It’s never too late to make life what you want it to be.
This week I had a great privilege to do some public speaking as a guest for two different events. Both great opportunities for me to continue in professional career development but also a chance to do what I love best…coach others by sharing experiences, stories and advice.
One of the events was an invitation for me to do a “Lunch and Learn” with a group of male and female staff at the University of Chicago. They asked questions about my career journey, how to network, what to look for in a mentor, how to break the glass ceiling in the workplace, etc. It was fun and insightful for both sides in the conversation.
When I arrived they shared a short list of questions to have me think about. The meeting ran more like an impromptu interview with questions shot my direction from anyone in the room.
One question on the list that no ome asked but I wish they had. ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
When I first read that question I got chills because it made me so happy. I am just 5-6 weeks from being 30 years old and totally LOVE that I can still be asked that. To me that means I don’t have to have had it all figured out by now in spite of what societal pressure tells me.
I mean by some standards technically I’m behind the ball if I’m not in my lifer career, married with kids, owning vs. renting and the list goes on. But screw that because I am happy and free.
Earlier today I was online and saw this great post that I wanted to share about where others were when they started success. Some of the most successful people started on that path late in life.
No don’t use that to create excuses for what you are capable of creating and controlling NOW but think instead, it’s not too late if you haven’t figured it all out. It’s not to late to make changes in your life and create the life you truly want if you’re dissatisfied in even some small way with the one you have. It’s never too late.
Whether you’re 18, 25, 30, 50, 75, 90 or anywhere in between. When was the last time you thought about that question. Have you made it to where you want or is there more to come for you. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I will leave you with this other food for thought:
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a Janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at 40.
Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
Samuel L Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.
Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at 52.
Louise Hay didn’t launch her publishing company, Hay House until she was 62.
This was also in the post and probs my favorite part.
“If you haven’t found your dream career yet, it’s not too late. You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 30. Hell, it’s OK if you don’t even know what your dream career is yet.
Never tell yourself you’re too old to make it.
Never tell yourself you missed your chance.
Never tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.
Whatever you were born to do, You can still do it.”
I am so grateful to have people in my life who encourage me to dream big in that way.
A little over two years ago I read an Essence magazine that talked about creating vision boards and really declaring what you want in your life. I cut out lots of words and images of encouraging and empowering reminders of the positive things I wanted to attract more of in my life.
After one year, I was totally a believer in the power of vision boards. They created the exact effect I wanted. The vision board itself didn’t make me achieve goals and hit milestones though, it provided visual and mental reminders of where I wanted to be. I still think the craziest part is I started seeing my vision come alive from year to year.
I created a new one last year and just 7 months in, I’m amazed. Now, my life is not perfect. I am not perfect. The world around me is not perfect however when you can flip the switch to get what you want and need out of life, it feels good whenever there is a chance to celebrate the big and little moments. I have been blessed and fortunate enough in several areas to celebrate. It helps then when other areas seem to fall apart or begin to rip at the seams. I know there is something beyond the mountains of life.
When I look at statements on my 2016 vision board like…“Write the Next Great Chapter in Your Life Story” and “Enhance Your Career” and “It’s time I make a bold move and Own it,” or “Choose Love” and “Find Your Own Paradise,” it just gets real when I consider what is happening in my life these days.
I have enhanced my career and made fun life moves along side the man I love. I am full into the adventure God has for me.
I may not have my life exactly planned and my purpose may not always be clear. Perhaps you have felt the same when you are not sure the ‘why’ for what is happening around you. Living in our world right now, there feels the need to perpetually ask, “Why?”
But in partnership with that question, I also must ask, “What can I do better to live in my purpose?” My decisions and my realm of influence can open doors and minds and opportunities for who knows what. Part of my purpose is to be light and share love which can drive out darkness and hate and all the unwanted. Being in my purpose I can attract positivity, success and the right kind of challenges to prep me for my next level. It may not always be easy but it can be worth it.
