has two championship teams, the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. They are teaching our nation how right attitude and teamwork lead to success. Both teams demonstrated how the four "F's" are the best way to go to the head of the class and achieve success. The four "F's" are focus, fellowship, faith and fun.

Their ability to focus on the next play, the next inning, and concentrate on the "baby steps" of the journey are also key ingredients of success in the classroom, the corporate world, the military and even raising a family. In the career development field we call these "performance objectives". They are important to increasing a person's self-efficacy or one's belief about their ability to accomplish a goal.

Their fellowship has been evident in their hugs, handshakes and verbal support, even during difficult times. These players respect and encourage each other's unique contribution to the team effort and share genuine pride for each other and their team. Research indicates the benefits of positive peer influence on students' cognitive and affective development.

Faith and belief certainly seemed foundational to how each player dealt with those naysayers who just don't understand the power of positive belief. The coaches never stopped reminding their players how much they believed in them and how important it was to get up after a setback and face the next challenge with added determination.

Even the players themselves commented how each success they had would raise their confidence and allow them to do even better. Increasing people's self-efficacy beliefs produces results. These players actually believed in their ability to get the job done, and many also openly acknowledged their collaborative relationship with God in humble gratitude.

Lastly, these players always emphasized the fun factor. They truly love what they do in their profession and tell the world how much they enjoy their work, comparing it at times to being a "kid" and having so much fun!

Again, physiological states resulting from high interest, excitement and having fun raises self-efficacy beliefs. Having fun and feeling motivated will produce accomplishment.

We need to grow a nation of young people who learn these career and life lessons well; to focus on their work, develop positive fellowship and teamwork with others, to always have faith and believe in possibilities and to choose work that they truly love and have fun doing. These are important lessons for parents, teachers, CEO's, our military and even presidents. And they sometimes help teams win Super Bowls and yes, even the World Series. Believe it!

Career counselors are an important part of this effort. As career services providers we believe our society has many resources available to meet these challenges. The most important resource is our "human" resource, the strong spirit in each human being that has the power to rise to any challenge, prevail and achieve success. Gaining understanding about one's self knowledge (one's skills and unique talents, interests and values) is a critical component to discovering the best person/work environment match. Values especially are foundational to making clear and authentic career and life choices and achieving success.

Taking the time to reflect, to go inside one's heart and soul, is important to understanding one's calling. Living your calling brings meaning and purpose to who you are and contributes to your organization, your community, our nation and our planet. This can bring fulfillment and leads to what many may call success. Rick Warren tells us in his "The Purpose Driven Life" that "living on purpose is the only way to really live. Everything else is just existing."

Career Counselors can be examples of "living on purpose". You are invited to consider getting involved with NCDA at your local level or the national level. Consider attending the annual conference or at least joining us from your location for the three hour teleconference. Log on to www.ncda,org and get involved with the Each One Reach One Program. Every person reading this counts and matters very much to this great association. Each one of you truly makes a difference. Together we can all make an even greater difference. While the annual conference and programs such as the teleconference are all ways to improve ourselves as career services providers, it is our strong personal belief in the power of the individual to make choices that helps to focus our energies and do the work we do. We believe in people and want them to achieve success and be happy. We can achieve success with a focus on "F's".

Edward Anthony Colozzi Ed.D. is the Membership Chair for the National Career Development Association. His private practice is the Career Development and Counseling Services of Winchester, MA. He can be reached at edcolozzi@verizon.net