Have you ever applied for a dream job… made it through the first and second round of interviews – thought you had it in the bag and then opened your email to get that awful and gut wrenching letter that begins “dear so-and-so, we were happy to meet you but…”
That is exactly what happened to me last week… it was mortifying. It was exactly the kind of experience that makes me want to crawl under a rock asking the other slugs and bugs to make some room so I can come share my doom and gloom with them.
I was so mad and as my emotion bubbled to the brim of my being, I wondered to myself – why me, why can’t I get a break, when will the Gods smile upon me, what’s wrong with me??? But then I took time to let my emotions rest and get past my ‘ego’. Instead of thinking things were working against me, I reflected, looking at the big picture and this is what I’ve discovered…
When I am able to put my emotional quotient aside for a tiny little moment and allow the dust of my broken heart to settle – my strength of mind returns, revealing a whole world that was there to begin with, a world which I never took time to really notice.
In the words of Marcus Aurelius and his Stoic philosophy:
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
With the rejection from the dream job I applied for – I took a clear look at what was around me and was reminded of where I intended to go in the first place… the yellow brick road had begun to reveal itself.
You see recently I have had the courage to dive into my life and re-create LessonsInGreatness.com, it is a world where I get to write, speak, photograph, learn, grow, connect and dream. Originally intended to be a speaking event, it turned out to be just one more effort that FAILED in my life. The reasons don’t matter – let’s just say the Wicked Witch had her way and the event never materialized, it was as if Dorothy had vanished along with the Witch herself cast into a sea of nothingness.
After losing the wind in my sails, I have spent three years rebuilding my courage and confidence to create a meaningful brand with LessonsInGreatness. I have thought deeply about how I would reinvent it to serve others, to make the BIGGEST impact and of course to have the most FUN. Yet thinking without any action does not create the magic momentum required for ships to set sail and it leaves dreams far from becoming realities.
Most of us would stop at nothing to live our dream lives and wake up to careers we love, but the reality of things is that we live in a world where a certain amount of money is required. With this overwhelming burden we set out to get ‘jobs’ and most of the time these ‘jobs’ are incongruent with the vision we have for our dream lives. We get stuck in the world of survival opposed to creating ourselves in the world of possibility.
Every so often one of those ‘dream job’ opportunities manifests like magic and I get the courage to apply. I see myself even if for a moment – one step closer to my own personal Nirvana and then ‘that thing’ happens and takes me off course.
Even when all the forces that come together present this inexplicable alchemy of opportunity, I can sometimes hit a bump in the road and in an instant I become scared to keep taking steps towards achieving my dreams. I often allow the smallest things to take me away from finding what I have come in search of and with that I get further away from the emerald city.
Wait – Scared to keep taking steps in achieving my Nirvana?!?
Sounds crazy right?
Yep – class one crazy town… but here’s what scares me and I would venture to guess what scares most of us when we have the courage to take steps on our yellow brick roads…
In my experience, if I take a step closer to that beautiful emerald city – I risk myself – risk myself by opening my heart to the opportunity. Why is that a risk you ask? Because like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz discovered – when your heart is open you remain vulnerable, when you are vulnerable, you risk being hurt and when you are hurt – well that plain out sucks, so we avoid it at all costs.
But this loop only leads to madness and unhappiness. Remaining safe and never risking anything I eventually lose my courage and momentum and stay stuck in a perverse state of wanting but never achieving, a numb state in which I guarantee my absolute failure in all of its perfection.
So what to do with this new found wisdom?
The next time I find myself faced with the choice of staying safe sitting on the sidelines or mustering my courage while leaping toward a dream – risking being left with a broken heart this is what I will do…
First, I will stop to see that my emotion and ego is not leading the way, then I will open my eyes to all that is already in front of me. Having achieved this awareness, I will then open my heart and open my soul allowing myself to become vulnerable. I will promise myself to give it everything I have, because that is how the magic of momentum is born and that is how I will follow the yellow brick road all the way to my own personal OZ.