Here’s a little bit of trivia about me you probably didn’t know: I was the senior speaker at my high school graduation ceremony. Now, let me be clear: I went to a very small, independent study high school where most of the students attended just one day of class per week. The ceremony was actually held in the parking lot. So I’m not bragging here. I wasn’t valedictorian, though I did graduate with honors. I was actually selected to be senior speaker by the students and the faculty, which—for me—is even better than if I had been chosen for my grades.
So, why do bring this up? Because I wanted to share a quote from my graduation speech. It’s one that still inspires me to this day.
In everything you do, shoot for the moon. Because even if you miss, at least you’re among the stars.
I’m not sure who said this or where it came from. I don’t even remember the first time I heard it. But the words were so powerful; they’ve stayed with me for decades now.
The other day, I was reminded of this quote while interviewing Dick Bolles, the author of What Color Is Your Parachute? (By the way, if you missed it, you can listen to it here.)
During our conversation, while discussing the concept of searching for your “dream job,” Mr. Bolles said the following:
You have to start with the largest vision of what you really, really, really want to do with your life so that if you only get 60 percent of that, you’ve gotten far, far more than if you started with a vision that you hacked down in the name of supposed reality.
How often do you find yourself aiming low because it’s more “realistic”? What are you perhaps missing out on because of that? What if you aimed higher? What if, dare I say it, you aimed for the very top? Even if fell short, would you not possibly end up better off in the long run?
Sometimes, it feels safer and easier to keep your hopes in check. Why try for something that seems so far out of reach? This kind of thinking only limits what you’re capable of. It doesn’t challenge you. It doesn’t inspire you. And it forces you to play small.
So, as I told my graduating class back in 1996, shoot for the moon. Whether you’re looking for your next job, your next home or your next mate. Aim for the dream. You might not get it, but then again…you just might.
Written by Chrissy Scivicque, January 02nd, 2012 | 2 Comments »
I wanted to take just a minute to update all of you about what’s been going on around here because I haven’t had a chance to write a new blog post in several weeks. You see…life has kind of…gotten in the way. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been in the process of relocating from Atlanta, GA to Denver, CO. Yes, that’s a huge move. 1380 miles…give or take.
I’ve done the cross-country move thing before, when I moved to Atlanta from the California bay area over three years ago. If you’ve never done it before, I assure you: a move like this is tough. There’s just a ton of planning involved. And this time, I actually drove with my dog instead of having my car shipped. We spent four days on the road, going through Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, a little more Texas, New Mexico and finally Colorado.
We arrived here exactly a week ago today. I can tell you that the drive itself was pretty straightforward. I listened to two full audiobooks (including The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which I loved). And though Mollie, my yorkie-poo, was a great traveling companion, we were definitely ready to get off the road when the time came.
My two cats, thankfully, were shipped here (for their sanity and mine) so we’ve all been reunited at this point. Of course, life is never as simple as you’d like it to be…and moving cross-country is no exception. Turns out my furniture won’t arrive until sometime next week (fingers crossed) so I’ve been camping out at my parent’s house.
Yes, you read that right. I’m a 33-year-old woman, living and working from my parent’s basement. While it might sound rather drab, I’m actually enjoying my time here thoroughly. It’s nice to be in the presence of family and, heck, I’m eating better than I have in years! Life carries on, even in the midst of chaos.
So, all of this is to say, I’ve been busy. And aside from the physical craziness of the move, there’s been a lot of emotional craziness as well. I suffered a few massive anxiety attacks prior to the drive out here. I wasn’t sleeping well, or eating right, or thinking straight. Anyone who’s moved recently surely knows what I’m talking about. Thankfully, things seem to be getting better now. I’m relaxing and easing into life in snow-country. Even though things are still in transition for a while, I feel much more sane these days.
Now, some of you may know that I never like to share a personal story without providing a lesson for you, dear reader. So, in this case, I offer the following:
1. Don’t be afraid to call on your loved ones when you need help. I know I couldn’t have made it here without my family supporting me at every step along the way. The people who love you will always be there…but they don’t always know how or when you need them. So speak up. Ask for what you need, and you shall receive.
