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Understanding the power of certainty with Maria Smith

16 September 2019

How do you find your career purpose and passion? Recently at our first Melbourne networking event, SCU alumni, current SCU Online MBA student and CEO Maria Smith inspired us to think differently with her keynote, The Power of Certainty. 

Familiar with the ups and downs that life can bring, Maria spoke of the life lessons she’s learnt that guided her to build an award-winning and global business. In 2006 Maria founded Bounce Australia – an organisation that delivers employability skills and job readiness training to the long-term unemployed, as well as professional development within the employment services sector. The essence of Maria’s work is connecting people with their purpose and passion – empowering them to listen to their heart and live their lives from there. 

SCU alumni and current SCU Online MBA student Maria Smith.

Empower your goals

The keynote focused on the importance of having a clear vision of your goals, based on the idea that our personal beliefs and values drive us forward. Maria shared some powerful stories of the challenges she has faced in her own life journey, of “being at the bottom of the pit and looking up and knowing there’s something there, there’s something possible”.

It was a period of uncertainty that changed Maria’s life, as it gave her the awareness of knowing she had to create certainty for her family. She asked herself, “What am I going to stand for, what am I going to create and how am I going to make this happen?” This was when she decided to create and build her business.

Values & emotional intelligence

The underpinning theme of the keynote was on being human, that is our sense of self and emotional intelligence. Human behaviour is complex, and our perception of the world is filtered through memories, beliefs and values. Values inform every decision we make, so identifying and familiarising ourselves with what we care about is essential.

It’s also important to note that values are different for everyone – some people are driven to work late every evening so that their children can go to university, while others are driven by the desire to live a comfortable life. 

Power of positivity

The values piece led to a discussion on self-reflection and the power of positivity. Maria noted that once she gained a clear vision of where she wanted her business to go, she reassessed her thought patterns: “By flipping negative thoughts, we can change the way we approach situations.” For example, instead of thinking I don’t have enough experience for this job role, you could say I’m a resourceful person and able to ask for help if I need it.

Drawing on dopamine

Drawing on some key research about how humans think, behave, change and succeed, Maria discussed the importance of dopamine – the neurotransmitter responsible for emotion, movement and sensation. Understanding how dopamine works can maximise productivity and decision-making. Research tells us that dopamine peaks at 11am, so aim to do presentations and sales pitches at this time.

Interestingly, you should do the tasks you hate when you have high dopamine, and do the tasks you love when it’s low – during the 2 pm slump. Doing the tasks you enjoy has an energising effect by increasing your dopamine.

Students and staff networking at SCU Online networking events in Melbourne.

About SCU Online Events

At Southern Cross University Online, we understand the importance of networking and creating relationships when studying a postgraduate degree. This is why host networking events that allow you to connect with current SCU Online students, academics and industry leaders face-to-face. These events will run throughout the year in various cities across Australia.

Learn more about our online postgraduate courses. Get in touch with our Enrolment team on 1300 863 819.