If I took a poll and asked the question, “how many of you are doing what you truly love?” I wonder what percentage of respondents could answer in the affirmative? I’m sure there are many of you who can, and it would be music to my ears. Unfortunately, however, I come across so many people for whom the opposite is true: their response would be a resounding “No”, and I can admit I’ve also lived in that place!
What place you ask? Well, give me the liberty to describe it to you: Imagine a full-fledged baby-machine, fully loaded and capable of all related tasks—creating, incubation, delivery, feeding, nurturing, healing, soothing, protecting, teaching, and care—and how magnificent a piece of machinery like that would be! If only it were real. Right? Well would you believe me if I told you machines like this actually do exist, but, that they’re really not machines at all; they’re humans, and they accomplish those feats and more, every day, without even blinking an eye! I know this because I was one of them, and this was my existence for ten straight years!
Did I love my job—No! In fact, there were times when I hated being a mother and the sacrifices it required. Sure, I dreamed of a big family and even a house-full of kids when I was little, but how could I have ever known then the full cost: that my dreams would have to be wait-listed and shelved, in order to give my children their own set of wings.
So, I sat the bench, but with much resentment, and struggled to come to terms with the choice I had made. Then one day, for reasons I still can’t figure, I got an epiphany—it told me that it was okay that I had morphed into this new creation, because that was not the sum total of who I was. Yes, I was a machine, but I was still a writer; a machine, but still the girl who loved to sing; a machine and no less an inspiration: a machine who still had an eye to create! After nearly a decade of crashing and breaking against the wind, my wave of acceptance finally reached the shore. As a result, I relaxed and settled into the space where I could enjoy being a mother. It was a much more calming place to be.
Then a shift happened again: as they are often known to do, my children got older and my responsibilities changed. With their increasing independence, I rediscovered space and time for myself, followed by a road leading back to my passions; only now I was equipped with the understanding and maturity to bring to them to the the light.
Now some of you may be wondering am I still a human machine? The answer to which would be yes! Only now, instead of coddling, there’s coaching; I no longer carry children, but rather, chauffeur. Sleepless nights have been replaced with long days, and nursery rhymes have gone the way of intense talks– all of which is okay. I’m finally at the place where I anticipate the shifts, and I’ve made peace with times I still have to wait; it’s because I can upgrade myself whenever it suits me, and also download any information I need. It’s ironic though, that peace came by way of what I once despised–the very essence of my being a machine!
To help me get through my period of waiting, here are 7 things that helped me– I’m sure you can benefit as well!
- Remember, then Get Crystal Clear! Being in-between the place where we’re at, and where we want to be is a state many people find themselves in at certain times in their lives; its not abnormal and doesn’t have to be problematic. One of the reasons it becomes so, however, is because people lose sight of their goals and/or, they forget their who and why: the who being your most authentic self, the why is simply what motivates you. Identifying, or reconnecting with those things, can reset your focus and realign you back on the path of toward your goals!
- Make Room! I have a mantra I live by: when you clear out old things that are not really needed, you make room for things that are both better and new. That goes for people, places and things: people in our lives who neither inspire us, nor contribute to us in positive ways, places that are not healthy and no longer serve us, and things that don’t add substantial value to our existence– all these things are akin to clutter and unnecessary weight. Hence, getting rid of them is crucial if you want to make room to grow!
- Practice Makes Perfect! You’d have to be living off the grid or under a rock not to know LeBron James or Serena Williams, nevertheless, for those of whom this might be the case, James and Williams are two of the greatest athletes of our generation, dominating in their respective sports of basketball and tennis. Some, even place the two in the ultra-exclusive categories of being the greatest of all time. What one should note about them however, is that their wins aren’t just secured the moment they hit the court, to the contrary, they’re the results of the years of effort, consistency, dedication and hard work each put into their craft before the world even knew their names!
- Find a Mentor! I think this is the most crucial mistake most people make: they attempt to go about being successful alone. The problem with doing it that way is that it wastes too much time; just think of the pitfalls you could avoid, how much faster you could grow, and how many hours, months, and years you could shave off of reaching a certain destination with the help of someone who’s already traveled where you want to go! Whether you pay someone for their expertise, follow people virtually, and/or utilize individuals around you, mentors are the light that keep you from having to trek towards your goals in the dark.
- Don’t Quit! It is a fact of life that those who work the hardest and who persevere through difficult times, are typically rewarded the most handsomely. Look at doctors, attorneys, prominent actors and actresses, financial moguls, etc. Each of those lanes offer phenomenal benefits, nonetheless, all require many years of endurance to achieve. Take Beyonce’ for example, she’s one of the worlds most celebrated entertainers, still, I once watched a performance of her in the group Destiny’s Child, in which she and her group mates were booed at the end (Philly circa 2001) . Now, Just imagine the loss to the world and to herself, if she had just given up– we can learn much from her example if we just take note!
- Keep Watch! Reaching a certain goal doesn’t only require planning and preparation, but also great timing as well. As such, it takes a watchful eye to be on the lookout for opportunities when they arise; doing that means staying as close to your desired field as possible, (even before you are fully in), in order to stay constantly in the loop.
- Break Out/Take a Chance! Nothing wonderful has ever come by playing it safe– babies, which are one of the most amazing phenomenons in this world, enter earth through much pain; flowers only bloom with the aid of dirt and rain, and sunsets are only brilliant because they break up the darkness of night! Some of our most rewarding and beneficial experiences will only come by stepping out of our comfort zones and doing things that we’re not used to. Having the courage to do something different, however, when the time is right, is usually a catalyst for both physical and emotional rewards!
If you’ve ever been “stuck” in a job, situation, relationship, or life circumstance that you longed to get out of, let us know below, and tell us what helped you to move out of it? For those still waiting, now, tell us what you do to cope?