3. Give yourself room to recover. I haven’t written on this blog (or even thought about it, honestly) for several weeks, and I’m okay with that. I needed this time. And I might need a little more in the coming weeks. I’m not beating myself up about it.
4. You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for. This is a lesson I’m reminding myself of everyday. It’s easy, when times are hard and you feel overwhelmed, to crumble and just say, “I can’t do this!” But you can. You really, really can. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
You may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet around here. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been going through a pretty big transition. At this point, things are starting to slow down and life should (hopefully) return to normal (or some semblance of) before long. So look out for more frequent blog posts in the near future.
For now, though, I wanted to share a little bit about what I’ve been doing and what I’ve learned recently. As many of you already know, I’ve been very fortunate in my career. Several years ago, another website I created was purchased by a company called OfficeArrow and, in the process, I was hired to be the Managing Editor there. This was an amazing opportunity and one that truly changed my life in more ways than I can count.
However, we all continue growing and, at some point, I realized that OfficeArrow and I were growing in different directions. It wasn’t anyone’s fault…it was just a fact. I wanted to spend more time coaching and writing, but my role as Managing Editor at a demanding start-up company meant my days were full with a variety of “other” tasks. I was starting to feel that my true passions weren’t being honored and I knew something had to change.
To make this long story a little shorter, I’ll jump ahead. I’ve been slowly transitioning out of the company for nearly a year. I cut my hours, began training others on how to do my tasks, and started focusing on building my coaching clientele. I also continued growing my freelance work. All in all, I made the conscious decision to let go of what wasn’t working. That doesn’t mean it was easy or that I didn’t question my choice many times. But I put a plan in place and followed it.
This week, I had my official “last day” working with OfficeArrow. And while it wasn’t a particularly emotional experience, it was a significant step in my career. It was kind of like saying “goodbye” to an era, and “hello” to many new, exciting opportunities.
So here I am — in a good place, albeit a slightly scary one. Change, no matter how well you prepare for it, always brings a certain amount of fear. I’m okay with that. I’m working through it.
This transition I’m going through is the result of attaining a big career goal. I’ve released something that was no longer serving me in order to embrace things that are better aligned with who I am and what I want. And this is worth celebrating. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take some time to simply sit back and breathe and recognize my achievement. This is what I’m learning. I don’t need to just move on to the next thing.
Many of us have trouble relaxing long enough to realize how far we’ve come. We’re always looking ahead, setting new goals and continuing the path of progress. In some ways, it becomes an obsession. We build up momentum and the idea of slowing down starts to seem like such a waste.
This was the mentality that gripped me earlier this week. I crossed “OfficeArrow” off my proverbial list and started thinking about the next thing I wanted to attack. But really, that’s not fair. I need to celebrate. I need to grab a lounge chair and sit in the sunshine for a while. I need to NOT tackle my to-do list.
Celebrating our achievements can be hard. We’re trained to be humble and shake off praise with modesty and humility. But there’s value in celebration. Taking the time to reflect and rejoice in the moment is a gift we deserve. So I’m taking that time.
I’m asking you to celebrate with me today. Not for me, but with me. Celebrate YOUR accomplishments. Throw a party in honor of all things you’ve done that brought you here, because wherever you are, it took effort. Give yourself a hearty pat on the back and don’t listen to The Saboteur when he says, “It was nothing.” Your work, your time, your energy—they all matter. You’re here because of your actions. Buy yourself a cupcake at lunch. Take yourself to a movie tonight. Whatever you do, no matter how big or how small, just celebrate.
I’m an emotional eater. When I’m sad or lonely, which lately seems quite often, I head for the pantry. It’s an awful habit but obviously, I’m aware of it. As a certified nutritionist, it’s one of those things I rarely advertise. You know—bad for business and all. That’s one of the reasons that nutrition isn’t my business. When it was, I always felt like a fraud forking out advice that I could hardly follow myself. Not that I’m a horrible eater or anything. But I have my bad habits, like everyone.
When I really examine my values, I note that above all else, I want to be authentic. I want to walk the walk, so to speak, in both my personal and professional life. I refuse to ask someone to do something I’m not willing and able to do myself. This is why nutrition wasn’t for me.
