Are you prepared?

Girls doing schoolwork.Have you been in a situation where you’ve honed your craft for years and kept asking yourself, when will my time come?  Everyone else is being recognized while you wait silently for your chance. I think we’ve all experienced these feelings at some time in our lives. The important factor is that when the opportunity arrives, be prepared.

Sounds simple enough, but it takes dedication and commitment to continue to perfect your skills, talents, and abilities while waiting for your opportunity.  My passion is in the sciences and I remember staying after school to perfect my science experiments. While my peers were outside playing after school, I was focused on my projects. In the end, my hard work paid off and I won several science awards.

I also remember hearing my mother tell me that the “early bird gets the worm.”  Hearing those words now, has a different meaning than they did when I was a child.  Being prepared sets us up for success because we are equipped to handle challenges that may come our way and we are focused on the end result, our goal.

I read that Kathryn Stockett, the author of the bestselling book, The Help, received 60 rejection letters.  I don’t know how many of us would have continued on the journey to have our books published with so many rejections.

We’ve all heard about Walt Disney being turned down 302 times for financing for Disney World and JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter, whose publisher told her that she should get a job because there was no money in writing children’s books. By the way, she was rejected by 12 publishers.

If you noticed, each one of these persons had one thing in common. They found success when opportunity and preparation collided.  Ask yourself, what are you doing to prepare for the opportunity of your dream?

When the curtain on the stage of life rises, will you be ready for your big performance? You will be if you rehearse, receive the proper education, and tell yourself that excellence is what you require.

If you fail to focus on your goal, chances are, you won’t recognize your opportunity when it arrives making your preparation in vain.

I’m reminded of what I often hear a friend say, “if you don’t prepare to succeed, then prepare to fail.”

It’s Never Too Late to Dream

SPR2010_Outdoors18Over the Christmas holiday my family saw the movie, Rise of the Guardian and I was pleasantly reminded about the childhood characters that I grew up with. In the movie we met Jack Frost, Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman.

Without spoiling the movie for those who haven’t seen it, there’s a scene where Santa asked Jack Frost what is your core? Jack Frost told Santa that he didn’t know what his core was. Santa reassured him that he would eventually find out. True to his word, Jack Frost found out what his core was.

The movie used the word, “core” but what I think Santa was asking Jack Frost is, “What is your purpose?” I have been in numerous settings –too many to name-when the question has been asked to those in the room, what is your purpose. After a few “blank” and frustrated stares, there were always a few in the audience who raised their hands.

I think those who know their purpose and live it, have found one of the “keys” to living a fulfilling life. So many people have not identified what their purpose is. External pressures distract us from living our purpose. Whether it is pressure to do what others believe we should be doing versus what we love. Perhaps, it’s the pressure of living in a certain neighborhood, have a certain house or car can cause people to miss their purpose because they will pursue careers that help them “keep up with the Jones’s.” When they arrive, they realize that they’re not happy. Then there are those who just don’t know how to make a living doing what they enjoy.

If you’re lucky enough to find out what your purpose is, then you find yourselves faced with having to protect and nurture that purpose because there are so many external forces ready to discourage you from living your purpose.

My purpose is to help others. I have always gained a sense of accomplishment by helping people realize their dreams. I’ve been known to provide advice to friends about their careers, relationships, parenting, etc. I have an ability to help steer people in the direction that they desire. Although I understood what my purpose was, about 10 years ago, I discovered that my scope to help others was greater than what I imagined. Because of my role at Girl Scouts and my exposure in the community, my reach is far greater and so are my resources to help others.

My advice to those still searching for your purpose is to find a quiet time to reflect on when you were your most happiest. When do you feel your greatest sense of accomplishment? I hope by answering this question, that you too will spend your time doing those things that mean the most to you. Just maybe, you too can embark on a journey like Jack Frost in this delightful movie. Remember the journey is just that. Take one step at a time, never give up on your dreams, dismiss the naysayers, and don’t let fear rob you of living the fulfilled life.