Willingness and a positive attitude

Willingness and a positive attitude produce opportunity- with Edrich

Edrich is a very positive young man, he seems gentle and caring. He looks like the type of young man everyone would want to employ. Edrich is attending My Best Gap year in 2017. He says he went to Bloemfontein to study, he switched directions into psychology. He says he enjoyed the theories but he did not like the applications. When he returned from the university, he wanted to double check his interests, talents and where he wants to go. His mother recommended the My Best Gap year to him.

“The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time. – Brene Brown”

He says, in the beginning, he was slightly skeptical but after he started to participate, learn and grow, he is now very impressed. He grew in himself tremendously. He even did extra courses that Renee and Martie recommended to him and gave him the opportunity to attend e.g. Creative Marketing Course. He says he believes the reason they gave him these opportunities was that he showed them that he is keen and willing with a positive attitude. He says any opportunity they present to him, he is willing to try. They are even connecting him to a philosophy professor so that he can learn more about what a philosophy professor does. They teach you to understand yourself and what to expect in the job market.

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat, just get on. – Sheryl Sandberg”

Edrich got a temporary job at a company in Rivonia and this helps him to learn to adapt to other people’s core values. He is much more secure in where he wants to go in his career. He says he believes that no one knows for sure what will happen in life, but thanks to My Best Gap Year he has a very accurate estimate of where he is going. He says this is a comfort to him to be sure he is still on the right track. The My Best Gap year helped him focus on reaching his goals. Edrich wants to help update the medical field with new technology that would make medicine more affordable. He also wants to improve space traveling.

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change. – Karl Nightingale”

Edrich says he will recommend the My Best Gap year to school leavers because this creates surety for yourself in where you want to go, who you are and it helps you to really get to know yourself.

How to build a positive attitude: (from the book Beyond Intent: Crossing the threshold to your dreams by Gary Spinell)

  1. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
  2. A Willingness to change.
  3. Open minded to new concepts, ideas and opportunities.
  4. Face your fears
  5. Believing that God wants you to be a success
  6. Believing that you can impact the world.
  7. Believing that life is fun, exciting and worth the experience.
  8. Believing that there is goodness and value in everyone.
  9. Believe in yourself
  10. Believe that love conquers all.

If you want to become more positive and want to be part of The My Best Gap year. Please contact Reneé Van Wyk at  info@mybestgapyear.co.za or visit our Contact Us page.

Studying does not make you successful

Studying does not make you successful- with Maree.

Mr. Maree is a kind, go-getter spirited young man who attended the My Best Gap Year in 2016. He decided to attend because he first studied at TUk’s, Industrial Psychology. But he did not seem to click with what he studies. Then he decided he wanted to do a GAP year, and his mother arranged it for him at My Best Gap Year.

Maree says he used to be one of the young people that believed or felt they had to study something significant for him to be a success. But he found that studying does not determine your success.  With My Best Gap Year, he learned how to work in teams, how to get along with other people, how to solve conflicts. He learned who he is, what his talents are and what he wants to do with his life.

” Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period. – Lou Holtz”

He is currently studying tourism. But are thinking about changing his direction again. He said that in the GAP year he learned that it is okay to change your mind and start over in discovering who you are and what you want to do. He especially says he learned how to speak in front of people.  GAP Year made him realise that life is full of opportunities. And that we should not be scared if something does not work out, keep on trying to find what you love to do.

Maree wants to become a billionaire and have great relationships. He is looking for the right kind of women to compliment his journey. And he believes he will find her because he knows who he is. Maree does not give up easily, even if he knows the odds may be against him.

“Lots of people think they deserve success as some sort of a right. But here’s the truth… success is something you need to earn through effort. – Eric Worre”

Maree says he would recommend My Best Gap Year to school leavers because people are influenced what to study by their parents or authority figure’s and not necessarily only what the individual wants to do. He says this will help school leavers to try different career paths. If people don’t do a gap year the chances are big that they will lose motivation and stop trying to build their ideal career.

What to do if Studying is not an option for you:

  1. Gain knowledge through self-learning e.g. Google and reading
  2. Gain experience and build your portfolio
  3. Learn in-demand skills – E.g. strong work ethic, dependability, a positive attitude and the ability to work under pressure. Share your accomplishment stories with prospective employers.
  4. Build a team of mentors – Choose someone who is in the position in which you want to be and learn from them.
  5. Don’t give up – It’s up to you to keep yourself accountable for your success.
  6. Investigate your options – Even though you didn’t study, there are still many opportunities that will help you build a career.

