I have been thinking about my younger self. He was a free spirit and a dreamer. He spent a lot of time with his head in the clouds and had many awesome ideas of what he wanted life to be. He was also frustrated and unmotivated. He wanted things to happen, but had no idea of where to start. Do you know someone like this?
When did I realize that I needed to change? After the birth of my son. There is something about holding a little human and realizing that your choices every day will impact how that little person grows. It toughens your resolve. It makes you want to get your head out of the clouds and start to find your way in how the world works.
I had started a new job 8 months before he was born. It didn’t take long after he showed up that my need to improve became a real thing. I wasn’t sure if I needed to find a new job, or buckle down and make something out of the one I had. Figuring that it took more energy to find something new, I buckled down and did everything I could to be better at what I was doing. I am so glad I did.
It didn’t take long and I was involved in everything I could be to learn more. I was promoted a few times within 3 years. I was given new responsibilities and started to develop a deep sense of pride in my work and my set of knowledge. I focused on helping people and providing what they needed. After 5 years, I was pretty good at what I was doing. So I thought.
I remember sitting at work one day when an email came into my inbox. The company I worked for was notorious for not financially supporting further academic pursuits. They went deep into in company training, but not university training. So, it was interesting that they were supporting a specific masters degree at a local university. I had no interest in going back to school….until I felt a physical bump that almost knocked me out of my chair. I knew it was something I had to do.
It took two years, but I was able to finish my masters degree that supported the job that I had been doing. I had now been at the company for over 6 years and had a really good handle on what I did and how it fit in. I was then assigned to a new team that was set to implement a new software at the company. The project was supposed to take 2 years and would be transformational to the company. A few years before I thought I knew a lot. I knew at this point I didn’t know as much as I thought I did and was about to learn a ton more.
There is a lot more to this story, but this is what I want to share today. We all start somewhere. Many times it looks nothing like where we have gotten to. The roads that we have taken may not look like we expected to. However, there is one common thread among all of them. We have to take the opportunities when they present themselves and have the drive to move those opportunities forward. It took the birth of my son to set me on this path.
I used to spend time wishing that I could change things in my past. Total waste of time in my opinion. I now want to be able to see the past clearly so I can make better decisions for the future. I want identify my mistakes so I can avoid making them again.
I was once a dreamer without a plan. I am now dreaming with my eyes open. I have an idea of where I want to go and I look for ways to get there with what is presented to me. When I need to pivot, I pivot. When the goal changes because of new things I learn, the goal changes. At the end of the day, I am excited and am so much further along that many of the dreams I had. I am ok with that.