Here at MSL, we've embarked on a tremendous journey to not just bring you one story of leadership, but many. It's our hope to paint a broad tapestry in views and experiences to show that there's truly no one, "right" way to go about seeking out all that you want in life. This week, our guest reminds us that people are a lot like the stories they have to tell. Each of us carries a unique purpose or inclination, just as a story will tend to carry a moral or lesson. Join us now as Jordan Carter reminds us of what we so often fail to see in our race to be "the best".


          As a son of two college educated parents, school has always been my lifeline. To this day, my mother encourages the notion that one should question what challenges the mind and always try to view the glass as half full. ’Intro to Comparative Politics’ is a class that can attest to this. Day in and day out I would study my tail off to only spend hours on one question. As time passed and I peered out the window to see the sun edging its way onto campus it would devastate me when I noticed only half of my homework or study guide questions had been answered. Suddenly, my alarm would miraculously find a way to pierce what little hope I had at the time in finishing what was left undone.

          Yet and still, as time came for class I raised my hand whenever I'd noticed a term discussed in our textbook or if a topic was derived from current events in lieu of my independent research. There was an obvious trend. Every time I knew something to be true or questioned the purpose of a theory or mathematical equation, middle ground was there. That will always be a prime predicament to ask, “Is this what it seems or do I know for a fact that this isn't the outcome?”

          Come to think about it, the label of being the strongest or the smartest wasn't for me to aspire; yes, even as a college kid! Whenever I’d make up my mind to go to the gym or study with a tutor for an upcoming test it was imperative for me to check myself, mentally. Certainly, I can study until I’m blue in the face or lift as many weights until my arms shake uncontrollably of exhaustion but there is always a time and a place to ask for help. From time to time I think about those who make me excited for my future and tend to pick their brains about how they got where they are. My brother who’s in law school, my mentor who’s pursuing a PhD in Higher Education and some professors from Marist who I’m still fond of have all agreed on one thing: ask if you second guess but remain the best you.

          We all have a passion, a purpose that suits us in life; we're all individual puzzle pieces that help to make up one, big whole. Rather than trying to fill every gap yourself, surround yourself with people that help to compliment your purpose.What’s even more impressive is that the friends I made in college have played such huge roles in coaching me to be the best that I can be. Tip to remember: It's okay for you to allow your friends to do just that. It may take a few sleepless nights to sincerely realize that if you're trying to make sure everyone is in your corner or that the world scientifically revolves around you, you're in for a curve-ball. 

          Thank you MAASAI (a friend) for encouraging me to see that the world really is our playground so studying abroad (Australia, to be exact) would single-handedly make my life that much more spectacular. Thank you Atalia for being my tour guide and helping me feel more comfortable about making one of the best decisions of my life in committing to Marist. Thank you Tom, Dan (Kane, Schykerynec, Peabody) and Lou for your quirky but humble personalities that left my stomach hurting of laughter every time we pulled all-nighters in Sheahan or decided to watch a sports game in each other's rooms. These memories will stay with me, forever. Quite honestly, the world will choose whichever corner it wants to be in but I'm okay with surrounding myself with the right people. Those people who've helped guide me when I've been weary or who know that where I've come from doesn't compare to what I've seen. These relationships mold the man who I am today and because of what's in front of me, now, I am better

-Jordan Carter

For more from Jordan, you can connect with him on Linkedin and follow him on Twitter @JordaniCarter

This post has been edited for grammar. All other content remains the original thoughts & expressions of the author.