When I was a little child, I desperately wanted to become a ballerina. My parents enrolled me in classes and I am pretty sure I could still walk you through first, second, third, fourth, and fifth position. I had these beautiful tutus and my grandmother gave me a pair of porcelain ballet slippers that I hung over my bed. At that point, I thought I would become a ballerina. I didn’t, but I walked out of that experience remembering to stand straight and keep my composure.

As a middle schooler I began taking trumpet lessons. My parents used to make me practice on the porch (at the time I thought it was so the neighbors could enjoy my music- looking back I am pretty sure it was to just get me out of the house). There was zero way I would use the skill of playing trumpet for a career, but there were bits and pieces of the experience that I walked away with. It was the first time that I had to practice something every day. I also couldn’t practice before school or too late in the evening (when the neighborhood kids were sleeping), so I had to figure out how to fit practice into my already busy schedule.

High school brought on the tennis team where I played singles for three of my four years. Although I never went pro, as a singles player, each match rested on my shoulders. There was no one else to blame if a shot went long, no one else to be upset with if there was a double fault. I had to own each point, I had to run for each shot.

I look across my life and could potentially see moments of disjointed activities that led to nothing that was long lasted. There are the relationships that didn’t turn into forever, painting classes that in no way mean I am an artist, and the Hebrew-English dictionaries and Hebrew books sitting on my bookshelf, leftover reminders of a language I have yet to conquer.

None of these experiences led me to be exactly who I am today, but it is the little (and some big) things I took away from each of them that made them worthwhile. In a way, I incorporate each of these experiences into every moment of my life. It is like I am a ballerina, trumpet player, tennis pro, artist, linguist, and so much more all rolled into one, it just comes out in the form of composure, time management, responsibility, creativity, and dedication.

Why have an experience if you don’t use it to positively impact your life?



Danielle Aaronson

Danielle Aaronson

Danielle’s mission is to inspire leaders to make intentional choices that move them to positive action. She speaks at conferences, management summits, and leadership programs as well as facilitates efforts with executives and senior leaders at organizations seeking to influence their culture. Her mantra, “be the change you wish to see in the world” has allowed her to strive every day to be the best she can be and help others recognize the potential they have to make a positive difference. @deaaronson

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