The Extremely Personal Post
July 30, 2011
I am the CEO of my life.
This proud statement just sprung out of me as I read an inspiring post by Janet Callaway entitled How to be the CEO of your life.
Frankly, I was shocked that as soon as I read the post, I HAD to write my comment. It was like I had no choice. I had to state my position because I have finally figured it out.
Figured what out?
That I’m ok.
Let me give you some background.
3 years ago I made the most difficult decision of my life. I decided to end my marriage of 7 years. Not an easy thing you can imagine, with 2 very young kids in tow. But it was the right decision. And I did it. This was just the start of 3 years of crisis.
It went from a separation, to getting laid off, to my mom being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour, to her dying a year later, to my dad suddenly suffering from mobility issues.
How did I cope?
Ok.. being honest. I didn’t. I survived.
Have you ever been in a position where you just deal with what is screaming in front of you. Because you have to. Because it is the right thing to do? I think we all have. You do what needs to be done and you move on.
The problem in my case, is that it was 3 years of this. Living in crisis. It becomes the new normal. You don’t panic, because you are always panic’d. You live on the edge. Its like everyday is the last day before a big project is due. Because this was my normal, you don’t question it. You do it. What needs to be done. Everyday.
God, I hated living like that.
Now… let me ask you. What is your day to day level of stress like? Really think about this one. You may not have the crisis I have, but at what grade of panic do you live? Don’t cheat yourself. Answer honestly. Can’t answer this one? Ok.. let me tell you how my life is now.
I have upgraded from surviving to being happy. This is my first written proclamation of this… so I’m living it up. What this means is that things are easier. Its never easy, but its easier. I cherish my time with my kids. I enjoy my friends. I love my work. I find myself coasting in a state of bliss. My bliss is:
- Goals are clear
- Balance between opportunity and capacity
- Concentration deepens
- The present is what matters
- Control is no problem
- Time is altered
- Loss of ego
Yes. I stole this list from somewhere.. wish I noted the source in my theft, but I didn’t. But it is now my list. Instead of wandering, I am focused. Instead of praying for the night to appear, I’m surprised when it does.
I think the real testament is that I’m comfortable being me. That I am my true authentic self in all situations. Well, as best as I can. When you strip away all the layers of crap and find yourself.. its like. Hello. there you are. Wanna hang? Nice to have you around.
So, I ask myself.. how the hell did I get here.
It wasn’t easy. Once I found myself out of crisis. I wanted to start to focus on me. It took someone outside of me to point out… um.. Laurinda… you operate at high anxiety… all the friggin time.
So I made the commitment to stop.
What I discovered is that anxiety wasn’t my problem. It was the beliefs that I held about myself was the problem. And I worked hard at changing all the ones I logically new were stupid, but my emotions didn’t get that memo. This was a daily battle of identifying when I thought of the belief. Finding evidence that said… hey.. that isn’t true. Building new evidence on what was true. And believing it… and I have found… I believe in me. More and more.
Why am I sharing this?
Because of Janet’s post. Because I believe that I’m not alone and that you may be experiencing something similar. And because I had to. People who know me, know that I am straight forward and don’t hide much. I’m human. I’m proud. And I care.
Please share your thoughts below. Tell me I’m crazy, I don’t mind. Because of you, I learn and grow. I hope to help too!
Hi lovely! LOVE the post. XOX
@Megan. Thanx girl! Hope all is well with you. Sounds like you are working hard according to your tweets. 🙂
So happy to hear you are happy! You deserve it!
@Shelly. Thanx girl!! We both have had an amazing year with beautiful gifts!! I have to call you so I can meet your gift and catch up. As soon as it slightly slows down. 🙂
Laurinda, Absolutely well said. So glad you have found yourself and doing what makes you truly happy. You so deserve it.
@Florie. I’m really getting spoiled by getting all these comments from my friends IRL! Thanx Florie. I really appreciate it. Hope you and the family are doing well. I think of your mom as I drive by her home on the way to drop off the kids are daycare. Hope she is doing ok.
it takes a lot to write about something this personal. Kudos to you 🙂
It’s nice to see how well you’re doing after all you went through. I definitely believe that it is only yourself who can make a change and it’s not something that happens from the outside, it needs to happen from within. A couple of years ago, I made the same decision: I am the CEO of my life. And I am much happier now.
Way to go, you are an inspiration!
Franziska San Pedro
The Abstract Impressionist Artress
@Franziska Thank you Franziska! And yes… I love hearing how you too made the same decision. Its through stories of people’s success that helps me with my own. I appreciate you sharing.
Laurinda, aloha. To say your post made my day would be an understatement. Laurinda, it makes my heart sing, I gave a fist pump, shouted YES! and am cheering you. After I finish replying to you, I am going to take the link to this post back to share with those who commented about your story on my post.
Laurinda, you had already taken control of your life and it seems that my post gave you the words to recognize that you are the CEO of your Life; you in charge.
Let me direct you to another post of mine that I believe will add another layer of understanding. When you go to my blog, in the search box either type in Brene or You Are Enough; either will take you to the post. The video clip in it is powerful and, as you will see from the comments, deeply touched many, many people.
Laurinda, I am so glad we connected. When I commented on Keri’s blog (ideagirlmedia) yesterday, I noticed your comment. Is that how we first connected or did you see a tweet? If you remember how you found my blog, I would love to know.
In any event, Laurinda, thank you for this magnificent post and letting me know what my post sparked in you. Wishing you a glorious day. Until next time, aloha. Janet
@Janet. I feel so worldly with your aloha! I do believe that we connected through Keri’s blog. I will definitely go search for the post you referenced. Thank you for directing me there. I am also glad we connected. I am in awe of the power of social media and how it connects me with remarkable people like Keri and yourself. Thank you for being my spark for this post.
