I had breakfast with a dear old friend last week. We worked together during some fast paced years at a hot advertising agency. At the time it was the center of our work and social lives. Not only were we hard-core at work, we took hard-core vacations, one being what we called our “Thelma and Louise” vacation, driving a red convertible around the southwest, hiking the Grand Canyon (my very first hike ever – um stupid) and exploring Santa Fe. Thank goodness it did not end with driving off a cliff!
She has lived overseas for about 15 years now, so we rarely see each other and it was a nice opportunity to reconnect and catch up on each other’s lives. We mused about how lucky we are to live in a time where we can hit the reset button and pursue career paths we've long dreamed of. She her photography, and me helping people achieve their best selves, one baby step at a time.
She easily recalled how my journey started when “I got that terrible ulcer”. Funny how sometimes it takes someone from the outside to zero in on something so obvious (yet elusive to the one closest to it -- me!). She was absolutely right! I talk about it in my workshop, but for those of you who don't know, back then I was a 29 year old Advertising Executive running the account management department at a trendy creative agency, traveling to glamorous places, being quoted in the NY Times and looking good. On the outside, it seemed like I had it all, but often it’s the things you cannot see that transform you. I didn't recognize it, but my body was rebelling.
One evening I woke up in the middle of the night with intense pain in my chest. I thought I was dying. After an emergency room visit, experiencing lots of discomfort, and a few months of undergoing a series of tests, I found out I had permanently damaged my esophagus lining and the flap that controls acid reflux. My doctor said it needed to be taken seriously as it could turn into abnormal cell growth and the big “C”. The cause: chronic stress.
I wasn’t even 30 and I was killing myself! Something had to change and it had to come from within me. And so the journey to change my lifestyle began.
However, I didn’t do it all at once. I started making small changes, like having fruit in the morning for breakfast instead of a bagel or muffin; walking, which led to running, then participating in endurance events for charity, and ultimately becoming a triathlete; saying “no” to unreasonable deadlines. Nothing happened overnight, and it wasn’t an immediate overhaul in my habits. It was through these and other small changes over time that I transitioned from the stressed out advertising professional running to the emergency room, to the health advocate, coach and Chief MOJO Maker™ launching MOJO Health + Wellness that I am today.
As my friend pinpointed, that health scare was the start of it, and I’m grateful that through those experiences I now have the opportunity help others achieve their life goals.
I’ve learned that it just takes small steps and moving in a direction over time to get there.
What is your dream? Was there a life altering moment or impetus that started you on a particular journey? And if your goal feels far from reach, how can you start taking small steps to get there?
How can you start moving in a direction to pursue what will help you become your authentic happiest self?
Please take a moment right now and write down one simple thing you can start to do today to further you on that path.
It’s a lifelong voyage and it’s important to recognize that perfection isn’t the goal. That would be unrealistic as no one can honestly achieve perfection! Not our religious leaders and teachers, not our favorite artists, and not even Oprah.
Certainly not me! I follow what I profess in my workshops and programs as often as possible, but I’d be lying if I said I was 100%, 100% of the time. Who could be?
The point is to be aware and make the best decisions you can to further you on the path that will fill you with joy.
I look forward to hearing from you, and am available for coaching if you feel stuck and would like help taking that next step.
The best advice I can offer is there is no time like the present, and to start today. With one small change at a time, you can get there!
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™