Find Your Own Way

This has nothing – and everything – to do with education.

First, watch to the two minute video clip below:

Hawaiian Singer Willie K Sings National Anthem

If you’re like me, you probably ended up watching this more than once, because it’s so rare to see brilliance, originality, and artistic talent meld so perfectly. (And yes, I understand there are some purists out there who will object to this rendition, but I think it was done with utmost respect.)

The reason for sharing this: If you’re like me, you’ve heard the Star Spangled Banner all your life, and you’ve only heard it sung one way. The thought of it being sung differently probably never entered your mind. But this fellow, Uncle Willie K, realized that just because everyone does something a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the only way to do it. He dug into the meaning of the song and found his own way to interpret it. And it was beautiful.

I share this as a reminder: Whatever you’re doing in CTE – or in life, for that matter – remember that just because everyone does something a certain way, that doesn’t make it the only way, or the best way, to do it. Think about what you’re doing, dig deep into the heart of it, and find your own way. That is the path where originality and brilliance lie.

(For more on this performance, by the way, see here.)

Brett Pawlowski is Executive Vice President of NC3T, the National Center for College and Career Transitions ( NC3T provides planning, coaching, technical assistance and tools to help community-based leadership teams plan and implement their college-career pathway systems and strengthen employer connections with education.

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