By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.” Author Lovelle Drachman’s words have always resonated with me. And what an adventure I had on a trip to Rome in 2019!
One of the most memorable experiences I had was visiting the Trevi Fountain. This fountain, like all great art, tells a story. Its iconography is nothing short of majestic. The statues and reliefs incorporated into the fountain are allegorical, each symbolizing a specific concept. When I reflect on this world-famous fountain, not only am I reminded of its overwhelming beauty and symbolism, but I think there are important lessons we can glean in our personal and professional lives.
In the center of the fountain is a statue of Oceanus, the Titan God of the Sea. His chariot is pulled by two horses, one calm and the other agitated, representing the alternating characteristics of the rivers and the seas. To the left of Oceanus is the goddess Abundance, carrying a horn of plenty. Above her is Agrippa, a Roman general famous for his involvement during 34 BC in the repair and renovation of the city’s aqueducts. To the right of Oceanus is the goddess Health, holding a cup from which a snake is drinking. Above her is the Virgo Aqueduct, which takes its name from the legend of a young girl who led tired and thirsty Roman soldiers to a source of fresh water. The four statues at the top of Palazzo Poli, the fountain’s backdrop, represent the fertile earth and bountiful gifts that rainfall provides.
Legend has it that to correctly make a wish, you turn your back to the magnificent fountain and throw a coin over your left shoulder into the water. It is believed that if you do that, there is a high probability you will return to Rome. This tradition also dates to the ancient Romans, who threw coins in the water to make the gods of water favor their journey.
We are all on a journey to get home to who we really are and be in alignment with personal and professional goals. Let’s take a look at important lessons from the Trevi Fountain:
1. Have a Positive and Determined Mindset
It all starts with the right mindset. After many years as a recruiter, I am amazed by the number of applicants I have placed who did not have the exact background, skill set, experience, etc. What they did have, however, was a mindset that was positive, strong, and determined to bring value to a company. Just like Oceanus, we have that same choice on how to move forward. I cannot stress enough how the right mindset should be at the center of any quest you pursue. It makes all the difference in the result and also will play a major role in how people will take notice of your character and attitude. A positive mindset will always serve you well.
2. Have an Abundance of Gratitude
The goddess Abundance reminds us to be grateful for the abundant blessings in our lives. Abundance isn’t only about material blessings. What about the friendships, professional relationships, family, shelter, and food on your table? Going into an interview and speaking about the “abundance of knowledge” you gleaned from a previous supervisor or how a very difficult task gave you abundant lessons in perseverance or team orientation will be well received. So many of my clients have told me how they were impressed with candidates who demonstrated gratitude, even during their darkest hours, rather than comment about the challenges they encountered. Focus on an abundance of gratitude, and you will always be ahead of the game in any endeavor.
3. Have a Ritual of Healthy Self-Care
At the fountain, Agrippa, along with Health, reminds us that we all need to take care of ourselves. The past several years may have taken a real toll on our emotional, spiritual, and physical health. What are you doing now to make sure you are staying strong and taking good care of you? Are you eating a healthy diet, are you surrounding yourself with people who are nurturing and supportive, are you looking into yoga, meditation, exercise, or tai-chi to connect with that calm inside yourself to allow you to stay healthy and safe?
4. The Gifts of Failure
The four statues at the top of the Palazzo Poli remind me of a famous speech, “The Benefits of Failure,” that author J.K. Rowling gave to a graduating class at Harvard University. She talked about how a season of rain spurred her to begin writing her Harry Potter series. Or, as historian Charles A. Beard observed so poignantly: “When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars.” Although we all have experienced shades of failure in different ways, it may have propelled us in ways we never would have dreamed.
Let’s all choose to move forward on our own fertile ground with our bountiful gifts and trust that the fruits of labor can be manifested if we operate with a positive and determined mindset, have an abundance of gratitude, take good care of ourselves, and reap the benefits of meeting our challenges successfully. We can create our own story of beauty and amazement! I am of the belief that better days are ahead. It all starts with the right mindset and belief system. And as part of your own adventure, check out the Trevi Fountain. Its wisdom is as deep as the oceans.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.