Category: Inspirational/Motivational


What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question we all got when we were children.

My own answers to that question were all over the place and would change pretty frequently.

In trying to remember what my answers were, I’m sure I probably said any of the following on any given day: a teacher, an author, a businesswoman, an artist, etc.

But the only one I distinctly remember being the most sure about was a fashion designer. That was after my grandmother gave me some Fashion Plates for Christmas one year.

 

I loved my fashion plates and enjoyed the creativity of them. They made me want to learn how to really sketch clothing designs by hand. 

Ask yourself:

What did you want to be when you grew up? What do you still want to be?


So when I got to high school I decided to take art all four years to learn how to sketch. 

That is until I got into my first year of art where I ditched the idea of becoming a fashion designer (or an artist) after my art teacher made my life a living a hell. 

She was such a rigid woman, too rigid to be teaching anything that’s supposed to be creative. Her teaching methods and personality made me never want to take another art class again.

Ask yourself:

Has there ever been a person or an experience in your life that was so negative it turned you off from what you wanted to be when you grew up? How did that affect you?


So next I looked to the subject I was enjoying the most at the time…beginner-level Spanish. I really loved it and thought I’d like to eventually major in foreign languages once I got to college. 

But then came Spanish II, which was really difficult for me, much more than Spanish 1 where I was making all A’s.

Ask yourself:

Have you ever lacked the skill or ability to be the thing you wanted to be when you grew up? How did you shift your focus?


Finally, I discovered psychology…which changed everything for me.

I found psychology so interesting, and my understanding of it came naturally to me. It was becoming my passion.

Ask yourself:

What comes naturally to you? What are you passionate about?


But when I announced to my family I was going to study psychology as my college major, they weren’t as enthusiastic about it as I was.

I kept hearing, 

“Oh, how in the world are you going to make any money with THAT kind of degree?”

My dad said I should major in business (his passion)…because I’d make more money.

My mother said I should be a nurse…because I’d make more money.

Even my brother chimed in and said I should be an accountant because, again,… I’d make more money.

Ask yourself:

Did anyone ever try to discourage you from becoming what you wanted to grow up to be? How did you respond?


So why didn’t I listen to any of my family members? Several reasons:

  1. I can’t stand the site of blood. And I can’t stand the smell of a hospital. Hearing people talk about their surgeries or ailments literally makes my skin crawl.
  2. I’m completely bored with math and number crunching. While other people find numbers fun and fascinating, I do not.
  3. Business didn’t interest me at the time. At least not enough for me to have done well in business classes.
  4. I get good grades when I’m studying something I find interesting. If I’m the one who has to take the classes and do the homework, the material has to keep me awake.
  5. Loving what I do is more important to me than making a lot of money.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why choosing a career path that paid well over choosing one I loved was important to my parents. 

They were both born in the late 1930s, still early enough to have felt some of the long-term effects of the Great Depression. 

Their parents drilled into them the importance of being financially secure in the event of another depression, so they were just doing what they thought was best for me by trying to encourage me into fields considered more lucrative.

My brother is a lot older than me. In fact, he’s closer in age to my dad’s generation than he is to mine. Therefore, his mentality has also been “get a job that pays well regardless of whether you like it.”

Ask yourself:

Is there something you’re passionate about even though it may not make you a lot of money? Which is more important to you?


I stood firm in my decision to major in psychology (and minor in sociology), did well in all my psychology classes, and made the dean’s list several times.

It wasn’t until the summer between my junior and senior year that I knew what I wanted to do with my degree.

That summer I had been an orientation leader at my alma mater and had also been working the previous two years in the Provost’s office as a student worker.

I loved the college atmosphere, loved working with incoming students, and had developed a strong understanding of the organizational structure of a university.

I decided to ask my Dean of Students how do I get a job like his? (This was my first time conducing an informational interview and had no idea at the time that was what it was called.)

He explained I would need a master’s degree in a field I had no previous idea existed. I started researching graduate programs in higher education administration and student personnel services. 

