For Wisdom in Your Professional Choices

Goodwill Hunting!

Slongtime client called yesterday and said he was looking for a "hunter" candidate. I knew right away that he was not referring to the sort of hunter who hunts animals. Instead, he sought a hunter type of candidate, an individual who, of his or her own volition, searches for and pursues ambitious goals.

The skills of both "hunting" and "gathering" are vital in every business. In general "gatherers" are employees who excel at following orders, fulfilling the game plan and meeting the status quo. But "hunters" are those employees who overcome past experiences and present insecurities to imagine, seek out, and fulfill goals that require the realization of their own true potential.

In the award-winning movie Good Will Hunting, the protagonist, Will Hunting (Matt Damon), is an example of a complacent "gatherer" who transforms into a "hunter." Will is an unrecognized genius whose capacity for greatness is stunted by his childhood abuse and subsequent engagement in criminal activities. But while working as a janitor at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Will quickly solves an equation scrawled on a chalkboard. Unbeknownst to him, the problem was presented by a highly acclaimed professor.

When the professor recognizes Hunting as the genius behind the solution, he determines to help Hunting actualize his unusual gifts, unknowingly spurring Hunting's quest for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. In order to achieve his self-actualization, Will engages in therapy sessions, meetings with brilliant mathematicians, and job interviews. As a result of the encouragement and challenges from his friend, his girlfriend and his therapist, Will decides to fight for his future despite his past. He ultimately decides to pursue a life with the woman he loves, and presumably also actualize his intelligence and career potential.

As 20l5 unfolds, will you fight for self-actualization like Will Hunting, or will you sit back and simply hope that success comes your way? Are you willing to do the work, take the risks, and experience the discomfort that may accompany the journey of uncovering your special gifts and talents? The movie has a happy ending; and you can have one, as well. Ask yourself what you really want. 2015 is your chance to formulate a plan to reach your goals. Just as Will Hunting had to change from a gatherer into a hunter in order to achieve success, you might have to undergo a challenging transformation as well. Whether your goals are career-oriented or personal, practicing the determination and courage of a “hunter” is the surest way to achieve your full potential.

Return to Blog