If you want to learn more about what options are available to you in your career and want to attend My Best Gap year. Please contact Reneé Van Wyk at  info@mybestgapyear.co.za or visit our Contact Us page.

New comfort zone

Discomfort leads to Maturity- Herman

Herman is a kind-hearted well-mannered young man. Herman seems very mature for his age. Herman attended My Best Gap Year this year and this contributed to his maturity. Herman says he studied engineering.

“Caring about people, about things, about life- is an act of maturity. – Tracy McMillan”

He then decided to attend My Best Gap Year where he learned how to talk to people, how to introduce himself to new people. He also had to ride the Gautrain to the Gap year, thus he practiced his new skills on the train. This helped him to become more mature. He learned to respect himself and other people even when they don’t have the same value’s as he does. He learned to handle conflict in the right ways.

“Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values. – Joshua Loth Liebman”

Herman is planning on going back to study next year. He says he knows that when he returns to studying he will meet new people where he can apply all that he has learned. He wants to become an industrial designer, He wants to design new things, especially weapons.

Some tips on How to get out of your comfort zone:

  • Do everyday things differently.
  • Take your time making decisions.
  • Trust yourself in your decisions.
  • Do it in small ways.

Herman says he wants to recommend attending My Best Gap year to school leavers because you don’t attend this with your existing friends, so this forces you to build new relationships. In My Best Gap year, you get to know people with different backgrounds and different values. This helps to equip you for further studies at universities.

Signs of Maturity:

  • Maturity is to be able to tolerate negative things without getting even.
  • Maturity is patience.
  • Maturity is perseverance and hard work despite setbacks.
  • Maturity is not complaining or finding someone to blame when things get difficult.
  • Maturity is humility. Not being too proud to admit mistakes.
  • Maturity is to evaluate a situation, decide and stick to the decision.
  • Maturity is dependability, keeping your word, being worthy of trust.
  • Maturity is living in peace with what you cannot change, not worry.

If you want to break out of your comfort zone, become more mature and want to be part of The My Best Gap year. Please contact Reneé Van Wyk at  info@mybestgapyear.co.za or visit our Contact Us page.

Be authentically you

Be authentically you- with Roodt

Roodt is a very sensitive young man with a lot of creative passion. Roodt is attending My Best Gap year in 2017. When Roodt was in Gr.9 he had to move schools, which produced some difficulties regarding subject choices and language differences. He felt in school he made a few wrong choices regarding the subjects he wanted to take.

“Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself. – Wayne Dyer”

He then decided to attend My Best Gap Year. So far, he has learned what career type’s suits his talents. He wants to study Graphic design because he is very creative. He has already subscribed for a course next year. He says the course is extremely comprising. He believes that My Best Gap Year is helping him to see what he enjoys in life. He says he is not concerned with making a lot of money but rather with enjoying what he does. Because if he enjoys what he does it will bear bigger rewards. He wants to stay close to his family and friends but also travel to New Zealand for recreation purposes.

“Your Authentic self will sell itself. – Live Bomb”

He says he will recommend My Best Gap Year for school leavers because then you can be sure of what you want to do and what you are passionate about. It helps you to become someone who will outlast if you do what you like.

Here are a few general tips to become more authentic like Roodt;

  1. Know who you are, know what your values are. If you don’t know start by observing yourself.
  2. Keep an open mind and look for real connections with others. All humans have some things in common. Try to understand other people and their perspectives.
  3. Live in the moment. It is easy to be in conversation and while someone is talking to you, in your mind you are planning your answers, but you stopped to listen to them. This is one of the signs that you are no longer in the moment.
  4. Answer the following question: What will people know about you if they really know you?
  5. Don’t try to be too perfect. It is impossible to be perfect. If you are always trying to be perfect or act in the perfect manner, you are inauthentic.
  6. Take notes of when you think you are being inauthentic.
  7. Trust your intuition.

If you want to learn more about being yourself and want to be part of The My Best Gap year. Please contact Reneé Van Wyk at  info@mybestgapyear.co.za or visit our Contact Us page.

To Work In Teams Or Not

Successful teams are an asset to Organizations and no matter what your personality type is – it is simply expected of everyone to work well together. No matter your job or the company you work for, your age or your race – teamwork is part of most positions and therefore essential. As the saying goes; “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

We have all been communicating since we were born, however, we find it still to be one of the biggest challenges in the workplace. Every individual would be more successful by improving their communication skills and by interacting successfully within their teams. Conflict is also an inevitable part of working relationships and we can’t deny that this happens all the time in the workplace.

