What it means to me to “Choose extraordinary”

What it means to me to “Choose extraordinary”

April 24, 2016 8:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Everyone who has joined JCI did it for a specific reason and everyone who has been in the organisation probably stayed for others.

I personally joined JCI because I wanted to make new connections within the city and extend some of my marketing skills. I stayed in JCI because I realise that there is more to learn that I could have imagine and that I actually love to learn.

JCI will connect not only people but also organisations. We were last year approached by the American Embassy to join a program they have created. At first, my reaction was to think that it is another commitment, that I won’t have time for it and then I remembered that opportunity rarely knock at the door, you have to create them.

I decided to apply for the program and was successful after a few days. The program aims to reinforce the link between the young leaders in the UK and the American government giving you access to monthly invitations to attend virtual talks or physical events.

 Now, have you ever seen on TV or looked at pictures in the news and thought how do ordinary people attend ‘’THESE” events? I have an answer, maybe not the only one but one. These people choose to push their boundaries, they choose a life where they are not scared by the unknown, they are not scared by the lack of sleep, they are scared of what they could be missing by not seizing an opportunity. That for me is my definition of “Choose extraordinary”, our 2016 National Theme.

On Thursday 14/04/2016, I received an email from the American Embassy, inviting me to attend President Barack Obama speech in London Saturday 23rd April 2016. Yes, that’s right, the American ambassador wrote an email to invite me (and program participant) to meet with “POTUS”.

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Due to the high demand, a ballot system was organised and I was placed on the waiting list. I can fairly said that I was not bothered to be on the waiting list but I was honoured and proud. I have the privilege to be part of an organisation that is well recognise in the world and that give me the opportunity to meet Barack Obama. How many of us can actually say it? I was part of the 500 members onwards in the UK who have been given the chance to receive an email offering me the possibility to attend Barack Obama speech in London. If I didn’t realise straight away how amazing this opportunity was, the faces and the reactions among the people I decided to tell reminded me how “uncasual this is”. One of my favourite was “ Now, I wish I had joined the program”.

What I’ve learnt and that I would like to share with you is to make sure you don’t live with regrets, don’t miss out on an opportunity to choose an extraordinary path because you are afraid you won’t be able to commit or you won’t have time. If an opportunity arises, you will find a way to make time for it.

Joining a group of young professionals such as JCI is like planting seeds and waiting for it to grow. Opportunities like meeting the President of the United States of America don’t happened by coincidence, I had to plant my opportunity by joining JCI and joining the US Embassy program and I just waited for it to grow and seized the opportunity to meet him.

Célestine, 2016 Local President

If you have any questions about JCI please do get in touch with me president@jcisouthampton.org.uk

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This post was written by Celestine Onomo Onomo

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