For the past two months or so I feel like my life has been on a roller-coaster of sorts. Turns out that running a coaching practice (part-time) alongside a full time regular job isn’t a piece of cake. Add to that trying to launch a whole new enterprise on transformational leadership and change management plus keeping the boys in my life smiling and I was basically spinning!
The one lesson that I have learnt during this time is this: Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!
You see, right before this roller-coaster episode of my life, I had been forlornly regarding my life as too slow and not exciting or challenging enough. I did not feel that I was utilizing my skills and passion to their full potential and I was generally feeling that my progress was too slow for my liking.
Now it’s quite true that life is strange and things happen when you least expect them to. Suddenly, in the course of a couple of weeks, I had numerous queries regarding my coaching practice with people requesting for sessions out of the blue. I took this in stride since I love coaching and promptly snapped up the opportunities. However, life was not yet done with me. Two major responsibilities were dumped in my lap, both requiring my time and attention. Suddenly the hours in the day shrunk to non-existent, and I began to feel overwhelmed at the immense pressure. I was literally coming apart at the seams and the balls that I was juggling began to fall to the ground one by one. I felt I had spread myself too thin and in typical cave-woman fashion, I dropped everything, shut down and bolted myself into my cave to figure out what to do.
The one thing that conflicted me the most was the fact that all these were excellent opportunities – people would kill for them. I kept feeling that if I didn’t grab them now, then they would be gone for good and I would regret it for life. The more I kept feeling like this however, the more I retreated into the safe recesses of my secluded cave, shutting out any and all attempts to help me.
What I kept coming back to again and again, was my vision. My direction for my future. It was like a guiding light in a stormy dark night. You see, that’s the one thing that I am irrefutably grounded on. I know exactly what I want to do in terms of fulfilling my purpose and I more or less know how to do it. So I finally had to ask myself a really tough question; as excellent as these opportunities were, did they fit in with my overall vision? Would they lead me to my vision or away from it? Would I wake up one year from now happy that I had taken them on, or miserable as I was one year ago and feeling like what I did had no meaning?
What some of us may not realize is that too many opportunities are just as bad as none at all. A year ago I would have simply signed on to everything and somehow pulled it off, regardless of where it fitted into my vision – at that time I was wandering around in circles and grabbing onto anything and everything just to remain sane. This time however was different. As a result of being very clear on the direction I was moving in, I actually turned these opportunities down and returned my focus to what really mattered to me and what ultimately gets me out of bed every morning.
As I went through this process, I realized that numerous bad decisions are made by people daily simply because of a false belief that opportunities are limited. You know, the whole, “once in a lifetime opportunity, grab it now because it will never again be offered to you!” How many of us have bought houses, cars, land, taken a job, gotten into a relationship etc simply because you thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime deal? Only to later realize that something better came along or you just weren’t happy with the decision you made? I know I have been victim a couple of times.
Truth is, that’s just a sales gimmick. Opportunities will always exist – they were there before we were born and they will be there long after we are gone. What makes an opportunity distinctive is timing. If you’re not ready for it, nothing will come out of it no matter how much you try to force it. As a good friend of mine often quips, “sometimes time chooses the person.” Meaning that, when it’s your time, even you will not be able to stop the roller coaster and you will actually enjoy the ride – you will be ready for the ride.
If you’re reading this today and you’re not clear on your vision or your direction, drop me a line. My passion is helping people discover their direction, develop their vision and in so doing, find their future and fulfill their ultimate potential.