“The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.” – Armistead Maupin
I’ve always like this quote, in spite of (or maybe because of) the fact that it makes me a little uncomfortable. I think it makes me uncomfortable because our minds are pretty powerful, and sometimes they convince us of things that aren’t true. Sometimes we become convinced that things are great, or at least as great as they can be, and we stop trying to change, stop trying to improve. But are we really being honest?
Think about your professional life. Take some time to reflect on the opportunities you have to succeed in your organization. Are you doing everything you possibly can to take advantage of those opportunities? That’s the part where you have to be honest. Whether it’s laziness or fear or that we’re just plain delusional, we often tell ourselves we’ve done everything we can when really we’ve just done everything we felt like doing that day. Are you really making the most of who and where and what you are?
Think about your personal life. What kinds of things do you want to do and be? Are there things outside of your career that you’ve always wanted to do, always wanted to try, always wanted to see, etc? What are those things? Sometimes we’re even more complacent with our personal lives than we are at work. We allow ourselves to get so busy that we don’t take time to reflect on what we’re allowing ourselves to get busy with. Think about your personal time – what do you really want to do? Again, here’s the part where you have to be honest. Are you really doing the things in your life that you want to do?
None of us spend an extraordinarily long time on this planet. None of us has an unlimited opportunity to do the things we find rewarding, fulfilling, or just plain fun. None of us gets a do-over if we don’t make the most of who & what we are. Don’t wait. Don’t talk yourself out of being who you’re supposed to be. Be honest – and start making change today.