Career

Wobbly Legs and Wisdom: Finding Your Way Through Change

Growth Strategies.  New Business.  Divorce.  Second Chapters.  Reinvention.  Kids Gone.  Mid-Life.  New Life.

Transitions:  Unpredictable.  Exciting. Terrifying.

Especially when most everyone around you is shaking their heads and thinking you’ve gone crazy.  You mean you’re going to quit that high six-figure job to…..what?….did you say write a novel?…..do you know no one gets published?  Cutting a demo? Uh, huh. Sure.  You want to…what did you say….let go our largest customer and change market strategy…now?…..uh, how exactly do you expect to make payroll?

Big and bold.  The only changes that really matter;  the ones hardest to make.

So how do you know you haven’t lost your mind; that you aren’t quixotically chasing windmills and showing the first telltale  signs of self-delusional mania?  Well…I hate to tell you…but in the beginning, you often don’t….But you go forward anyway because you just know there’s no other option for you.

But what do you do when you’re not so sure?  When you feel like you’re about to risk it all and the only thing you know for sure is that you don’t know anything for sure?

Well; you begin at the beginning.  You search and investigate; read and ask; experiment and fail; in short, you seek.  You assemble a team: Coaches and mentors, boards and advisers, therapists and healers, psychics and tarot card readers–––whatever suits your fancy and floats your yet-to-be honed internal wisdom boat. You ask for feedback; you gather reference points; you take it all in.

And you do all that…only….if you are also willing to cast it all aside.  To take that which resonates and find your own way.  And that’s tricky in the beginning.  Tricky and majorly scary.  But trust me, over time those wobbly legs of internal wisdom develop enough heft to support even the weightiest of all your big, bold moves.

But warning! wisdom newbies…as with any tale of heroics, there’s a cautionary one here as well.  And it’s important so please, listen-up–––Because of anything, this is the one thing that can capsize that adventure-seeking boat of yours before it’s even left the dock:

When you’re about to do something new and exciting; something that is a departure from everything you’ve ever done; the big thing that will undoubtedly redefine who you are and who you are destined to become: It’s often the people who love you most whose advice will matter the least.  Paradoxically, and sometimes even tragically.

And why? Because the people who love you most, have a vested interest in who you are today; in preserving the status quo.  They’re the people who’ve paid for your education; who’ve met you at the end of the aisle; loaned you the money; have known you since you were ‘knee-high to a grasshopper.’  If you change; a part of them is forced to change as well.  Ooh.  Talk about scary….and threatening.

Which is not to say you secretly take out a loan without your spouse knowing, or quit a job with no way of paying the rent, or blow up the landscape around you so that it is as empty and barren as a moonscape.  Nope.  That would be foolish.

But sometimes, you will find that there are people in your life you will have no choice but to leave behind.  Who refuse to see you in any other way than how you used to be; who for whatever reasons of their own, can’t let go.  So when those naysayers and fear mongers surround you, smile at them and forgive them….and let them go.

And remember, at some point, you’ll need to quiet all those external voices anyway. You’ll need to go deep inside yourself to look for the answers on your own.  And you’ll find that they are there–––where they’ve always been–––right from the very beginning.

Good luck,  pioneers!

 

Monthly Mitzvah

One good act.  A simple gesture of kindness.

Helping the elderly shopper at the drugstore find the right battery when she can’t quite see the label.  Letting the one item customer cut ahead of you in line––making his day, or so you’re told.  Smiling at the homeless man even when there is a part of you that is scared by those crazy eyes.  Giving an assist to your frazzled co-worker, knowing that none of the credit for that sparkling presentation will go to you. Choosing to not go off on the customer service rep when your flight is delayed––for the third time that day.

That’s it.  Just one little act;  just once a month.

And not like you need a reason, but know with unshakable certainty, that the joy you’re spreading will be returned to you.

Vision: The Land of Great Imaginings

Ah, Vision…..The Land of Great Imaginings where your Inner Fairy Princess waves her virtual wand and makes all your dreams come true.  A magical world where hope grows on trees and the rivers flow with the sweet elixir of the possible.  A land of illimitable yes.

The Land of Vision is a place where no desire is too fantastic, no dream too fanciful.  A place where the you of your greatest imaginings (wearing Tom Ford, of course) accepts her second Oscar with a speech that will have them talking for years–––without the wardrobe malfunction.

There are no Naysayers or Bubble Bursters in the Land of Vision.  No editorials or ‘yeah buts.’  They live in another world––a cold and scary dominion that you will eventually have to visit, but not now; not yet.

For now, you are going to let yourself dance with joy from the sheer, magnificent possibility of it all.  You are going to walk the Red Carpet; launch the next Internet powerhouse; find the cure for cancer.  Script that Ted talk; pack for your book tour.  You are going to imagine yourself exactly where and how you want to be.

So yes, reality will eventually try and strip the sparkles from your wand.  But not today.  Today, you’re rocking it.  And the stadium is sold-out.

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