Sunday, November 11, 2012

Be Your Opportunity

Navigating the waters of opportunity...
Life has been good since the last time I wrote an entry on Lift Living.  I took the past few months off of blogging to dive into my new job and absorb the lessons I was learning along the way.  

Some highlights of my transition include working for an incredible company, sleeping in my own bed every night, putting roots down in the Chicago business and philanthropic community, and, most importantly, deepening my relationship with my hot wife and son.

There are some more challenging aspects to my "new normal" including adjusting to a sales role with cold calls, refining my approach to selling our services, and, on a more personal level, dealing with the aftereffects 8 months of chemotherapy does to one's fertility...

I am super blessed to have what I have, but cancer always seems to find a way of reminding me of our "relationship."

Of all the lessons I learned over the past few months one stands out above them all and the funny part is that I already brushed up against it when I was making sense of my cancer diagnosis a couple years ago.  I've talked about being uncomfortable in the past (Blog Entry: Welcome the Uncomfortable) and how feeling uncomfortable is a physical indication from our body that we are at the cusp of an opportunity for personal growth.

My new job has a lot of uncomfortable moments for a guy that hasn't done a lot of traditional "selling" in the past.  So much so that I caught myself falling back on an old habit of procrastinating said moments and just knocking off easy things on my to do list to feel like I was making progress.

Just trading personal growth for the short term feeling of satisfaction...

The moment I realized I was not heeding my own advice I sat back in my desk chair and thought about how much I sacrificed to get to that moment.

I focused on the time I spent on the road away from my wife and son over the past 5+ years and the work I did with my whole-life coach during my cancer journey to understand my personality, strengths, and values to find a more purposeful life.  I also thought about the time and resources my new company invested in finding and accommodating me and the huge amount of trust they have in me to be a part of a team that brings their unique brand to the Chicago market.

What an opportunity I was not taking advantage of...

To add another layer of "Deep Thoughts" by Roger Lumpp, I contemplated the raw fact that had I not been so fortunate with my diagnosis and treatment result, it would be someone else in my chair on the 42nd floor of an office building in Chicago with the opportunity to do something really special.

Hello humbleness...

This lesson hung in my head for weeks as I walked to meetings, sat in traffic, or watched the sun rise over Lake Michigan waiting for my morning train.  Over time I came to the deeper realization that every role we hold in our lives is an opportunity we are just lucky to be in...  

It is up to us to take it as far as we can by pushing ourselves through those personally uncomfortable moments.  If we are spending time doing the easy tasks and not advancing our roles it is only a matter of time until someone will replace us whether as an employee, a husband, or a father.

There's a gut check...

So this is my call to you.  Think about the roles you are in: student, employee, parent, husband, wife, public servant, soldier, coach, etc.  If there was someone else in your role, would they take it further?   Would they put in the hard work to evolve it?  Would they press through the failures in search of a better solution?

Or would they just do the easy tasks on their list and maintain the norm?

We are all fortunate to be living various opportunities in our lives.

Go be (everything to) yours.

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