I’ve thought a lot about what 2010 will hold for me. This has a great deal to do with the fact that 2010 is a brand new year for me in so many ways. A new company, new career, new energy, new habits and the chance to re-invent myself within an ever-changing industry.
It’s a new season in my life and the road I’m set to travel is very exciting. Especially after a year that nearly brought me to my knees. This has been without a doubt the most humbling year of my life. It’s also one that’s left me wanting more in every way possible.
Settling & why it Tears out Your Soul –
I settled in my career – I can now look back and realize that I’d slowly walked away from the responsibilities that filled me with passion and hope as I pursued them. Like many of you, I followed other avenues, feeling that the path I was on was one that wouldn’t always captivate me.
So I moved in a new direction, and like the shiny ornament on the Christmas tree, I was drawn to it. It took me 2 years of rebuilding, restructuring and renegotiating “non-negotiables” with myself to realize that I’d walked away from the very reason I’d entered this industry…to serve others. Instead I found myself acting as a manager/glorified babysitter and fighting fires all day long. The spark that had ignited in me the desire to pursue a career in the mortgage industry so many years ago was fading. I felt lost and helpless to change the situation I was in. I believed I was doomed to repeat my mistakes and saw no way out. Until one day 3 weeks ago…
I settled in my marriage – We have two boys, one a sophomore in college and the other heading off to college. It’s been a year filled with student loan applications, orientations, test taking and college visits. I became so engrossed in the process and fact that this was my “last year” with my son (yes we mom’s are quite dramatic about this moment in our child’s life) that I couldn’t see how far I was pulling away from my husband. I was miserable at work, mourning the loss of my son (there I go again with the drama) and trying desperately to throw myself further into my failing career so I wouldn’t’ notice all the other holes in my life. I knew I was dangerously close to losing everything I had…husband, family, career but felt helpless to change. Until one day 3 weeks ago…
I settled financially – I had my family teetering on the verge of bankruptcy all because I believed in my vision. Problem was – nobody else, including my employer did.
Then three weeks ago a light bulb went off in my head. I’d been contemplating a life changing decision. A leap of faith that would take not just mine, but the lives of those I love in a new direction. If you can’t tell by now, I’m passionate about living the “life you’ve always dreamed of” and settling for nothing less. So imagine my dismay to realize that that’s exactly what I’ve been doing the last several years? I’ve settled for the (gasp) status quo. I’d settled into a completely miserable existence, but one I felt I controlled and understood. Up until that day three weeks ago.
I was leaving for a conference that I was less than enthused about. In fact, I was traveling to this conference as my final fact finding mission. I needed to know – Was this life the one I wanted to carry into next year or was it the moment of truth? Would I face my fear and make a change or would I stay where I was and attempt to climb out of the rut I’d allowed myself to fall into? As I contemplated these thoughts, I found myself stuck on the tarmac for over an hour. Now watch out because here come all of the analogies. We were stuck because the engine, our sole support of power, was dead. So what happened next? They brought a mechanic in to “jump start” the lifeless engine. After an hour of attempting to breathe life back into our plane, we were finally cleared to leave. However, we backed out only to find another engine die and the possibility of flying completely halted. The only way back to the gate was to be pushed. We then proceeded to wait another 30 minutes while they determined if the plane could be repaired or whether we would deplane and find a newer, better, more capable plane that would actually take flight. Hmmm…sense any similarities to the life I’d settled for above?
Now let me say loud and clear, I don’t believe in chance. Chance is for those that don’t have the guts to make a decision but instead wait for the wind to blow them in the “right” direction. I know you’ll find this ironic, but while I don’t believe in chance, I’m a huge believer in signs. I’m always on the lookout for them and know that if I’m open and willing to change, the decision will become clear.
My decision was crystal clear. Change was in the air and it wasn’t a simple “if I change this one thing in my life” kinda change. It was dramatic and could only bring remarkable results. It’s interesting to me how we interpret these signs and what within us allows us to make that final decision. Is it a deep desire to know what that next step is or is it a childlike curiosity of the unknown? I believe life offers us both sensations. The childlike ability to “live in the moment” and feel all that’s around us as well as the capacity to stretch ourselves into territory yet un-traveled.
I’ve always interpreted Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” to say the moment when we make the scary; possibly unpopular decision to move in a new direction is the moment of truth in all of our lives. It’s that space in time when nothing else matters except one thing; taking the path that leads to our happiness: the road “not yet” taken.
My last request……………..
Please take a moment to walk through a little exercise I call – “I WILL!!” This has empowered me to take back my life and start fresh knowing I will never settle again. Commit to making 2010 the “Year you WILL ____________ (fill in the blank)” as many times and for as many sheets of paper that your hand will allow for.
Here are a few of mine:
- I WILL: Never settle for second best
- I WILL: Put my family before my career
- I WILL: Embrace the future with joy and an open heart
- I WILL: Envision my life full of possibility
- I WILL: See the doors of opportunity opening around me and welcome them with open arms
- I WILL: Live a life full of abundance
- I WILL: Attract positive-minded people to me
- I WILL: Make powerful and enjoyable business relationships
What would yours be? I’d love to hear your answers and how you’re making it an outstanding 2010!