I remember sitting in a church service one mid-week and hearing a sermon on seeing the fruits of your labor. Even though the message was clearly pointing to our spiritual endeavors there was an analogy that the pastor shared that really hit me. And crazy story is that today as I’m scratching my head and kind of feeling like screaming at the top of my lungs out of frustration, I remember this message instinctively–we do not get to see and enjoy our fruits of labor by doing merely nothing. The most successful people didn’t just sit on their behinds and say, “success come to me, I’m right here.” But they did something about it. Whatever needed to be done was done and whatever needed to lay dormant, was put aside. Prioritize. Have a plan. Take the first step. Why in the world am I bringing this up?
Many of you have followed along on my journey when I began my photography business. And many of you have stuck by me with an enormous amount of support as I transition out of full time photography and search for a work environment/career path that suits not only my needs but my family needs and most importantly, where I can grow creatively. Interesting that I use the word creatively. I have learned, as I have evolved and grew in character (both personally and professional) that being creative isn’t just in an artistic sense. Being creative means to be a problem solver, a resolution seeker, a means to an end and an idea to begin. It also means to be able to be yourself without feeling limitations. So there’s also the area in personal achievement where you’re growing ‘creatively’. Each year it’s a little different for me. At times I feel the need to grow vertically (be it learning a new skill, learning a new craft, learning to listen better) and then at times I’m expanding horizontally (nurturing my strengths, working on communication, continuing to cultivate what’s already important). We will always have that one particular personal challenge that surfaces when we least expect it. For me, it’s resentment and holding grudges. I like to believe that I’m fairly forgiving but then situations arise and I find out that I’m so resentful! I also learned this about myself just reading more about my ‘professional personality’. But there’s a silver lining to this deep emotion…and that’s because I feel deeply, love deeply and hurt deeply. There is definitely one very sure thing about me that will never change…I cannot be put into a box. I do not thrive that way. Whenever someone tells me I can’t do something, boy do I set my heart out and make it happen because I hate hearing someone say ‘I can’t”. I’m writing this out more so for myself because I’m here to tell myself, and anyone else who may feel they are stuck with no real direction, or better yet, feeling stale and unsure of your professional purpose, that your persistent, hard work and commitment will lead to you seeing the fruits of your labor. We will celebrate the victories when we get there. And we’ll celebrate the small victories as we get closer. I have to make note that the little things that I’m doing make a difference and they do add up. Whether it’s sending that email, taking that call. Doing your research or whether it’s doing personal studies on improvement and self help…these are not insignificant. Small victories are even in times when we take a moment out of the day to give ourselves a quick prep talk. Or when we carve out some solid time to surround ourselves with positive and encouraging people/friends. Today I don’t feel like I’m any closer to being where I truly want to be which is why these reminders are so important. I’m replacing doubt and fear with hope. Today I’m telling myself that I’ll get there–wherever there is. I’ve been blessed to have opportunities to reveal to me, little by little, where my strengths are and that possibly my true purpose can finally be in a place that coexist with those strengths. In the meantime, I’ll continue to put into practice one of my core values that I just figured out about myself and that is connection. I mean, it’s always been connection. But when it’s not aligned with what I’m doing or what I’m a part of, it takes me a little while to realize what’s missing (the connection). So while I’m on this particular road (seeking where I want to take my career path) I’ll do what it takes to stay connected and embrace this period of my life. I’ll certainly build on the relationships I’ve come to know and take whatever valuable lesson this chapter is offering.