How I use a positive mindset to plan for my future

Alison Robles, Editor-in-Chief

As I was sitting on my bed, considering what topic to write about for this piece, I decided to look back and see what I wrote about in the past. There is an opinion I wrote during my sophomore year where I spoke about how the thought of my future was terrifying, but I knew that I needed to make choices in order to have the future I imagine for myself.

Looking back, I’m pretty proud of myself for being so conscious of myself. I was practically a baby back then! Now, two years later but feeling much older, I want to revisit the experience I was trying to share. When I think about my future, I try to hold myself to a few basic tenets that I think everyone can relate to.


  1. Surround yourself with people who support you

Your support community – whether it be made up of friends, family or coworkers – should challenge you to be your best self. They should lift you up when you’re struggling but also push you to do better if you’re slacking off. When you surround yourself with positive people, you generate a positive mindset. You can help each other achieve your goals and support each other through the highs and lows that life will bring.


  1. Be an active participant in your own life

Life doesn’t happen while you’re sitting and waiting for it. To quote hockey player Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100%of the shots you don’t take.” I think Iona is a perfect incubator for this mindset – our slogan challenges students to “move the world.” Do you want to get involved? Find a club to get engaged with. Do you want to make a difference? Try volunteering for a service project or a mission trip. Do you want to explore career paths? Take advantage of the Career Development center and meet with alumni at networking events. If you want to do something, find the avenue that will help you make your vision a reality – it won’t happen until you do it.


  1. Hold yourself accountable

We all make mistakes. Sometimes we forget about a deadline for a paper or we put off having a meeting with a group project. It can feel easier to just ignore your problems or push aside your mistakes – if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. But tucking your problems away doesn’t minimize your overall anxiety or stress. It may be terrifying but own up to your mistakes with yourself and with others. Apologize to your professor for missing that deadline but ask if you can submit it later for some credit. Talk to the members in your group project and ask what you can do to make up for the meeting you missed. It might sting in the short run, but oftentimes communicating and working out an alternative strategy can make you successful in the long run.


  1. Hype yourself up

No one is perfect and you will make mistakes, but it is also important to celebrate your successes and be proud of your skills. Maybe you made time to go to the gym this week or you sat down and wrote that email you needed to send to your adviser. Maybe you got a grade back for that class presentation and your professor said you did an amazing job. Don’t downplay the pride you should feel for doing those things, even if they feel small and insignificant. If you train your brain to celebrate even the small victories, you will be more motivated to tackle more daunting challenges.


As the first half of my senior year comes to a close, I have been much more conscious of the life I want to lead. Whether you are a freshman in your first year or a senior getting ready to leave Iona, I think these ideas are good to keep in mind. It might take some time, but the best things from life come out of hard work.