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Lessons on Success from Cordelia Foxx

Now that the third season of American Horror Story, entitled Coven, is over, we’re left with a desire to know what season four will bring. With this desire, however, comes reflection – a reflection of the lessons Coven gave us. Taking place in New Orleans, Coven is about a school – Ms. Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies – and the perils the witches face. The head of the coven is the supreme, Fiona Goode and the Headmistress of the school is her daughter, Cordelia Foxx.

Throughout the season, the fight for power elevates and witches tred one another’s broomsticks in order to get what they want. At the brunt of that is Cordelia who gets pushed around by a number of people, her mother included. In the end, however, Cordelia does not only become the supreme but the most hailed of witches. What, therefore, does Cordelia’s character and actions tell us about success? How does she go from the Headmistress to someone that lurks in the shadows to top dog? Read on and find out.

You don’t have to play dirty

A lot of the witches have no boundaries. A lot of them, in fact, are killers, all but Cordelia. Of course, in your career you won’t have to kill someone – we hope! – but Cordelia resembles a character with her morals in the right place. The common misconception that to succeed you have to be brutal is dissolved. Cordelia remains honest and true throughout the season. Yes, she gets pushed around but as she refuses to play dirty like the rest of them she’s the one that comes out on top.

Others will come and think you’re not doing it right

Cordelia is time and time again told that she’s a failure, both as a Headmistress and as a protector for the young witches. Others swoop in – sometimes, quite literally – and inform her of what a lousy job she’s doing. In these moments she’s silenced – others can do it better, they say – yet her silence, her intellect in absorbing of what’s going on around her becomes one of the reasons that makes her come out as the most successful. Egos are big within the career world but that doesn’t mean you have to have one.

You have to make sacrifices

As stated before, Cordelia lurks in the background. By doing this, however, she is making a sacrifice. She's deciding to put others before herself - her students, other members of the coven - in order for them to advance. She is not, therefore, just being selfless, she is giving herself time to learn. When on the path to a career, some people will out shadow you. To put the brakes on, help, aid, will help you. There's no better way to practice than by doing and that doesn't necessarily have to be your doing.

Pay attention to the minor details

In the beginning, Cordelia doesn't possess much magic or power. Due to this, she spends a lot of time in the garden making potions and attending to plants. The small things she knows, however, are crucial to her success and when she's successful. If it weren't for her potion making she wouldn't have been able to cure the girls from fights they had or spells gone wrong. Keeping a firm eye on the minor details will lead to success - it will, in the end, help you avoid mistakes. 

Patience is indeed a virtue

So you’ve come to understand that Cordelia is definitely out-shadowed throughout the season yet she remains patient. She has a firm belief that everything will turn out right and works hard towards that, no matter how long it takes or how much grief she will get for it. Patience is crucial when it comes to succeeding. Not everything comes when you want it. Time keeps ticking and you might feel like you’re losing rather than gaining. With patience, however, you’ll see that silver lining, just like Cordelia. 

It’s an odd thing, finding lessons in something that my not directly be there to inform but Coven has done just that. Although about witches and magic, the characters are well groomed and have a lot to offer. In the case of Cordelia Foxx she shows us what it means to be the boss in the beginning, fail and eventually succeed. With these lessons in mind, you’ll do so too. 

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