I have had some interesting conversations this past week, both personal and professional and some that were in between. I was told that I was a pioneer, and inspirational. Being called a pioneer was new, so I particularly liked that.
After years of being asked, “what I do” I finally figured it out (I have another blog about that), which was very satisfying and revealing. Now that I know what I do, I can much more easily tell people, and explain why they need me to help them be successful with their digital transformation project (or other big, unwieldy initiatives).
However, something someone said, in one the conversations is still bouncing around inside of my head: they said, that people want to know how to break-through the shell of what they’ve learned/been taught. Which is a noble thought; an admirable goal.
But what strikes me is that they want a shortcut. They want a course, or a checklist, that when you do these things you will have become aware, you will have dropped your mask, you will have unlearned the negative patterns you have learned. And certainly, there are retreats you can go on, books you can read, therapy you can do, coaching or mentoring you can get, and they all help move along the path, but there are no shortcuts. It takes as long as it takes, it happens when it happens and even when it happens, it continues to evolve; it never stops, you never arrive. Get used to it.
We have been taught that if you take the course, get the certification, finish your “to do” list, that all will be right with the world, that we will be successful when that happens. But it’s a big, fat lie.
You define success, the same way you define happiness. Looking for external approval and validation is only going to make you miserable.
What is success for me? Having work that I like doing, working with people who trust and respect me, spending time with friends, painting, going to museums and art galleries, seeing art, going to jazz or classical music concerts, going for a walk in nature, people watching, allowing my mind to wander, spending time along (sometimes a lot of it), reading, watching movies, eating good food (especially with friends), connecting with people, sharing my story/experience, learning, experimenting.
It has taken me a lot of time and effort to figure these things out, it’s not been easy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There are no shortcuts.