A dear friend of mine died last week. She was
an extraordinary person.
We are all extraordinary when we are born, but
so few of us actually die as extraordinary people.
That is because we spend our lifetimes
whittling away our unique traits that don't "fit in".
You can do too many things you think you
"should", versus what you want or need to
do. Or, you get stuck doing things that used
to work for you, but no longer do. You may
not even truly know who you are intended to
be. As a result, you become
Ordinary. Just like everyone
Not Zardoz. My friend and teacher was
everything that she was meant to be, and then
some. She left a high-powered, high-income
investment banking job some time ago to pursue her
spiritual passions. This transition
included changing her name legally to one that
better suited her uniqueness and her vision.
The word "kook" may have been used once or
twice to describe her.
But, she took no offense.
She taught me that when you are true to
your unique nature, you may lose a few
"friends". You may not do or say things that are
"popular". In fact when you are really true to
yourself, you start to live the life you want
and not the life that someone else wants you to
live. When you are true to
yourself, you can become the ultimate
leader in your own life and become
extraordinary through the process.
I realize that staying true to your course
requires courage. Unfortunately, it can sometimes
be easier to bail out on yourself than to feel like you
are failing others. Ordinary people bail out on
themselves over and over again.
This message is so timely when many people
are finding themselves a part of this
economic downward spiral. More jobs are being lost
and many folks are asking serious questions about what's
next? Who am I and what am I going to do?
Deep inside you may be excited for something new,
but you are scared to death.
I never met a person that got a pink slip that
on some deeper level didn't really want one. Now
that may sound absolutely crazy to those of you that are
suffering the pain and agony of it right now.
These changes can be subtle messages that your
life needs a readjustment. It may be a perfect
time for that much needed second career or second chance
to tap into something that really makes your passion
come alive. A new opportunity to be truer to
When I exited my corporate job, it was
painful. How could it not be when I invested
my time, passion and energy into
a chapter of my life that lasted more than 20
years? These adjustments are not pain-free, but
they give us the time to reflect and re-craft our lives
to be extraordinary.
There are still people I know that think I
am crazy for not taking another high-powered corporate
job. The allure of the money, the "security",
the insurance, etc. are the reasons they
offer. Or my own internal voice that
occasionally doubts my choices. I could allow them
to "convince me" of what is right for me. I could
also try to please them, or try to "fit in" to what is
Fortunately, I have learned about the
implications of bailing out on myself and I don't
want to do it anymore. I am staying on course to
do what I feel passionate about. I
believe that being true to yourself will
empower you to become extraordinary.
Leadership has many paradoxes, and this is
one. The road to becoming an extraordinary leader in
your own life requires dismantling the very fabric you
may have spun to represent yourself to others.
- It requires your truthfulness to strip away the
things in your life that are no longer working for
- It requires a re-focus of your internal compass to
find your "true north" so that in time, you can better
- It requires you to endure the pain of your
own self-doubt and to withstand the rejection from
others that your new direction will certainly
Are you extraordinary? Or at least working
towards becoming extraordinary again? I hope
so. You owe it to yourself and to others.
Interested in business or life coaching?
Click here for more information:http://www.laura-lopez.com/coaching.htm
Lopez is a performance strategist, leadership specialist
and branding expert with more than 20 years of corporate
experience. She is also a late-in-life mom who gleaned
her leadership insights from her experiences with her
daughter and applied them at work with outstanding
results. Laura discusses this in her new book,
The Connected and Committed
, a practical guide that teaches you
how to achieve better results at work by applying
lessons from home.
Laura is a sought-after
keynote speaker, award-winning author, and business and
life coach who has been featured on the Today Show and
Fox News. In addition, her accomplishments have been
highlighted in several business periodicals including
The Long Beach Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle,
Latina Magazine, and Central Valley Business Times. Her
articles on management and leadership are regularly seen
in Leadership Excellence.
Laura can be
contacted via her Web site at:
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