My intention when I first started writing this blog was to INSPIRE and MOTIVATE you. There is one person who has come into my life recently who has inspired ME in so many ways. That is my friend, Becky. She’s become sort of a mentor to me. Becky has helped me grow into the person I am today. Loves, I am BEYOND thrilled that she agreed to write a guest post for my blog today! I know she will motivate YOU! I am so excited for her to share her beautiful heart with all of you ❤ And Becky, THANK YOU for being such a wonderful & special friend. You make me a better person.
**This post was made possible by (and is dedicated to) the lovely Amanda Leigh Tyson who has reminded me of my own heart goals and shows me every single day how she is following hers. I love you girl!!**
Hello to all of you lovely readers! In Amanda’s last post, she talked about our journey through Jillian Michael’s new book, Unlimited, and identifying the role (or roles) that we take on in our lives. I want you to think about what your role might be. Now think back to when you were younger and the whole world was at your fingertips – before you learned what you are “supposed to do” or “how the real world works” – what did you want to do with your life? Do you remember feeling energized and ALIVE with possibility?
Is the character you are playing keeping you from living out those possibilities (or what I like to call heart goals)?
The character I have always played is “the good girl.” I’ve always tried to have my act together – get good grades in school, keep my life organized, save money, follow the expectations and norms of society, etc. I like to do the right thing and be responsible. I am a planner. I play by the rules.
In fact, I’m so addicted to being responsible that I think I’ve lost touch with the gifts God blessed me with and the purpose He instilled in me. I’ve forgotten my heart goals.
When I applied to graduate school, I had to write a personal statement about why I wanted to pursue a master’s degree in public health. In my essay I wrote that my dream was to travel around the world bringing people together to find solutions to the health issues in their communities. My focus was on the people and the need for collaboration. I didn’t want to design a program or research the effectiveness of an intervention. I just wanted to round up everyone in the community with any expertise, social clout or political responsibility to talk and work together.
I actually did some of this work on my university campus as a graduate student – I teamed up with a medical student and we designed a course that brought dental, medical & public health students and faculty into the same classroom to work together to solve an issue at a local community health organization. It was hard and there were many obstacles but we made it happen because we believed that we could.
When I started the job search, I looked to see who was doing the kind of work I wanted to do. I found the PERFECT organization. I networked with them and made some really solid connections. Upon graduation, I thought I would be a shoo-in for a job with this organization.
Not so much. I was able to get one phone interview that I think was just because the VP of the company had put in a good word for me. Working at my dream organization was not going to happen.
It CRUSHED me.
I talked to several people who said that I wouldn’t have been happy there anyways because as a young, early career professional, I would be stuck pushing papers. I believed what I was told that “You have to be experienced and well-established to become a freelance consultant” (which is the kind of work I imagined to fit my dreams). I accepted that I would have to wait until I was 45 or 50 to do this kind of work.
So here I am in the real world and I have let the expectations of society define my goals. Anybody else with me? You have bills to pay. You can’t pursue that dream job because it’s too risky and you need another degree/more experience/the right connections to ever be successful. So you accept the status quo. Work is something you trudge through to get to the end of the day/the weekend/vacation. Your goals revolve around your 401k, your waistline and your possessions.
What about your dreams? Your heart goals? Why do we abandon those? Why can’t we pursue those too?
Following your heart goals doesn’t necessarily mean quitting your job, moving somewhere new or going back to school (although it might!). The first step is reminding yourself of what brings you joy and fulfillment and then looking for ways to bring that back into your life. Maybe it’s asking for a new project at work or seeking out volunteer work. The possibilities are endless.
I challenge you to take a look at your goals, priorities, and day to day responsibilities. Identify the things in your life that you’re doing out of obligation. What are you working towards in your life just because it’s “the right thing to do” by society’s definition”? (I’m not talking about being totally irresponsible here – please do still pay your bills! :)) Maybe you’re climbing the ladder at a company because it pays well, it’s secure and you know someone who really loves to work there (so you think you’ll eventually love it too).
Think about what would happen if you stopped going after those things. Where else could you direct that energy? Decide what YOU want YOUR life to look like. Not your mom, not your best friend, not your boyfriend. These are YOUR dreams.
These are my heart goals: Connect people to each other and help people to focus on what matters most. I imagine a world where our work is a reflection of our hearts – and our solutions come from working together. I want to work directly with people and groups – I love people! I don’t want to be stuck behind a computer.
If I still play by the rules of society, I’ll end up waiting 20 more years until I start pursuing my heart goals. Well, I really believe that I can start pursuing my heart goals in the job I have today and I am really excited to open myself up to the true potential for my career. And guess what, I will NOT wait until I am 40 to do the work I love. You shouldn’t either 🙂 It’s NEVER too late!
(And if you ARE over 45, you have SO much experience to draw on. I bet you have already collected many skills and talents that you can apply to your life this very day)
I’m going to be working on pursuing these goals in the coming months and will be launching a new blog in the fall (after I get married! Eeee!). I know Amanda will be involved in this pursuit in some way so I hope to get to know each of you and your heart goals in due time!
My parting words for you today: Don’t let the expectations and norms of society hold you back. Don’t get jaded! Your life has purpose (not just one either, MANY!) and I know with conviction that God’s plans for your life are much bigger than you have imagined.
We were not created to live in the shadows. Every single day is an opportunity to discover what makes you come alive.
Ps. You can read more about me on the following blogs: http://rebeccakate101in1001.blogspot.com/ –http://missbeckyinbelize.blogspot.com/ –http://missbeckyinafrica.blogspot.com/
and you can also find me on twitter: @RebeccaCondon