Ask yourself:

Have you explored a career path that was previously unknown to you? What is it? What have you learned about it? What else do you want to learn about it?

The more I found out, the more I realized my psychology degree was the best foundation for what I would study in graduate school. 

In fact, much of what I learned in grad school was just an extension from undergrad.

Unlike my fellow grad students who came from other majors like finance and business, I already had familiarity with a lot of the theories and material.


Once I had decided on higher education as a career path, I still had to narrow down what area of higher ed I wanted to go into. 

My degree was readying me for so many possibilities.

I could go into financial aid, housing/residential living, Greek life, admissions, orientation, career services, academic advising, first-year programs, student activities, study abroad, international student services, and on and on.

Ask yourself:

Do you sometimes have so many career options or career interests you find it hard to narrow down your choices? 

I narrowed my choices down into three areas based on the ones that interested me most: orientation programs, freshman year experience programs, and career services. 

I delved into those three areas by gaining practical experience through internships, volunteer work and special projects while finishing my degree.

It was while volunteering in the university’s career center I knew I wanted to help students figure out what they wanted to be “when they grew up” based on their own interests and passions instead of their parents’ wishes.

Ask yourself:

Has a previous personal experience inspired you to a career helping others facing the same experience?


After earning my masters, I went on to be a college career adviser at various universities and even held the title of director of career services at one time. 

I also got to teach some college level courses.

I loved what I did. 

My job even allowed me to use my creative side in developing career-related programs for my students.

But when my creativity began to be stifled, I decided to make a bit of a career change and started my own image consulting business (click here to read the story on how that happened).

Ask yourself:

Have you ever felt so stifled or burned out in your career you knew you were ready for a change?


For 8 years I worked independently as an image consultant but in that time I also continued to do career coaching on the side. 

The image consulting fed my childhood interest in fashion since it included some wardrobe styling work. 

And I even became an author when I released my first book, an Amazon #1 bestseller about image and style.

Then, after 8 years of image consulting, I was ready for another career change, but also a bit of a return to my roots.

I became an independent career coach with a focus on helping people discover and pursue their passions.

Ask yourself:

Have you ever had a yearning to go back to something you once did before?


It’s an interesting story how I shifted my image consulting business back to a career coaching focus (click here to read that story).

I knew I wanted to go back to career coaching but I had two requirements for myself:

  1. I still wanted to work for myself, so I avoided applying for jobs at college career centers. Instead I re-structured my business’s mission.
  2. I wanted to work with people going through mid-career transitions with a focus on helping them pursue their passions and the things they once wanted to be when they grew up.

My background and own personal experiences have served me well in accomplishing those two goals. 

Ask yourself:

What are some of your career goals? What are some of your “must haves” for your work? How has your background prepared you for your goals?


Unlike most other career coaches, I didn’t just decide to be a career coach after having worked in another industry. Career coaching has been part of my entire career.

It has evolved out of a combination of childhood interests, natural gifts and talents, and passion. 

And it has taken some exciting twists and turns along the way.

I’m thankful there’s been more than just one way to pursue my passion. 

I’m also thankful my current situation allows me to combine some of my other passions like writing and stand up paddle boarding with my work as a career coach. 

And I love helping others find unique and creative ways to pursue and combine all the passions they have, helping them become some of the things they always wanted to be when they grew up.

Ask yourself:

What are some ways you can pursue your own passions? How can you combine your passions? What steps will you take next to do so?

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to help you start taking the next steps to becoming what you want to be when you grow up (again)!

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Sunday Inspiration: Position Yourself to Receive

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“The wise listen to others.”   Pr 12:15 NLT

Positioning yourself to receive—makes all the difference!

For example, as you read this, if you position yourself to receive by saying to the Lord, “I will take action on what You show me,” you’ll benefit more than if you read it just to be motivated or inspired.

To resist or to receive—that’s a choice you make every day.

Nothing dies quicker than a new idea in a closed mind. It’s impossible to learn, if you think you already know it all.

One of the reasons Jesus reacted so strongly to the Pharisees was because they refused to receive what He had to say.

