Published: April 13, 2016, Copyright (c) Sandy Elrick
It has been longer between my posts than I had wanted, but I felt a need to step back and reassess things again. I asked some friends and peers about my writing and if it was having an impact on them. Some said I was great, some said it was good but the content was more towards the self-help and my opinions were interesting. I took those comments and had to settle on the fact that while my writing is not necessarily focused on my career path, I am ok with that. I have an understanding with myself that my strength lies in seeing the big picture for all the little pieces that bring it together.
My writing is first and foremost, an expression of myself and thoughts from me and those around me. It is something that I enjoy doing. I endeavour to both educate and to hopefully open up some folks to alternative thinking patterns. So my second topic, clarity of purpose, has happened for me. As much as I would like to be able to write about everything, I can’t. I will continue to work on what is relevant for me. What I desire though, is more constant feedback and/or dialogue. I am not sure that LinkedIn is the correct platform for that so I’ll have to go exploring again and see what might work.
Good news! I like exploring and I’ve always been an early adopter of new ideas and technology. I also love my down time – time away from electronics and time away from the pressures of life. One can never truly get away but one can definitely be renewed by a little time away to refocus.
What is Strength and Why Does It Matter Right Now?
Strength by definition is “the quality or state of being strong, in particular” or “a good or beneficial quality or attribute of a person or thing”. The definitions seem to be a bit clinical. I prefer a more hands on approach to strength. To me, strength exists within oneself and it is the knowledge of need and application of your strength that determines what happens. Call it manifesting destiny if you choose to think in those terms. The reason I bring this up is something near and dear to me. I hold relationships strongly and I do try to encourage others – I am an advocate by nature. So it is my destiny to be that person who engages others and seeks the best for them.
I was grateful this week to be presented with an opportunity to reconnect with a friend and peer whom I have known for a few years now. I hope he doesn’t mind that I relate this story. He has been challenged of late, like many folks around Alberta. What I found out what he was suffering from a condition that literally was robbing him of his ability to function to the best he could be… sometimes even denying him his basic thoughts. What really blew my mind is how strong, mentally, he must have been for these last few years to have both tolerated his condition and at the same time keep his business functioning.
Having any business during a recession is a recipe for stress and taxing on the body and mind. Being responsible for others well being is a burden many business owners take personally. Inevitably though, we are sometimes given challenges that seem too great and seem too much to handle. What we must remember though is that despite our best intentions, life will come up with these moments of growth. It is at these times that we need to come back to our core beliefs and understandings – what we bring to the table is immense and we should embrace our inner strengths.
My friend was saying he was looking for a sign. Something that would lead him to finalize a decision he had been wanting to make for a long time. Having been through similar circumstances before, I did what I thought was best and I hope I helped out. I explained that sometimes what we think we need to decide has already been decided for us, we just need to understand that decision and accept it. I thought and said that I believe the sign you are waiting for isn’t related to what you think it is. Regardless of what I may think, the intention was to allow him to think from a different perspective, to maybe accept a different way of interpreting things, and to give himself the leeway to do what is best for him and ultimately his life and everything he touches.
Clarity of Purpose
So it is with this in mind that I was encouraged to try to be a reflection of his inner mind. I was trying to see if I could help. I could do no more and no less for someone who deserved my time. It is the one thing I can give so freely and without reservation. So my hope is that he has some clarity now and can surface from what has been holding him back. To some degree we all have been engaged in this fight (whether now or previously). We are used to being these people with purpose, expectations, and perceived wants and needs. What we need to remember is to take a step out of the daily buzz and to remember to focus on what we are at our core. Without this, we can be of no use to another.
We find strength within when we focus on clearing away the mental debris. To some degree, I feel the people of Alberta are suffering from this. We are bombarded by messages that we are the ones in need of change and that we are suffering for a reason. We are seeing negative stories and some are blaming outside sources for our misery. I can empathize with that perspective. What I have come to remember is that misery is only there if you let it stay there. I remind myself that while I refocus my career and seek opportunity, that I should not be as frustrated when it doesn’t present itself to me. Not receiving interview call backs from potential employers is not a judgement on me, it is simply the circumstances.
So if you take the perspective that circumstances will happen and that ‘you’ at a fundamental level are strong, you can dissociate from the burdens of misery. That doesn’t mean circumstances will change by hoping, it just frees you up to apply yourself at the level you need to to deal with the circumstances. You are no longer distracted. You should be able to better see the vision that you have before you. This applies whether you have a job or not, whether you have purpose or think you don’t.
So Comes the Renewal
As you read this, you may start processing what I am saying. Some of you may not be able to pay attention, some of you are already doing it, and some of you are still practicing to become better at it. That is both the joy and the pain of life. We are here to discover, grow, and move forward as we see fit. We can only do so when we have the capability to recognize that happening and to take advantage of the opportunity. So my call out to you today is this:
Regardless of circumstance, remain positive, and reach out to those around you. You never know when they may be the trigger that gains you the clarity so you can refocus. You may be the trigger for someone else to regain focus. That is an opportunity that we sorely need in this world. We should lift up and embrace one another. Try not to get mired in the overwhelming thoughts about life. If you are, remember there are those around you who will help, even if it is as simple and coming by to say hello.
In time, things change and can become better. We can control how we respond to people and life. We need more positive leaders – in our homes, our neighbourhoods, cities, and countries. We will break through this wall of uncertainty. It is the strength of character that allows someone to take a stand, to stand up for others, and to proclaim it out loud. I ask that our leaders take action and embrace the simple things that will help us help ourselves. We will take care of the rest like we always have. It is these seeds of change that will make us stronger and allow us to grow. It is this growth that makes us stronger for tomorrow.