There are many important factors that we should consider if we want to get to know our fellow team members. Understanding your team members’ strengths and weaknesses will help to build a stronger team.  Another important factor of teamwork is that teamwork also builds morale. If you feel that your work is being valued and that your ideas contribute to the greater success of the Company it will not only build confidence but also trust.  Bottom line is teams that work well together can produce greater results.

According to a recent Havard Business Review, there are certain challenges that teams nowadays encounter.  Some of these challenges are –  ineffective leadership; lack of creativity; lack of participation and inability to resolve a conflict.

But why do people and especially young people find it difficult in modern society to participate?

According to “FastCompany” and an article was written by Thomas Chamorro- Premuzic, (https://www.fastcompany.com/3068194/a-psychologist-finally-explains-why-you-hate-teamwork-so-much) there are some personality traits which explains why people find it difficult to participate in teams:

  • Ambition: When things go badly it is believed to be often the most ambitious team members that start to blame others.  These ambitious team members are also most likely to challenge the leader’s authority.
  • Creativity and openness to experience: Innovation is important but even more important is openness.  How open are you to new ideas, suggestions or change?  The more open you are the more you will embrace change and innovation.
  • Conscientiousness and Self-control: One of the biggest personality traits that contribute to team success is conscientiousness.  Conscientious people are more reliable and diligent.  Even when they aren’t always intrinsically motivated by a task – they might still perform well, be self-disciplined and avoid distractions.

Whatever the personality traits of team members we can’t deny that we should emphasize emotional-intelligence and self-awareness within our teams.  We should start listening to one another and start asking effective questions.  We should be open to change and innovation and create a culture of creative awareness, but most important we should inspire and influence each other in a positive way.  Our teams are the future for success!

Magic Happens When We Move

Young people get advice on careers from all parts of life.  Our parents tell us what they want us to become.  Society gives us a glimpse of what the cool and professional jobs are and what is not so cool.  Schools tell us what is smart and what is stupid.  But who tells our life stories?  Who is the one person that will be there throughout your life to tell your story?  It is YOU, isn’t it?

Truth is our parents, the school and, society won’t be there to hold our hands forever and therefore it is crucial that we rather take our own advice.  Listen to others – it might make a huge difference in your life to listen, however also make sure that you listen to your own advice. There is so much truth in the saying “Actively mastering what you have passively suffered”.

When people tell others about themselves, they kind of must do it in a narrative way—that’s just how humans communicate. But when people think about their lives to themselves, is it always in a narrative way, with a plot that leads from one point to another? There’s an old saying that says: “Everyone has a book inside of them”

Each of us has a story to tell and sometimes our life themes lie within these stories.  Dr. Cobus Marais has designed a Career Interest Questionnaire (CIP: Career Interest Profile) where we are encouraged to look at these life themes to identify and to enable us to self-construct our own careers.  This makes so much more sense than taking numerous psychometric and other Aptitude tests which most often tell us what we already know.  Career counselling should be aimed at empowering clients to reflect on their life stories to identify their main life themes based on which they can construct their careers.  One should ideally listen to one voice and follow one person’s advice only because that is also the person that one can then blame if things do not turn out the way one would want them to be.  Whose voice is that?

Make sure that when you are on the journey to discovering your career you find out who you truly are.


Do a mind map about your life or a collage – it is fun but it will also give you such a good idea of who you are.

Ask people everywhere you go about their careers.  Research on careers takes time, the sooner you start the better.

Accept yourself – you don’t have to think, do and act like the others.

Read and read and read and read.

Ask yourself:  What do I want?  Then come up with a plan.

Finding Purpose Is Essential

Finding purpose in life is about knowing who you are!

Purpose meaning: “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. a person’s sense of resolve or determination.”

By knowing who we are, we become aware of our strengths, our challenges, our dreams.  We become aware of what makes us tick and where we get our energy from but knowing who we also take time.  It takes introspection, reflexion and sometimes a great deal of effort.

We think we know ourselves but we so very often lack self-confidence.  We are afraid of making mistakes and in a sense, we are sometimes our own worst enemy. When last did you ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing?

We make daily certain sacrifice and sometimes we even lie awake in the evenings trying to justify these sacrifices.  The moment we become aware of the reasons why we are doing what we are doing, the sacrifices make more sense or maybe you realize it does not make sense at all.  It is more than just asking the question:  what is in it for me?  It is about asking yourself – What are my REASONS for doing this? What is your WHY?  Within these answers lie the value of having a purposeful life.  We all have different reasons for doing what we are doing and once we discover our own truth – we grow.  We develop through our failures and through our fortunes and then we find our purpose.

