My kids were out of college and on their own, and I decided to leave a Fortune 500 corporate role, to live the life I’d always dreamed: coaching people and organizations manage change, teaching yoga, and serving communities in my home state of RI. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs so that spirit is my main model for good business. Today, I’m doing it. I am self-employed, and my days are filled with coaching private clients and strategizing with businesses. I practice and teach yoga regularly, and I have founded RI’s first Connected Warriors program, serving RI Veterans and their families. (www.connectedwarriors.org)
Often, my work is to help clients recognize what they already know, and understand how they can use that to operate at their highest potential. Very often that knowing leads them to fast-forward. I am a master at synchronizing information and helping clients find clarity. Nothing beats that!
I’m here to tell you it’s all possible. At the moment I left one shore and embarked upon this journey of change, the easiest way for me to embrace it was to view my life as an experiment, as if it were all practice for something bigger. We get extremely caught up in our jobs. In most cases, our lives maintain a constant focus on external social approval. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean money is not important. Money is your vehicle for something else, but living your life now is a priority. The “journey” thing is real. As Martha Beck says, “there’s only one experience you don’t live through.”
I’m also here to tell you NOBODY’S perfect. Knowing there is no perfection makes things a whole lot easier! It’s likely our masterful gurus and leaders know this at the outset, but usually we all get schooled every step of the way. If we’re listening and learning, we’ll excel. It’s a simple concept – no perfection – but it is not an easy one, as any professional perfectionist knows well!
I began my work like I begin with many clients. I ask: What is your mission? What is the ambition you will most likely never reach? It’s so wild and improbable, it probably won’t ever happen. Then I show them how it can and it will. It incorporates things they already know. There’s always something they want to share in the world, and by using their skills, talents and training, they can actually do it, and get paid for it!
Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, describes a mission statement as “beginning with the end in mind.” A life-directing mission statement can help you keep the focus when inevitable hurdles rise up. If you know what your “ultimate awesomeness” looks like in your mind’s eye, it’ll keep you going, and it’ll hold your course for the next few months.
And so, here’s how it went down. I left my well-paying job in March. In July I realized I’m a perfectionist! I hemmed and hawed over details, completing tasks that were just that – tasks. I needed a break. I needed to relax and think, not do. I needed to realize that thinking was just as, if not more, important to my success than sitting at my desk and being busy. In the world of office work looking busy seems important, but it accomplishes very little. (That’s next time…leaders matter!)
I was trying to create what I wanted by doing what I did in a job I didn’t love. What I really needed to discover was the best way for ME to operate at MY highest potential. So I started writing – 3 pages a day. They’re called Morning Pages (from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way) and sometimes they were just a rant until they began to expose my Mission!
My mission is to reassure every single person that playing small will never serve them, or the world. We were meant to shine. (Google Marianne Williamson: Our Deepest Fear.) We have immense pressure to “manage ourselves” based on someone’s else’s standard. But what does living YOUR best life really look like to you? What will making your business the best it can be really feel like? What are you doing when you’re having the time of your life?
There are so many ways to access your gifts, talents, and strengths. But how cool is it to think that you could come away with something that fits and feels perfect for you and only you, or your organization? I have only just begun to use my life to help others grow, in the sweetest, most kick-ass way! It’s Day One all over again!