“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin living it.”W.M. Lewis
We go through stages in our life. As young children our job is school and learning. Once we are in college, we are starting our adult lessons as well as preparing for a career. Life begins to speed up after that.
- A first job
- A first home
- Possibly marriage and a family
- Promotions (which could mean more working hours)
- Another job
- Another home
- Raising a family
- Accumulating stuff
- Sending kids off to college
- Parents declining health
And one day, you are ready to retire … or maybe you are not ready to retire but because of circumstances you are no longer working. You feel lost. The question of “Who Am I” is large. And the more we sink into depression or uncertainty or fear, the harder that question becomes to answer. Who am I if I am no longer an educator or an architect or a manager or a pilot?
I think one of the tragedies of life is that we give up on life before we get to live the next chapter.
We did all the things we thought we were supposed to do. We lived up to others’ expectations of us. What we forgot to do was ask ourselves what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be. And now we feel lost, and we don’t even (think) we know what we want to do and who we want to be.
“I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.” ~ Charles Horton Cooley
I believe we do know, we just are not used to listening to that quiet inner voice. It is a very quiet voice because it has been ignored for so long. The voice may start out as a whisper, and if we do hear it, we are probably going to discount it because we think our friends and family may think we are crazy if we listen to it. We may hear many competing ideas from this little voice because it has been bottled up for so long.
What I encourage people to do is try something, one thing and see how it feels. Take a risk.
I started out in technology. The companies I worked for over the last 30 years kept going through downsizings and I kept looking for my next gig. Finally, I had enough. I bought a franchise that taught art to kids in afterschool programs and camps. It was fun, and it was fulfilling. The kids and the parents loved it. It just was not profitable. I sold that business and went back into corporate. But by then, I knew I was not doing what I wanted to be doing and I was not listening to the inner voice that had some ideas.
I started working with a life coach to try to figure this out. Somewhere along the line she said, “you’d make a great coach!” LIGHT BULB MOMENT. I knew then and there, that was what I wanted to do. I began researching programs and became certified as a life coach in 2013. That little voice in me was celebrating. It had been telling me throughout my career that I wanted to help people find their purpose, find meaning in their lives, and live fulfilling lives. Now I get to do that through my show and my coaching program.
This comment from a past client says it best. We do start out confused, and we can begin to discover the many options that are available to us.
“When I began this course with Wendy, I did not know where I was going from here. My aging and responsibilities were so heavy. As I began, I quickly realized that I am approaching the next chapter of my life and there are lots of options. I learned more about myself and how I view my world. I recommend to anyone who is afraid of life changes to give this wonderful course a chance. I have never felt so relieved and peaceful about what lies ahead whatever that might be.” ~ Lynn
I would like to close with a quote from Simon Sinek and a takeaway from Helen Dennis. He wrote the book Start With Why. He said “We have no choice, we must all die. How we live, however, is entirely of our choosing.”
Helen’s takeaway is in the video clip.