I am a couple decades into creating my legacy and determining how I will leave this earth better than I found it by owning my purpose in my own way.
I hope for you that you have the courage to be who you are meant to be and the consistent inspiration to dream, provide, advise, explore, confess, organize, support, dance, laugh, love and love again as you move through life and unleash your power for purpose.
The activity that excites me most in this last week of the year, is creating my 2016 vision board.
I drank the kool-aid on vision boards at the end of 2014. I took the project seriously and clipped pictures and words that inspire me. I chose things that were in my mind but could actually come to life with a little effort.
I picked easy, medium and stretch goals to accomplish for the year. I have never been faithful to New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe I just always felt the pressure to pick something but somewhere 3-6 months in I would often give up on it.
Vision boards hold a little more weight to me than New Year’s Resolutions. New Year Resolutions for many are outrageous new commitments that sound good but take more sacrifice than people are willing to make. Resolutions are often short lived unfortunately but a vision is not constrained by time.
It is bigger than one year. It may include some of the same items your New Year’s Resolutions have but the mindset must be purposeful to keep your vision from fading like a trend or fad.
It builds on the concepts of past vision boards to achieve your best version of life. It can also completely switch directions throughout the year as you actively live your life. It is yours to control, create, change, update, add to, subtract from or scrap completely when needed. If you do it with the right attitude, working on your vision board will be fun, exciting and get you amped up for what is to come.
It can be about your health, finances, family, career, relationships or all those things and then some.
I want to list for you some the items from my 2015 vision board first then later will share some things that have made the cut for my 2016 vision board.
2015 Vision Board Be Prepared • Give • Live Gloriously • Make Today Fun • Noteworthy Style • Communicate Desires Clearly • Empower the Soul • Walk Your Talk • Smart is Beautiful • Roads Less Taken • Stop Stress Before It Stops Me • Dream, Plan, Go • Relax and Reconnect • Do Something For Yourself • My Career • Dream Trip • Love My Body • Live With An Open Heart • 2015 is Mine • More Together Time • Go on, Indulge • Relax and Retreat •
2015 has been the most fulfilling year of my life for so many reasons and I feel I owe a lot of it to creating a vision board. It sounds cheesy but I really mean it. I don’t think I would have started blogging, created Life Untangled, taken a dream holiday to Hawaii with my (no longer long-distance) boyfriend because he moved to my city this year — yay! and my family for Thanksgiving or lastly, raised enough funds to take an unexpected trip to London, England on scholarship for a Leadership Conference without a vision board this year.
I met this year with intention and I intend to continue on in my new favorite tradition.
My hope is you can use ideas from me to help you start figuring out what direction you desire for your life to head. If you don’t know where you’re going, how would you ever know if you have arrived?
A vision board can help you with that and it can roll over for however long you choose. Vision boards also make it easier to verbalize to others what you want.
2016 Vision Board This Year is for You • Remodel Your Commute • Live Life Luxuriously • Write the Next Great Chapter in Your Life Story • Natural Girl Magic • Be Adventurous • Be Miles Away From Your Daily Routine • See the World from a Different Perspective • Namaste • Dive In Headfirst • More Than Happy • Gracious • Get Completely Lost in the Moment • Be Somebody to Lean On •
I believe that if you share your vision for your life with others, it is more likely to happen. It becomes more comfortable to talk about.
You may find yourself doing what I did this year…subconsciously look for more opportunities to fulfill parts of your vision. Others can hold you accountable and help you look for ways to achieve your vision.
With the introduction of a new year that symbolizes a fresh start for so many of us, now is the perfect time for you to start your vision board process.
I hope you’ll join me. I would love for you to share your vision boards with me. If you have any questions about what to do or how to get started, please send me a note. I am happy to help untangle things for you.
I happen to be a young lady with a fierce passion for pro football. So for sake of Sunday Night Football and my fantasy football team winning this week against a challenging opponent, embrace the analogy.