You are my hero. You have been a great influence on me these past several years that I too have been in crisis mode. Once again you have inspired me (and I confess shamed me a little) to push past the constant crisis after crisis and take some control back, and make that same commitment you did.
Thank you for always letting me follow your lead.
Oh, by the way. Scotch is this girl’s buddy too. One of these days we’ll enjoy a glass together.
@Michelle. It took me HOW many years to learn you are a fellow scotch drinker!! How did I miss this. Oh… the fun we will have.
I had no idea that I was leading. I’m just trying to do what is best for me without harming anyone or myself… muddling through to some degree of success. But… like most things, you can’t do it alone. And you madame, have shared your wisdom with me in times when I needed to hear it. For that, I’m grateful.
Hey Laurinda, it’s really brave of you to share these personal details about your life. I’m sure having some space to vent about them can help you move on and continue seeking greener pastures.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
@Steven. Its funny. I don’t feel particularly brave. And I still don’t understand why I have this huge desire to share this. But I guess, as you say, its to help move on. Thank you so much for your comment and stopping by.
Thank you Laurinda…
thank you for telling like it is, without all that bs.
I stopped for a moment after I read your post. I asked myself “How do I feel? Where am I in my life?”
I won’t say “I know how you feel” – because I don’t know but I know how I feel. It’s like swimming in the ocean, I started very very deep, where was no light (and I didn’t know in which direction I should swim to get to the surface)…then slowly I tried to reach to the surface. So far I can see that I am swimming in the right direction, I can see the light after all 🙂
Is that easy? nope, but that’s the only right way for me – trying to find myself and be great in what I do.
I am happy for you, that you found YOU, I guess it’s not that easy.
Laurinda, this is such a powerful message that I struggled for days to find the words to explain just how much I appreciate what you are saying here.. Out of all the people I know, I think you are the most REAL person out there. I can’t think of a time when you used empty words or tried to hype things up.
You’re so authentic that it is a constant reminder for me to keep things real. Show your wards and follow your gut, I say!
Now, I particularly like the distinction between capacity and opportunity. Spreading yourself thin sucks.. I’ve been there too many times and learned some good, hard lessons.
With regards to control, personal development is one of the few things we CAN control.. So I try to focus on that and not worry about external factors and adversity. Worrying about every little thing is not only unproductive but very unhealthy.
I tell ya: this article really speaks to me. This is the sort of stuff I go up on a soapbox about when coaching and blogging.. I smell a new series for The Practical Life (I think I like your Practical Insights moniker a better but that’s me being anal-retentive.. WHOOPS)….. =o)
I’ve been here three times now. I had to give this the time I felt it deserved to swim and bounce around my brain for awhile. Thank you for sharing so much of you with us.
(I had to go over and read Janet’s post, I had it printed and put away to go into the field, but hadn’t actually read it yet!)
The decision to change the way we live, the way we react to the world around and the ripples that come into our paths, it can change everything.
Thank you, for being strong enough to make a change and for sharing that strength with us.~Amber-Lee
At least you were able to survive and become CEO of your life. I feel sad for those who never get to that role in their own life.
@Klaudia I’m so glad you stopped and reflected which exactly the purpose of the post! We need to lead our lives.. not follow what hte world provides. Thanxs, as always for stopping by.
@Yomar. Thank you for saying that I’m a real person. That actually is m #1 goal in my life. To be my authentic self wherever I go, in every situation. Not an easy task, but when you hold onto what is real in yourself, you find peace. And yes.. I’m thinking real hard about the “authenticity movement” series for The Practical Life. And.. this is due your insightful responses to my posts. 🙂 Thanx so much for your input Yomar.
@Amber-Lee. Hi Amber-Lee, so nice to virutally meet you. I appreciate you coming back again! And yes, it is a decision and a choice. I choose to be strong. I choose to lead my life. And I choose chocolate (more than I should). lol. Thank you for your comment.
@Sofia. I had lunch with a friend who was complaining at the age of 47 she still has many issues. I told her about my philosophy. When i was younger, I thought everyone grows up. And as I grow up, I realize many don’t. She is lucky to have this moment of enlightenment and take steps to make the life she is meant to have. Its never too late. And its worth it.
I can’t wait! This week is going to be HUGE.. Trying to get some deliverables taken care of so I can go into full-on content development mode.
It’d be great to have at least four spiffy updates over at The Practical Life. We got some good momentum going but I’d like to have more guests and variety.. This is the formulation phase so we’re trying to figure out what sticks, ya know?
This authenticity movement series is going to spark lots of other stuff.. I already have a ton of ideas dancing around in my head. WHEEEEEEEE!
(Please get better soon.. I miss ya!!)
@Yomar. I’m better. I think. It was some flu.
Yes.. I’m starting the research phase for the post at The Practical Life… oh.. this is going to be so much fun! And I hope I can learn a thing or 2.
I think re-reading “All Marketers Are Liars (Tell Stories)” is a good place to start. The simple formula Seth Godin recommends for modern marketers is being remarkable and authentic. Throughout all his books, he pretty much supports this idea. I particularly like “Unleashing the Ideavirus” and “Purple Cow”.. His books are always a great read and they’re priced to go, so that doesn’t hurt either! ;o)
I can feel all your suffering from this post. But at same I feel PROUD for you as now your are in league of extraordinary human beings.
Thanks a lot for this touch post and best of luck for you future.