We are who we are… based on the past. It’s the experience, the past lessons we’ve received that make us who we are today; that motivate us to make certain decisions. There are easy lessons, and of course the hard lessons, we learn from. Nonetheless, looking back, it’s usually the most difficult times that have taught us the greatest lessons. They are definitely the ones that stick in our heads, in our hearts, and change us, hopefully for the better. These are the lessons we never forget, we remember the agony, the pain of the experience, and we need to look for the lesson it teaches us. Although, many times it is difficult to know what lesson is being taught, especially when enduring the difficult situation. But, in time, you will see what the lesson is, and it will not be forgotten. These difficult lessons give us resolve for the future, and the difficult times that will certainly come again. Yes, we must remember, life is an endless lesson, and as Malcolm X said, “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”
Yes, I can admit (for the most part), I am truly grateful for the past experiences , the past events, the past relationships, I have enjoyed, and some I have painfully endured, because without them, I would not have learned the life lessons needed to realize, or steadfast the path to my goal, my dreams, my future.
Well, I made the change, and you’ve made a change (THE change), or are getting ready to make it, either way, we’re moving forward with our changes, our decisions towards our goal. Yes!… But wait… what about… the old path? You probably have the urge to find out what is happening back there, but fight it. Fight the urge to look back! You have made the RIGHT decision to change your path, move forward, and look ahead, straight ahead , towards your new goal, towards the future- so don’t look back!
I don’t deny that our past experiences, our trials and tribulations, make us into who we are today. What we have gone through in the past, has shaped us, has shaped our character, our motivation, our dreams and goals. The past has shaped our dedication to fulfill our goals, for ourselves, to prove to ourselves that we can achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. Without our past, we wouldn’t be where, or WHO, we are today, that is an undeniable fact. Even still, there is no need to “dwell” on the past, we’ve made certain decisions to change our path towards our goal, and we need to stay focused on the road ahead, the future, therefore, don’t look back.
Remember the past, remind yourself why you’ve made the changes, because of what did and has happened to you. But don’t go back to that place, to wonder what might have been, simply go back to remember the lessons learned, and the ripples those lessons started…
“The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy
A few days ago I discussed how I stepped out of my comfort zone, and made the decision to change my career path, my goal path, to direct it more straight on to my ultimate goal. Yes, it was a difficult decision, and one I mulled over for many days, and sleepless nights. I was prepared, as you must be prepared, to make a decision you know you will be presented with, that can change your comfort zone. Take the time to weigh the options, and know what you will do. These types of decisions, which take you out of your comfort zone, make the hard decision that much more difficult. We are creatures of habit therefore we like our routines, our habits, what we know and are used to. We have to put that fear, that uneasiness out of our minds, it is not a pro, nor a con, just a fact and result of change, therefore ignore that fear, and focus on the future, and what the change will do in regards to focusing your path to your goal, towards your dream… direct the path to where you want it to go.
I know, it is difficult to ignore the fact that you are leaving the comfort zone as I said previously, but remind yourself that once you step out of it… it will slowly expand to encompass your current path! You have the ability to stretch your comfort zone, and mold it to wherever you want to go. Embrace the change, and the new zone, for it will soon encompass your new current path, towards your goal.
Not everything in life is black or white, glorious or miserable, but a bit in between, usually swaying towards one pole or another. These are usually the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make… because there is no clear cut choice. You have to search deep within your soul, your heart, it’s beyond logic… I recently had to make one of these difficult, life altering decisions (okay, dramatic!); but in all honestly, it did change my daily routine, my environment, my comfort zone. I changed my path, to a more direct (read: faster) one towards my goal.
This past Monday, I officially changed my career path. I left an organization who afforded me great opportunities, including career experience, personal growth, and wonderful (and others NOT so wonderful) working relationships, and the many friendships throughout the years. The days leading up to the final day were more difficult than anticipated, unexpected waves of emotion would come over me; most sentimental, others not so much.
Yet the final day came, and it was bittersweet. I was excited to begin my adventure down a new path, yet saddened by the one I was leaving behind.