With the last 11 days left in 2015, I’d like to think of this like the 2 minute warning in football. We have had four quarters in 2015 to push our hardest.
Like me, you probably scored some touchdowns by accomplishing goals. You may have lost some yards by making mistakes or not giving your all when could have given a little more. Maybe you suffered a few too many unwelcome interceptions or turnovers when you were expecting life to be more smooth. Most importantly we all learned lessons to carry on into the next year.
Whether you feel like you’re winning or losing at this stage in the year, just remember, there will be opportunities in the new year to change the outcome if you find yourself dissatisfied. In the same breath, there will be more opportunities in the new year to be bigger and bolder than you were this year.
You will undoubtedly cycle back to some of the same opponents you battled this year and most likely will face a few new ones. Rely on those around you for support and at times you may have to dig deep and carry yourself.
When 2016 starts, it’s like kick-off all over again. You get four new quarters to make work for you. You will have an opportunity to show your strength, smarts, flexibility, independence and stamina.
The important thing in these final 2 minutes is finish strong. We have all seen those athletes who ease up off the gas right at the end because they just know they’re going to win. Then someone sneaks up in the final seconds to take the glory. Don’t Relax!
2016 is yours to command because it hasn’t happened yet. Right now you control the narrative to how this year ends and the next one begins.
May you set and break great records in your upcoming 2016 season.
It is a great week to give thanks. I am especially thankful for the holiday to spend with my loved ones. We decided to take a vacation for the holiday this year. More on that next week.
This year has been full of fun, adventure, challenge and change. I have taken on a lot of mottos this year. I have lots of resolutions. I have set and accomplished many goals. I have set and failed at others. All lessons learned with grace and an open mind.
Wake Up and Live is an important one. It is so valuable to be a person of action. It is much better and far more rewarding to actively live this life we have instead of passively waiting for life to happen for us.
Monday evening signals the beginning of my vacation. I get to take a break from the regular rhythms of everyday life. It will be a mental and physical vacay. It is so timely and welcomed.
To enjoy life, we have to get out of our own way sometimes. We have to chill on the status updates and work emails. We have to give ourselves a chance to live the fulfilling life we actually desire.
I plan to re-energize, relax and recoup this week. Each morning is a new day to wake up and live. What will you do with it?
The definition of a trailblazer according to the Webster dictionary is “1. A person who makes, does or discovers something new and makes it acceptable or popular. 2. A person who marks or prepares a trail through a forest or field for other people to follow.”
When we think of trailblazers our minds rattle off names of people throughout history who made humongous impact.
We then compare and always feel to fall short of those pioneers but the reality is it is possible to trailblaze in your everyday life. Creating consistent impact in the day-to-day is how you eventually make humongous impact in your legacy.
I know for me I have always said, I too, want to pioneer. I want to trailblaze. What I have begun to realize is that I am trailblazing by creating goals and dreams and being brave enough to follow them.
People shy away too quickly from the term trailblazer because they think they need to be more or do more.
I say if you find yourself in a forest or a field and you are marking a trail for people to follow — welcome to the Trailblazer club.
In June of this year, I was fortune enough to win scholarship and attend a conference in London on Trailblazing Leadership. Dr. Sam Collins of the Aspire Foundation broke down Trailblazing Leadership for us women in the audience and made it believable and attainable.
I have now been blogging for 6 months. I began in April as preparation for the international leadership conference where I knew I would gain even more tools and ideas.
Having entered into the final quarter of 2015, I have taken additional inventory on my vision board accomplishments.
I am taking stock of what I have done and looking ahead to what new goals can I create. In another month, I will begin putting together my vision board for 2016.
There may be some things that roll over and some fresh goals. For example, I know that I want to travel even more and help more people on topics of self-awareness and self-love through my writing and speaking. I also want to help my talented family with the business plans for their personal entrepreneurial projects.