A wrongly positioned mind is like a microscope that magnifies trifling things but can’t receive great ones.

Every situation, properly viewed, is an opportunity. But opportunities can only “drop into your lap” if you position your lap where opportunities drop.

When you don’t position yourself to receive, it’s like asking for a bushel while you’re holding a cup.

Too often our minds are locked on one track. We’re looking for red so we overlook blue; we’re thinking “tomorrow” and God is saying “now.” We’re looking everywhere, and the answer is right under our nose.

When a person is positioned correctly, he or she is ready to receive all God has for them.

The Bible often uses the word simple. The original term means “thick, dull, and sluggish,” and it describes those who are insensitive and unreceptive to the thoughts of others.

God will speak to you through people, but unless you listen you won’t hear what He has to say. So today position yourself to receive.

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/position-yourself-to-receive

Sunday Inspiration: Do Not Be Afraid to Take Baby Steps Toward Your Passions

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

Matthew Kelly, internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and business consultant, on discovering your passion:

Once we know what we love doing—once we know what produces that timelessness, that incredible experience of just time passing and being completely immersed in something and not even recognizing the passing of time—not everyone can then turn around and go off and do that as their full-time job.

We do have responsibilities in our lives that very often prevent us from doing whatever we want to do with our lives.

And that’s real, and that’s practical. And it’s dishonest for me to pretend otherwise.

It’s like that lie we tell kids, “You can do anything you want.”

I don’t want to be presenting the adult version of that.

The reality is, you do have to pay your bills. The reality is, you may have a family to support.

But you can take baby steps towards it. You can do some piece of it. You can do it for a couple of hours a week. And maybe that’s enough to feed that part of your soul that needs that.

But the thing that stops us, the thing that holds us back, the obstacle, the challenge: fear. It’s always fear. It’s always been fear. It’ll always be fear.

The most common phrase that appears in the Bible:

“Do not be afraid.”

The most common thing Jesus said was:

“Do not be afraid.”

The most common thing Jesus said wasn’t “Love everybody.” The most common thing Jesus said wasn’t any of a thousand other things that people would say if you asked them on the street, “What do you think the most common thing Jesus said was?” Most people come up with, “Oh, love other people how you want to be loved,” or, you know, those kinds of things.

But no, the most common thing he said was:

“Do not be afraid.”

We’re afraid of losing things.

We’re afraid things won’t work out the way we want them to, or hope they will.

We’re afraid of failing.

And sometimes, we’re afraid of succeeding.

But over and over again, God’s message to humanity is:

“Do not be afraid.”

Sean Ferguson, Mission Partner at Dynamic Catholic:

On April 8, 2015, I was coming home from a campus ministry meeting at the University of Dayton. At 7:13 PM, I was struck by lightning as I was walking through the parking lot.

Immediately, I collapsed to the ground and was unconscious. The nerves in my lower legs were severely damaged, and I was unable to walk or stand.

Sitting in my hospital bed and wondering, “Would I ever be able to walk again?” was one of the most overwhelming feelings I’ve had in my life.

The doctors emphasized that my recovery would happen in very small, incremental stages of the physical rehabilitation process.

Talk about literally needing to take baby steps to get back to the life of a normal twenty-three-year-old again.

A goal that I set for myself was that I would one day climb a mountain.

For two straight years, I went through intense rehabilitation.

This past August, I stood atop Croagh Patrick after climbing the 2,500-foot mountain off the coast of Ireland.

Each baby step that I took during my rehabilitation led me to reaching my ultimate goal of this amazing mountaintop moment.

What’s your baby step?

Source: http://go.dynamiccatholic.com/yDaHgPqS0f0FOHA1ld00010

How to Know When Passion Is Knocking On Your Door

I recently responded to a Quora question asking,

“How do you know if you’ve discovered your passion?”

Sometimes you find your passion, and sometimes your passion finds you. But in either case, you’ll be able to hear it knocking by listening for these eight clues:


1. If you’re so engaged in it you lose track of time.

How many times have you been working on something and looked up and saw two hours had passed before you realized it?

What were you doing in those two hours?


