Here’s the “short list” of jobs I’ve had:
- Burger flipper
- House cleaner
- Waitress – a LOT
- Aerobics instructor
- Flight Attendant at Lufthansa
- Physical therapist’s aide
- Physician’s aide
- Golf course maintenance worker
- US Forest Ranger
- Clerk in Mountaineering store
- Clerk in Interior Design store
- Shiatsu massage therapist
- Restaurant manager
- Residential Building Contractor
- Commodities trader
- Interior Designer
- Private English Teacher
- International Biking and Hiking Guide
My name is Lisa, and I have almost always lived “outside the status quo”.
I wouldn’t say that I CONSCIOUSLY “challenged” the status quo…I simply didn’t fit in.
Goodness knows, I tried to fit in. I wanted to fit in! I was a cheerleader in high school. I was first runner up AND Miss Congeniality in the local Junior Miss Pageant. I was in a sorority at university. I decided to study nursing (not medicine, even though I had the grades!) because it would allow me to have children and be a mother. I was following all the “rules” of the status quo…
Thankfully, at some point, I woke up! Well, at least enough to realize that all of that wasn’t ME. I changed my major to Spanish because I loved languages. Then I changed it to German because I wanted to learn another language. I dreamed of translating at the UN. I did a year of study abroad in Germany and then I graduated…oh boy…now what?!
Waitressing, of course! Then, “by chance”, I waited on a group of Germans who were a flight crew from Lufthansa. “Why don’t you apply? You speak perfect German!” Why not indeed?!
Two years later, after living in Germany, and flying literally all over the globe, I returned home to California, leaving my German ex-fiancé behind. NOW what?!
Waitressing, of course! Definitely NOT status quo for a university graduate! Definitely NOT what my father expected. And to add to his confusion, I discovered I was in love with a woman! Most definitely NOT status quo!
Fast forward 30 years and here I am, living the “dream life” in Italy, on a small olive farm (yes, we make our own olive oil), with my partner of 30 years.
What happened in the interim? In a nutshell, I followed my heart, my intuition, my interests and my dreams.
I did all of these jobs for one reason: I was trying to figure out what made me happy. Even though I was “technically” challenging the status quo by not following the “rules”, I still did not give myself permission to enjoy what I was doing. I was still being driven by inherited values that I had buried so deeply that even I was not aware of them. What I didn’t know then, is that I was also trying to make everyone else (the status quo/my parents) happy. I was unknowingly trying to live by two sets of values: mine, and those of the status quo – which were in direct conflict with each other! According to Dr. Bruce Lipton at Stanford University Medical Center, and author of “The Biology of Belief “not only is our subconscious considerably more powerful than our conscious mind, we “operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs”. I was going through life on autopilot, driven by my subconscious beliefs.
What I didn’t know then, that I know now, is my SELF. I knew I didn’t want the status quo, but I didn’t know what I did want. I was trying to satisfy my values and beliefs, without really knowing what they were. And when I did find something that I liked, I couldn’t give myself the permission to enjoy it because I wasn’t “living up to” everyone else’s expectations of me. Hind sight is always 20/20, as they say.
So what is the key to finding your Joy Of Being? “Know thyself”. Know what makes you tick. Know what your beliefs,values and strengths are and design your life around them!
So how do you know what your beliefs are? One way to know if you are expressing a belief is to ask yourself the question, “Is this true for everyone, or just me?” For example, if I say “the earth is flat”, this is not a belief. It is a fact. It is true for everyone. If, on the other hand, I say, “Rich people are dishonest,” it is my belief. Not everyone believes rich people are dishonest. In fact, neuroscience tells us most of our beliefs were formed before we were 6 years old, when our brains operated in theta waves, literally acting like sponges and absorbing what we saw and heard. We made decisions in order to be loved or to not be abandoned. Our “deductive” mind, or theta brain waves, were not active until after we were 7 years old. Until then, we were incapable of making deductive decisions. As such, the beliefs we adopted then, were often not “logical.” We globalized and decided things like “rich people are dishonest” when perhaps our parents were talking about one particular rich person, who they felt was dishonest.
Another warning sign that something is probably NOT your belief, is when you find yourself saying, “I SHOULD do this, that, or the other thing.” SHOULD almost always comes from the outside, from somebody else. It is almost invariably someone else’s (a parent or someone we admire) belief that you have unconsciously adopted somewhere along the way. You can always ask yourself “Who says I should?” It might just assist you to realize that it really wasn’t your idea in the first place, and you can now choose to create a new belief that serves you better in your current circumstances. Or maybe it WAS actually a good idea! Not all “inherited” beliefs are bad or contrary, simply because they are status quo. You don’t need to rebel against something simply because it wasn’t your idea. Rebelling for rebellion’s sake is operating on autopilot too! Now, instead of resisting the imposed idea, you have consciously embraced it and made it your own. You are now consciously choosing your beliefs.
And your values? They drive you just as much as your beliefs, yet most of us are not aware of our values either. To discover your core values, on paper, write quickly about 5 or 6 peak moments in your life when you felt like anything was possible. You were on the top of the world! What is the source of that great feeling? You can even give it a name! For example, one of MY peak moments was when I was doing research for an expedition biking trip in Brazil, for the active vacation company I used to work for. That day, I was crossing the jungle in a Range Rover (the kind that can drive up a river!) and then motoring across a lake in an open boat. My visual image and the name that represents adventure (my value) to me is “wind in your face”…By naming it, I can FEEL the wind in my face and conjure up the feeling of absolute adventure I had that day!
What are the values you absolutely cannot live without? Once you have identified those values on a conscious level, you can insist on including them in all the decisions you make. Remember that your values are balanced between your life and livelihood. Some values are fulfilled at home and some at “work.” But they should all be consciously included in your life!
Lastly, and most certainly not least, what are your strengths? Again, most of us don’t know, or don’t want to say. We are hesitant to acknowledge our own strengths because we think it is vain. What will people think if we “blow our own horn?” This has nothing to do with horn blowing! We are all born with natural gifts that when used, allow us to express ourselves with joy and make a difference in the world. Ask your friends, family and colleagues to site a time when they felt you demonstrated a particular strength. Have them describe the situation, your behaviour and the strength they think you exhibited. You might find that people see things in you that you were not aware of, or had forgotten about. Listen carefully. See if their observations resonate with you. Accept these heartfelt acknowledgements and become consciously aware of the natural talents you have.
Now that you are consciously aware of your most important beliefs, values and strengths, you can include them in every decision you make. You no longer listen to what you “should” do. Instead, you express yourself freely, without placing limits on yourself. You are JOYFUL.
So, the next time you use the “S” WORD, make light of it and say to yourself: DON’T SHOULD ON YOURSELF! Then be sure to honor YOUR truth! Follow YOUR heart and
Get a JOB! (Joy of Being). Make more than a living. Make a difference!Pages: 1 2