In January of this past year, Josh and I hired Career & Life Coach, Kent Julian at liveitforward.com. I had no idea at that time how it would dramatically change my life.
We finished up our last session with Kent on August 10th. I remember feeling particularly discouraged and like a major loser that night, because I assumed that eight months after coaching I would have been off and running in my new career. “Is there something wrong with me?” I asked. I had three interviews during this eight month period – two with the same company – and thought for sure I had the job. Quick side note: I had only actually applied to two companies, so in reality, I was batting 100% with my hit/miss ratio. I was certain I had the perfect natural talents and corporate beliefs, not to mention a fiery passion for what this company represented. Then finally, almost four months after the initial interview, came the Rejection E-mail. Ugh. Seriously? How could this happen? Maybe this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.
During our meeting that night with Kent, I shared my frustration and expressed uncertainty in moving forward with this idea of finding the work I love. Kent responded with this question: “Alana, are you willing to do the work to get to your ideal vocation?” I thought for a second. Yeah, it is a no-brainer. “Well, yeah.”
Kent: “What if it takes two years to get to your ideal occupation?”
Me: “Well, two years is longer than what I was hoping for. I wanted to be there
now, but I can handle two years.”
Kent: “What if it takes three years?”
Me: “Three years? Hmm… okay. I really don’t want it to take three, but
if I can end up where I really want to be in three years, I guess that would be okay.”
We continued this conversation, 5, 10, 15 years. What if it takes fifteen years to get to my ideal vocation? Am I willing to do the work?
Holy crap. That’s a long time. Then came Kent’s response:
“Alana, fifteen years is coming no matter what, so why not work toward your ideal occupation? Why stop just because it will take too long to get to what you want?”
Ouch. He was right.
I am currently reading the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. At one point, she shares how she encourages her students to give themselves permission to be a beginner. “By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one. When I make this point in teaching, I am met by instant, defensive hostility: ‘But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano/act/paint/write a decent play?’ ‘Yes… the same age you will be if you don’t. So let’s start.”
So here I am, working toward my goals. Who knows how long it will take to get to my dream occupation, maybe just a year, maybe seven years, but I have begun the first steps of setting goals and moving forward. Fifteen years is coming no matter what. Are you working toward your ideal life?