I'm the guy you come to for advice.
I have great insight into people, their behavior and motivations.
I listen well.
I have an innate sense of how to try and move forward.
I make great referrals and have a cache of people in my head that can do "this" (whatever "this" is).
It was these traits that caused my high school biology teacher, who had since moved on to a degree in counseling and a job working in the County Employment Enablement office, to ask me at college graduation:
"When are you getting your counseling degree?"
I laughed at her...
I was heading to be a techie at a major technology service company. I had a great starting salary, a new apartment and a bright career ahead of me. Why would I be looking at a different life when I hadn't even started one that looked so promising??
Fast forward 12 years...I'm still there. I've moved quickly through the levels, I'm paid incredibly well. I work from home. My employees love me...
And, I am MISERABLE.
I hated my job and my company. There was nothing wrong with either, but it just wasn't making me happy anymore.
I wanted to be self-employed; to forge more of my own future and successes. I wanted to be excited to go to work. I wanted to really affect people's lives in a meaningful way. The problem was that I just didn't know what I wanted to be.
So I tried on a few hats (...and maybe some gloves and a couple pair of funky sunglasses).
I looked into opening a deli, a restaurant, a wedding planner business and a liquor store, and into becoming a landlord. None of these hats seems to fit properly (they all touched me ears...I hate when hats touch my ears).
Through all of this, I was in therapy with a wonderful therapist, who has his Masters in Social Work (MSW). He shared with me that most mental health counselors are MSWs, not psychologists.
I started with him on my relationship challenges and eventually moved into the grander task of learning about who I was supposed to be.
Finally, after the last hat came off, he said to me:
"You'd be a great therapist...how about you move into the office upstairs? All you need is your degree."
So often before, there was a reason to stop short of leaping. So often there was some doubt that stopped me from building up a running start. Not this time. With those words, it clicked...and I took a running start and I leaped...
From the time I decided, to the time I was accepted into the #12 ranked MSW program in the U.S. was six months. In that time, I took a new job at the same company that enabled me to start grad school with a wonderfully supportive manager.
Today, I am a year into the program, carrying a 4.0 GPA and about to start my field placement two days a week (vacation days, with my manager's blessing).
Here I am mid-leap, and everything is working out...despite not having an exhaustive amount of planning. Why?? Why am I this lucky???
It's not that I'm lucky; it's that I'm committed. When I leapt, I committed to the leap.
What I learned after I took off was that I had to keep focused on the landing spot, NOT where I am in mid-air. By being committed to the leap, I'm keeping the momentum going, I'm making things that get in my way adjust for me...because I am the force in movement...they are standing still.
I've also learned that while I am in the middle of this leap, I'm being given opportunities to make other leaps; in other areas of my life.
I keep finding myself taking those opportunities to leap too, with less thought, less preparation and less fear of the leap. And even though, some of them cause me to hurt, make me question who I am and why I'm doing certain things, I'm doing it anyway...I'm committing to the leap and staying focused on the landing.
Always focus on the landing!!