I hardly recognise myself.
A few years ago, I was rather naive about ambition and went about it foolishly – to the point of hurting myself. For instance, I once went on a business trip even though I was ill. I ended up having an operation in a foreign country and really resenting myself for not drawing the line. Then I did it again…
Don’t get me wrong. I want to be the best I can be so I keep pushing my limits on all fronts. Can I get more exposure to this? Can I be better at doing that? How can I be prepared to take on more responsibility in X number of years? I am still ambitious but I’m getting wiser about the way I fight my battles – and believe me, I do fight. I think one thing that’s changed is I know now that I can do whatever I set my mind to. But I don’t need to do “whatever”…
Occasionally, it’s not the perfect time to take a vacation but I take it anyway because I miss spending time with my kids and I want a day off to chill out with them. Sometimes, I need to stop the work I’m doing on my laptop and play a card game with my son. And that’s ok. A few years ago, I would have been irritated by the distractions. I admit that I often think, “I’m blowing that opportunity to shine with the bosses” or “I really wanted to beat that deadline so they can see what a high achiever I am.”
I do shine and beat deadlines often but it’s not the be all and end all. I’ve learnt the hard way that my family don’t care what I do. It doesn’t matter whether I work in a grocery store or clean windows or just stay home. They love me.
In my darkest “career moments”, they were there for me even when others said I was “crap” or “average”.
I will always want to do a great job but I also want to make better, fearless decisions about my life. Like I said, I don’t recognise myself. It’s almost like I grow up overnight.
Happy Valentine’s Day.