If I had to pick one of Haas’ four Defining Principles to discuss in relation to the way I’ve lived my life and how I plan to live the rest of it, it would have to be Beyond Yourself. People who live this principle tend to be masters of their own destiny, but in a way that facilitates the benefit of others besides themselves. Ethical and responsible behavior is their bread and butter, and they seek to lead their friends and allies into greener pastures, making sure that whatever decisions they make will work out in the long term. With all this in mind, I believe that I very much adhere to this principle.
I grew up in a low income family, which meant that I had to provide for my family and do my fair share. I helped with the chores, I made dinner, and I even worked to help support the family when times were tough. I always put my family’s interests ahead of my own, and as a result, we were all able to survive and even flourish. My schoolwork was approached with the same ardor and passion for hard work; I did the best I could, sacrificed and worked hard to excel in my classes, getting good grades in the majority of my courses. I always behaved responsibly, and put my needs ahead of my desires, a philosophy that I believe walks close in hand with the principle of Beyond Yourself.
My first major job was at Lowe’s, which was a very long road to take, but well worth it in the end. I started out merely as a cashier, running the registers and doing all of the grunt work; despite the far from glamorous nature of the job, I did my part gladly – after all, I knew that the work I was doing had consequences and effects that reached beyond myself. I was part of a team that depended on me, and that sense of responsibility and dedication helped land me a position as shift leader. This tough but rewarding new position was extremely advantageous to me, as I was eager to provide even more to my team.
All of my experiences in the workplace and at school, especially at Lowe’s, has taught me that the thing I love most about the jobs I have taken is the ability to help people. Of course, there may be days when customers are sour at you, and circumstances prevent you from providing the help they need, which is unfortunate. However, those times when you can genuinely make a person’s life better just through your simple duty are what really make my day. In addition to making customers smile, I just enjoy the company of my coworkers. I have always gotten along famously with the people I work around and for, and this rapport has allowed workplace morale to stay high, to say nothing of our productivity.
Nothing has ever been easy for me; I have worked hard to get to the place I am at in this moment, and there is much more work to be done in order to get where I want to be. I believe in thinking beyond myself, and that very principle is a big part of what brings me to apply to this university. With the help of a higher education and my continued dedication, I believe I can accomplish my goals with flying colors and bring pride to myself, my family, and my peers.