According to Timothy A. Kelly is the good news that everyone has a purpose. The even better news is that it doesn’t have to take very long to learn what it is! You don’t need to go searching for your purpose; it is already inside you. It has been guiding you your whole life, whether you are aware of it or not. (e-book by Timothy A. Kelly 2004). If we do in life the things that support our purpose – our soul gives us positive feedback.  Timothy also states in his e-book that if we align what we do with our purpose we find obstacles easier and we are energetic.  When we live a purposeful life, it feels very different.

Take time to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Be careful of focusing on the negative rather ask yourself: What can I change?
  2. What is your long-term view: Looking back at your life when were the times when you felt that you are living “in purpose”?  One day if you look back at your life – what will you remember about your life? What is the legacy you want to leave?
  3. Become aware of your reasons. Why in the first place did I make this decision or take up this challenge?  Write down your reasons, it helps to understand the sacrifice.
  4. Always believe in yourself. Ask yourself:  What will be my contribution?
  5. Develop yourself: How can I learn more?
  6. Visualise and see what you want: What does the perfect outcome look like for me?
  7. Come up with a dream but be sure to leave with a plan. What is the next one, two or three steps I need to take?
  8. What is your WHY?

Finding your Purpose, will not only make you happy, it will add value to the world around you. It will help you preserve and finish what you start. It is a necessary ingredient in leaving a legacy and building a heritage in your community.

Discovering Your Career

Do you want just a job or are you serious about a career?  Some even refer to it as a calling.  What is your calling and have you find your purpose yet?

We often feel bewildered when we are young adults and we are literally at the doorsteps of one of the biggest decisions we must make in life – career choice.  We consider various options just to find out that there are now new, more modern more upbeat, interesting and stranger career options than the previous years. We sometimes feel that if we commit to a certain career option we might lose out on something better. The newer technologies and job descriptions have entered everyday life the more we become confused and overwhelmed, finding ourselves facing too many options and too many challenges.

If you feel paralyzed about all the different options and trends – please know that you are not alone.  It is only a small group of young adults who have a crystal-clear idea of what it is they want to become in life.

Going through these ups and downs regarding discovering your career is not always just bad or threatening it can be a thrilling and fulfilling process and one should not forget – a privilege.  But where do we start?

According to my own experience and because I have worked with young adults, helping them discovering their careers for many years now

– The best way to start discovering your career is with YOU.  Who are you?  Here are some tips on where to start and what options to consider:

  • Start making a list of your interests and your personality traits: it is very important that you start discovering who you are, what are your likes and dislikes and what type of conversations are you interested in?  Do you like working with new ideas, people or are you more analytical?  Once you know what your interests are – you should explore it.
  • What circumstances would fit your dream job: Even though some of these ideas can be quite unrealistic it is a good thing to ask yourself this question.  Make a list, using all your senses.  Where would you like to work?  Would you love to work outside, in an office, in a quiet office, with people or with lots of excitement or maybe with children?  What does this dream of yours look like? Write it down describing what you see and how your preferred day at work will look like.
  • Start asking to questions & expand your horizons: You can never ask too many questions when it comes to different careers.  Go visit your parents’ friends and organize to do some job shadowing – this is probably the most important step.  Do research.  Do your own research.  This is not something that your mom can do on your behalf – you should visit places and talk to people and go out there and see for yourself what the different jobs are all about. Be curious – once you’ve explored some things you might be interested in, start expanding your horizons.
  • If you are not certain at all – take a gap year: Research has indicated that a gap year has a positive effect on most students.  What is however important is that you use this year to gain information, do research, find out who you are, do job shadowing, build your CV or join a Gap year programme where you can get the opportunity to get exposure to all the above. Try new things. Do more volunteering or part-time work or sign up for something new and exciting.
  • You are not alone if you feel overwhelmed: there are so many students out there who don’t know what and where to study.  Take one step at a time.  Finding out who you are, speak to professionals who can help to assess you, visiting places to see if you might be interested and gain some new skills (learn new things every day), these are just some of the baby-steps you can start to take.

Remember the future is in your hands – not your parent’s or your teacher’s or your Country’s hands.  You and only YOU are responsible for your future so TAKE ACTION.  It is never too late and once you have taken ACTION – don’t be afraid to fail!