2. If you’re energized by it, as opposed to being emotionally and/or physically drained by it.

Now, of course there will be times when you’re tired from working in your passion. But usually it’s a good kind of tired.

Be sure to get your rest though. While hustle is good, you need to make time to re-energize so you don’t burn out.


3. If you’re at peace with it instead of stressed out by it.

This doesn’t mean you won’t ever get stressed while working in your passion. But if there’s far more peace than stress, you’ve probably found your passion.


4. If you’re willing to do it for free.

Don’t misunderstand me. If your passion is something you’re hoping to make a career out of, you definitely need to get paid what you’re worth.

While in the beginning you may need to do some free work to build up your portfolio, you eventually need to start charging for your expertise when there becomes a demand for it.


5. If you forget to eat.

This one is an easy clue for me personally. If I find myself skipping or delaying a meal for something, I know I must really be really passionate about it!

But just like you need enough sleep to be healthy, you also need to maintain a balanced diet to keep your passion productive.


6. If you wake up in the morning looking forward to it.

Since I started working for myself in pursuit of my own passion, I no longer dread Monday mornings.

In fact, I actually look forward to them!


7. When it doesn’t feel like work.

I’m very passionate about my work, but it often doesn’t feel like work. When that happens, sometimes it’s hard for me to take a break from my work.

But again, balance and moderation in everything is what keeps me productive and helps me avoid burn out.

Being a workaholic is not healthy, nor is it necessary. We all need to stop falling for the glorification of workaholism and busyness.


8. OR, when at times it does feel like work.

Even if it does feel like work but you’re willing to persevere and push through the tough times instead of just giving up or quitting when it gets hard, you’ve probably found your passion.

There have been numerous times of challenge in pursuing my own passions, but I never had a desire to give up no matter what the challenge was.

This is the true definition of passion.


Designing Your Life

In addition to (and in overlap of) the above, the authors of Designing Your Life (Bill Burnett and Dave Evans) pose the question,

“What things in your daily routine make you feel all (or most) of the following?”
  • Complete involvement in an activity.
  • Euphoria/joy.
  • A clear idea of exactly what to do and how to do it.
  • Calmness and peace.
  • Time is gone before you know it.

Burnett and Evans refer to this as “flow,” or in other words, total engagement. Flow feels more like play than work, and it includes not being concerned about the outcomes of what you’re engaged in.

Fear of Failure

I consider a lack of concern about the outcomes to be a willingness to fail and to learn from that failure.

But there are some people who allow their fear of failure to put a damper on their passions and they never end up pursuing those passions.

Let’s cut to the chase. The fear of failure will always be there. You just have to decide if your fear of never knowing what would’ve happened is greater than your fear of failure.

I hope it is, because if you let fear of failure win, you’re not only missing out, but so are all the people who could benefit from your passion.


Need help recognizing and pursuing your own passions? Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to help get you started!

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Sunday Inspiration: What Are Your Strengths?

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.”   Ro 12:6 TLB

Paul writes: “Just as our bodies have many parts and each…has a special function…We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other…God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” (vv. 4-6 NLT).

Dr. John Maxwell recommends that you work where you’re strongest 80 percent of the time, where you’re learning 15 percent of the time, and where you’re weakest 5 percent of the time.

So, what are your strengths?

To find the answer to that question, you must:

(1) Be secure. If you allow your insecurities to get the better of you, you’ll become inflexible and resistant to change. And if you don’t change you won’t grow.

(2) Get to know yourself. Spend time exploring your gifts, ask for feedback and receive it, and be honest about your blind spots.

(3) Trust your leader. If you can’t trust the person you’re following, you should look for someone you can trust, or get on another team.

(4) See the big picture. Your place on any team only makes sense in the context of the big picture. If your sole reason for finding your niche is personal gain, your wrong motives will rob you of the very joy, fulfillment, and success you desire.

(5) Rely on your experience. The only way to know you’ve discovered your niche is to try things, take risks, learn from your failures and successes, and discover what God has gifted you to do.

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/what-are-your-strengths