I do not regret the decision I made, it had to be done. I had to be bold, and take the leap. Leaving the friendships behind was the most difficult part, but the true friends will stay near, no matter what career path. New friendships will develop also, and soon this new adventure will have its own routine that I will create and embrace. It will just take time, courage, and dedication. The new path will soon be lit by the warmth of comfort, familiarity, and reverie.
“Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie is its pleasure.” ~ Victor Hugo
Okay, so we talked about being independent, and having the courage to be bold, and take the leap to make the change you need to. Although, many times, it takes others, from the outside, to also know about your intended change, and goal. We can’t always achieve things on our own, we need a bit of assistance, perhaps guidance, and definitely encouragement to make the changes and our goals possible.
Therefore, you need to find your voice. Your voice to be able to tell others, your boss, your partner, your co-workers, that you are ready to make a change. Tell them what your goals are, network! If you tell your boss or other executives in your organization, about your personal professional goals, they may be able to assist. You must use your voice, and increase the volume and frequency, in order to increase your visibility and create an alliance of sorts with executives in your organization.
How does your boss know that you would like to be a professional executive at your current company? You must tell them, explain to them, and describe your goal and visions for yourself in the organization. In all aspects of life, you need to be able to verbalize your goal to supporters around you. Yes, it does take independence to make your decision, and select your goals, but you can, and should accept, and even ask help from those around you, from society, to assist you in your attainment of goals, especially if your goals are in a group setting. The group dynamic is key, and you may need their support to succeed and attain your goals.
When was the last time you found your voice?
We all need independence: independence to make our own decision, independence to make our own mistakes, and independence to discover our individual path. We must believe in ourselves, and learn from our mistakes, and our failures. Don’t let them discourage you, the best lessons learned, are learned through mistakes… you remember the lesson better! It takes courage to be independent, and make your own decision. You can feel a little bit anxious, or nervous to know and understand, that once a decision is made, it’s all on YOU! But this should inspire, and encourage you to be more creative, and follow your path to your goal. Think of creative ways to accomplish your mission, and to overcome your obstacles. In the work place, take independence to a different level, and practice autonomy. Use autonomy as often as you can, start small, and take chances. Your independent (and great decision) will be noticed, and you will be rewarded, with additional and increased autonomy. Increased autonomy and independence in a new position, or increased responsibilities in the same position, you will make a big impact with decisions made, and outcomes produced.
It takes courage to be independent, have independent thinking and make independent decisions, to shape your goals and your path. Take the initiative, and self-motivation, and make the decisions to achieve your goals. Take a chance, and take the leap… your goals are shaped by the decisions you make.
“You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
I would also like to take a moment to remember our forefathers and the sacrifices and decisions they made to grant us our Independence. And thank you to our troops, for their daily sacrifices, protecting our freedom and independence, a sincere and heart felt appreciation to them and their families.
God Bless America!
Sometimes, or I should say, many times, all we need is a little perspective. Stop, step back, BREATHE, and take another look at what has been plaguing you. We get tunnel vision, and all you see, focus on, and harp over, is that obstacle in your way, or the pain in your side. Stop, look away, look around you, and then look back, and try to assess the situation again. It’s much more difficult to see a solution during an issue or problem, or obstacle is occurring to you, while you are in the situation. You become engulfed, almost suffocated by the issue and problem that is plaguing you. This is why you need stop, take a deep breath, and attempt to look at it from the outside in. Try to see the situation through another’s eyes, through another point of view, through another perspective. This can shine a much different light on the issue than you had been focusing on. You may even be able to figure out a solution to your problem, looking from the outside in. Another prospective, can give you the answer you were looking for.
Put it into perspective, is that behemoth mountain really that, or is it just a mole hill blown way out of proportion? Sometimes we need a little reminder that molehills and anthills are just that, and not Mount Everest. I leave you with a scene from Men In Black, which demonstrates exactly how important perspective really is, because your reality could be someone else’s dream.
“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass