I had an experience last Wednesday that broke a levy which held back an ever-rising flood of my emotions. A single tear slowly cascaded down my cheek as I walked across a busy parking lot of the building I just left. My eyelids “gave-way” once I reached the shielding comfort of my car.
For several months, my attention and energy has been directed away from the elements of my life where I am comfortably proficient. Perhaps too comfortable.
Last Spring, I was recruited, chosen, and accepted a professional career position that I believe suits my education and experience well. Friends have told me, “This is what you are meant to do. Your whole life has led you to this!”
It’s a leadership position; a supervisory position; a position I’ve never held. It is a position I am not comfortable fulfilling due to my lack of experience. In my mind, I’ve been struggling to adequately fill the position of Director of Operations & Training.
That last sentence is where the issue lies. It’s the root cause of the problem that led to the dam-bursting tears. I am trying to be a position, a title, and an expectation of performance. I am trying to change who I am, rather than being more of who I am.
For many years now, I have aspired to live each day by a self-imposed set of guiding principles: Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant. My self-created Life’s Purpose is: To inspire people to appreciate the seemingly insignificant gifts we have in life and motivate them to be respectful, patient, and helpful to one another, to animals, and to Mother Earth.
Nowhere in the previous paragraph do I mention anything about being a Director of Operations & Training. My personal mission is not to be a business owner, dog behaviorist, supervisor, employee, team member, co-worker, son, brother, husband or friend. It’s none of that, but all of that at the same time.
Changing careers, changing jobs, moving to a new house, new town, or new state or taking vacations doesn’t make our lives better if we forget the essence of who we are. If we lose sight of our core-being, we begin to break down, as evidenced by a nagging cold or cough that won’t go away, or we end up in a puddle of tears in the front seat of our car.
The holiday season is tough for many people. Family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and strangers struggle. They are doing the best they can with the resources and the strength they have. I guarantee you, someone you know, perhaps even you, are struggling.
I hope this post encourages you to continue working hard to change your circumstances. That’s what they are – temporary external conditions. The picture of me is while I was on the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, CO (elevation: 14,000+ ft.) I was woefully unprepared for the 60 mph wind that accompanied the -6 degree temperature. The conditions were painful, but the views were spectacular.
And just 30 minutes earlier I was at the base of the mountain in a short-sleeved shirt enjoying the 60+ degree temperature.
My point is that we can quickly move from a comfortable environment, to appreciating the beauty that lies hidden behind a painful experience, to a enjoying a pleasant afternoon again in no-time at all. I was the same person, at my core, who enjoyed this day.
Please, don’t try to change who you are. You, in your soul, beneath the scarred-mask you wear, is the beautiful person you are meant to be. Let us see more of you!
Be more of who you genuinely are. We are waiting patiently for you to arrive!