6 Uniquely Inspired Tips to help you navigate your life path!
No matter where you are in your life, changing directions can be an adjustment: physically, mentally and emotionally. And well, scary for some, and exciting for others, but no matter what angle you take, that shift is going to be different from what you are currently doing. I have spent almost half my life working towards one goal, one direction, a final product that I felt was very clear to me. I was blessed with knowing very specific steps I should take to get where I was going. Well, I have accomplished much of those things with only one or two left (depending on how you read into them). But in each and ever step comes the possibility that what you thought might not be, and as we accomplish tasks, reach goals and gain insight comes the understanding that things change, shift and we can be called in a different direction (or a more defined one).
In life, one day your in and the next- your out (Project Runway….) And wow is that ever true! Being “in” does not mean that you are the “it” thing and being “out” surely does not mean that it’s all over. The thing is, these transitions allow us to fully embrace the shift that is taking place and help us to either step back or fully step up. I think about a competition like Project Runway and when one is almost eliminated- one of two things has to happen: you take a breath (or 100) and regroup and go at the next task a blazen, or you focus too much on the almost loss that you can’t quite get your s@#* together and maybe not fully use the opportunity you have right now. And if you happen to be eliminated from the competition or “out”, you can use that “out” as a means to work your ass off even harder, learn from your mistakes and go do your thing, regroup and ask yourself what you are missing and what you can do better; or decide if this is your passion and calling or just a fun hobby and if so what change is needed.
Now if you haven’t guessed, I do watch Project Runway, I like the inspiration and ideas the designers come up with and love seeing the friendly competition. But what I have noticed is no matter what kind of opportunity you are given on your path, it truly is your decision what to do with it. I have watched people willing drop out and go home because they are homesick, their dog died, get eliminated because they wasted their time and carried themselves with an attitude that they just didn’t care or poor time management and it showed in their work. I have also watched people win the entire competition and not really knowing how to sew, but what they could do worked for them. There are people from all walks of life, with all sorts of schooling or lack there of. But I have to say the designers who hold the most true to who they are, learn to take criticism positively and can keep a good attitude as they learn to navigate on their path, seem to do the best and go far. Some don’t win the show, but go off and win in their life, and that may very well out-weight winning the show itself.
I think even though Project Runway is just another reality competition show, its really an accelerated version of life. And we can learn a lot from this television show (really we can).
- If you don’t put yourself out there you’ll never know. If you don’t put yourself out there and take a risk you’ll never know. And just trying to do something one time usually isn’t enough, it may take twenty times or it might take just one to realize that this isn’t for you, either way as long as you try, listen and pay attention, it’s not a fail.
- It’s all who you surround yourself with. In order to grow you need to receive criticism, feedback and insight to your current state and process. Surround yourself with like-minded people to help you along the way. But in addition to those like-minded people you need to expose yourself to someone who has an outside perspective. I have discovered that these people will be very honest and tell you what you might not want to hear but need to! Who is your Tim Gunn? I have learned that a person truly wanting to move forward and achieve their goal will learn to take the criticism and decide if it’s time for a change or something to reconfirm their direction is right and to press on. And quite honestly, the things in life that we reject, get upset about or mad about may be the most true, as they touch a part of us we need to acknowledge. These things might be our game changers.
- Your take on the task will be different. You don’t want it to be the same! Twelve designers means twelve different looks, and I am always amazed that even though they work in close quarters rarely does one person come out with the same look as another. In life, your outlook is yours, it’s never wrong or right because how your brain interprets things and tasks is determined on what you have been through in your life thus far and how you perceive things, what sticks out to you, and that is OK. Even if 100 people don’t get it, if you know in your gut it’s right eventually someone will, and all it takes is one person.
- One trick pony’s only ride in one arena. When is the last time you furthered yourself, when is the last time you took a good look at what you are doing and asked yourself do I want more? If you want your pony to do more than one trick you have to put in the work. One design over and over again with different fabric, accessories and hair styling is still the same one design. Although that can help for a while, eventually it will lose steam. With some trial and error and the willingness to take advice, your pony will get the chance to ride in a different arena and when others see you are trying they will also take that into consideration too.
- Learn to make something out of nothing. Some of the most amazing people I have met made amazing treasures from trash. If you are waiting for the right stuff, the right training, the right equipment in order to live your dream, share your stuff, design your life, you might be waiting for a long time. I started my yoga studio with $435 in my checking account, several favors and a prayer (and an employer that did me the best favor by pushing me out the door). Wherever I worked prior to my studio, if they didn’t have what I need to run a successful class, I bought it or made it myself, yes my own money, and I didn’t have much, but making something out of nothing and going that extra mile just might be what you need to do to get where you are going and get noticed.
- Sometimes the final prize is not your final prize. Just because the phase in your life currently is advertising a $100,000 dollar prize with great accessories for winning the final runway show, doesn’t mean that this will be your final prize. It might not be in your cards for you to win, there might be something else; and as hard as it might be to see that something could be better than winning a lot of money and the status of best designer, there just might be. I am rejected constantly, every single day I am rejected, people telling me they are not interested, phone calls not returned, people choosing someone else’s offer over mine, applications rejected, second place. And yes, I am sad, I feel defeated, but I force myself to remember that it’s not my path to win that prize, to achieve that status, to get that gig. This is not me giving up but realizing that I need to keep going, and that going might be me stepping back or changing how I move down my path or what my focus is on my path currently.
I have grown a lot in my life and have learned a lot, and one of the thousands of things I have learned is that what I do on my path is my choice, as I walk in this life if things shift it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Letting go, and accepting change doesn’t mean you’ve failed or have wasted your life. Listening and watching more carefully can help you better understand why branches keep slapping you in your face or why your chainsaw keeps running out of gas.
Today stop and look around, get quiet and listen up, is this what you want? Is this competition for you? Do you need to try a little harder, are you riding in the right arena? Are you talents being best used in the area you are currently using them- architect gone clothing designer? School teacher gone DYI and stay at home mom, or white collar gone blue collar or entrepreneur? It is OK to shift, it is OK to change gears, others might not understand, but you are the one who has to walk your path.
And even though one day your in and the next day your out may appear like a disappointment or failure, it might just be the best thing to ever happen to you, because what you do with that is up to you.
I wish you well on your life path-wherever it may take you!
P.S. Where do you feel your life has been taking you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!