Of course now, as a career strategist, I often have to take a good hard look at my own career to make sure I’m living my values and walking the walk. I have to sit down, take inventory and, sometimes, I have to conduct a little one-on-one coaching session with myself. And let me tell you: It’s not always an easy conversation.
I’m not perfect. Far from it, in fact. I make mistakes every single day, some bigger than others. I make emotional decisions, I let stress get the best of me, and I fail to properly manage my time. I do all the things I tell others not to do.
But here’s the key: I recognize when I do these things. I don’t ignore my missteps; I don’t try to justify my actions. I confront myself openly and without judgment. I take notes and try different strategies to overcome my challenges.
And then, I share what I’ve learned with the world.
Whenever I get down on myself and start to feel like I’m a hypocrite, dishing out advice when I’m no “Perfect Career Poster Child,” I have to remember that no one is perfect, that I don’t claim to be, and that I’m doing what I can to help myself while helping others.
They say some people teach to learn. I can certainly identify with this sentiment. The more I teach others how to create nourishing careers, the more I learn about my own career needs and goals.
It can be hard to take your own medicine, to look yourself in the eye and see what’s really there, to treat yourself as you would treat a friend asking for advice—with compassion and honesty and best intentions. So often we see ourselves as something we’re not. And so often, we want others to see something different as well. We hide from the truth because it isn’t always pretty; it’s much easier to create a fantasy and hide behind it or simply keep our struggles private. But what good does that do anyone?
The truth about me is the same as the truth about you: We are all imperfect in our own perfect way. We all have something to share. We all make mistakes and learn from them. I love talking to people about their career goals. My career has always been a very important part of my life. I’ve seen hard times and I’ve experienced some amazing good fortune, but ultimately, my career is the gauge with which I measure my life’s success. It’s not the same for everyone. And it might not always be that way for me. Maybe one day I’ll have children and live on a farm and take up knitting. Maybe one day, I’ll introduce myself without talking about what I do for a living in the first ten minutes. It seems unlikely, but if it happens, I’ll be proud of it. I won’t feel like a failure or a hypocrite or that I’ve wasted my precious time and energy. Every day I spend helping others, I help myself.
When I’m honest with myself, I know I left the field of nutrition because I was afraid to confront my own imperfections. I’m now much more willing to do this. I’m not sure what has changed. Perhaps I’ve stopped judging myself so harshly. Or maybe I’ve just experienced enough to know now that everyone feels like a hypocrite sometimes. Parents give their children rules that they themselves have a hard time following, because they know it’s the right thing to do. They want to give their kids the best tools for success, even if, as parents, they haven’t yet mastered those tools.
I guess my point can be boiled down to this: Let’s be good to ourselves and one another. Let’s recognize that we’re all striving to improve. No one has it easy. No one has it all figured out. But we have one another. And we’re doing just fine.
Photo Credit: My mom
Written by Chrissy Scivicque, September 16th, 2010 | 6 Comments »
Today is my beautiful mother’s birthday and I’m a bit sad that I’m too far away to take her to dinner or something. Instead, I have to celebrate with her over the phone. Don’t feel too sorry for her though…She’s surrounded by loving family in Colorado. As for me, I’m surrounded by…well…you! The fabulous Eat Your Career community to the rescue!
To help celebrate my mom’s birthday, I’m giving away FIVE copies of my Stress Management Workbook for FREE. Why? Because my mother is the queen of NO STRESS. She is an eternal optimist and a true believer that how you think impacts how you feel. She is the perfect example of a person who consciously makes a decision to wake up each day and smile. She’s an inspiration for me and the reason I’ve had the courage to live my life on my terms…which includes starting this blog and writing this e-workbook. So what better way to celebrate her than to spread the NO STRESS philosophy?
How do you get one of these FIVE FREE workbooks? Just leave a comment wishing my mother a happy birthday! On Monday (August 16), I’ll take the names of all the people who’ve entered, throw them in the randomizer, and pick five lucky peeps. If you’re a winner, I’ll deliver your Stress Management Workbook directly to your email inbox right away…no strings attached.