Friday, March 15, 2013

once upon a stream of consciousness

So.... last night I was at a Pampered Chef training event. I go to these whenever I can and soak up the tools they share and try to expand my satchel of business savvy. I actually know a fair amount after six years of being a consultant, and I have lots of tips to share with and offer to other consultants. I'm a storehouse of information.

And still, my own efforts in this business are almost flat-lined. I know that I am my own worst enemy, with habits that interfere with success. I don't have a fear of success, as some  adages go, but I do have some less than helpful habits that don't help me. As the trainer reminded us last night: what we do in the next two hours, two days and two weeks will impact our business, and what we don't do in the next two hours, two days and two weeks will impact our business. As she also said, this isn't rocket science. 

She also got us to look more deeply into the reasons behind why we think we don't do better. For me? I don't have a goal. Sure, I want to succeed, schedule shows and sell lots of products. I'd be happy to recruit others to this business who want to earn extra money, grow personally and professionally, and perhaps make a career doing this. I've got lots of knowledge to share, and I'm a good coach and mentor (in many respects). But what the trainer told me last night when I acknowledged that I didn't have a goal because I didn't know what I wanted was that until I had a goal I would not succeed. 

This resonates entirely with my current vocational quest. Employment may be a goal of sorts, but it's not the kind of goal that helps me find employment for which I am suited and that I will find satisfying. God seems to have left the ball in my court for the time being on this subject, and though I am beyond frustrated with the enduring silence from divine quarters, I understand and am familiar with both this process and this desert.

Although not directly related to the content of last night's training I was reminded of an answer I gave to an interview question last summer when I was asked about a "five year plan." What did I want to be doing? Work that I found satisfying and helped me thrive, was my answer. That's pretty vague, but it was a light bulb moment for me. What is related to last night is this: my goals aren't materially oriented. I don't have my sights set on a particular vehicle or a design for a custom-built home. Although there are some "things" I would like to have in my possession, those "things" are not the ends, but means toward other satisfactions (like a good camera for my photography), or tools to assist me in particular endeavors (like Neat Desk to organize my files and get all the paper off my desk!). I recalled something I wrote to a friend recently about attending a milestone celebration of an organization I used to support as a board member. I'll write more about all this in another post at some point, but for now I'll simply share that, in an effort to create an endowment to secure a financial basis for this organization, the cost to attend this celebration is waaayyyy beyond my means. It's a bit demoralizing to be invited to an event whose price tag excludes me, and not to be able to contribute to or bid on silent and live auction items that include things like cruises, a stay at a private home on an island in the Caribbean, or a trip to Napa with exclusive perks. What I shared with my friend is that I wish I were a philanthropist so that I could support the many worthy causes in which I believe and need help. Although not exactly concrete, this is a dream that includes some specificity and can help me define some goals toward which I can reach.

Does this make Pampered Chef the answer for me? No, but I will say this for it. For six years my association with the Pampered Chef has consistently encouraged me to dream, to reach, to discover and to succeed. I have had access to tools, training and personal support related to all of that. For the time being, I intend to seize what is in front of me and rebuild my confidence toward a future that resonates more clearly with what fits who I am and who I am to become. This is not to the exclusion of other interests and ongoing discernment, but as a means to help myself and my family breathe more easily as I make my way on this journey. Just because I'm in the desert doesn't mean I can't bloom


The Bug said...

Go you for planning to bloom! I think you're pretty fabulous myself & it's a good thing to grasp what's in front of you to help you toward your goals.

I feel the same way about not being able to support financially the things in which I believe - it's disheartening. And we are working toward the goal of reduced debt so that we can contribute more meaningfully.

Terri said...

My desert time included a great deal of discernement around vocation. Alas I am sorely lacking in skills that are generally useable, my skill set is all too specific - a massage therapist that has forgotten most of what she knew, a social worker who never got licensed, and an unemployed priest. YEESH. So I applied to all kinds of jobs and every once in awhile I would get an interview - but mostly I was competely ignored - not even a thanks but no thanks. Still after much effort and many applications I ended up really knowing that I wanted to be a parish priest. Despite all the difficulty I had experienced in three different churches (all for very different reasons) it was still the place/vocation that gave me the most life and hope! So, I began the process of setting that as my goal and working up my self talk and my interview face and my ability to claim it!

All this is to say -it takes a lot of work to do what you are talking about - setting a goal. and claiming it.

Praying for you, always.

Jayne said...

I am in a desert of sorts too these days my friend. My job, though fulfilling in what I enjoy doing, feels like, as I said in my blog today, being on the hamster wheel. I feel little loyalty to them really, and don't even care to be in on day to day decisions. I just go, and do my job. I wonder if menopause has something to do with my current funk state of being, and am willing to explore the path of hormone replacement finally.

But, this is not about me, is it? :c) I love how you can look at yourself both critically and lovingly and dig deeper to explore what it is you WANT in your life. I will keep you in my prayers as you walk through this desert with a flower behind your ear.

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