“I left home and tried to live the life

“I left home and tried to live the life of a hermit, but I was still fighting myself. I went to England and worked as a chainman on the road. It was better therapy than the shrinks. Building a two-mile road gave me internal peace.”
― Brian Strang


What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

How many times did we hear that question when we were growing up?   Some of you are still hearing that question even though you are well into your adulthood.  Some of us have had a hard time finding our niche in the world while sometimes it seems everyone else around us knows exactly where they are going.  Let’s examine the idea of knowing what you were created to do for a bit.

One of my closest friends in high school knew exactly what he wanted to do from his sophomore year.  He graduated, went to college, got his Masters degree and has worked in his field ever since.  He is happy and successful and I hate him.   Well not really.  I admire him and we are still friends some forty years later.  For many years though I was jealous of the fact the he knew the path he was meant to take while I was a late bloomer. Another friend also knew what she wanted to do before we left high school.  She went off to college, graduated and took a job in her field.  She was very talented and we were always impressed by her work. Two years later she realized that the work was not very fulfilling and the thing went to college for and loved so much was nothing like she thought it would be.  A third friend really had no idea what she wanted to do and went off into the workplace.  She met a great guy, got married and raised a wonderful family.   It wasn’t until her kids were older and she took a job as a teacher’s aide that she came to find out she had a passion for teaching.  So she went to college, got a degree and began to teach.  She is so good at what she does that she recently was named teacher of the year.   But she came to this place later in life than most people do.
The reality is that for most people the path to the future is never clear and never straight.  For many of us the path is winding with some surprising left turns and some stop signs.  Some lucky few know what they are meant to do early in life.  For many of us it is more of a journey that needs to be taken so that we can discover things about ourselves so that we can find our passion.  I bet that if you ask most people around you if they are where they expected to be ten or twenty years ago they would say no.

As a life coach I work with a lot of people who need someone to walk with them along their path of discovery and help see some of the sign posts along the way.  I also work with a lot of people who not only don’t know where they are going but aren’t even sure where the path is.  A life coach is a great resource for people trying to figure out their lives.  Here are a couple of things I always remind the people I journey with:

1) The path is rarely straight.  Life is a complex thing with lots of surprises along the way.   Even when you do your best preparation, you can never plan for everything that comes your way.  Sometimes you just have to walk the path to discover who you are.

2) You do not need to journey alone. Being surrounded by friends and family is a great support system on your journey. Friends and family can have insight into parts of your life that you may not be able to see yourself. If you have a great support system in your life, use it.

3) Sometimes you need outside eyes to help. A life coach (or a therapist depending on the situation) can help you sort through the many things going on in your mind and then help you formulate a plan to reach your goals.  A life coach can help you focus your thoughts and then hold you accountable along the journey.
4) Life is a journey, not a destination! I end every blog with this quote because I feel so strongly about this statement. I have never met anyone who feels that they have finally arrived. Actually there is really no place to arrive to. Even when people reach a goal in their life they always find that there is another step to take, another mountain to climb or another thing that needs to be done. Life truly is a journey and it is important that we live each day with passion.

5) Try it all, meet them all, experience it all.  One of the things that I tell my clients is that you need to put yourself out there and try lots of things, meet lots of people and experience life to the fullest. There are many reasons for this but one of my favorite is that you never know what doors are going to open for you or who will open that door if you don’t go out there and live life to fullest.


You may have known what you were going to do when you grew up since you were a child or you may still be trying to figure it out. That is ok. Let me say that again…that is ok. Don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t feel passionate about. Take the journey that has been put before you and experience the life you have been given. By living your life fully you open yourself to all kinds of amazing possibilities, including one that many become your passion. Tomorrow I will talk about What I Learned This Week.   Have a great day and don’t forget: Life is a journey, not a destination!

Throwback Thursday – It’s All About Toothpaste

In honor of Throwback Thursday I thought I would post a previous blog that I really like.  I hope you enjoy it also.
Let’s do an experiment.  All you will need it a tube of toothpaste.  Open up the tube and in the palm of one hand squeeze out about a half an inch of toothpaste.  Now the fun begins.   Now you are to take that half inch of toothpaste and put it back into the tube.  The goal is to put as much toothpaste back into the tube as humanly possible.   If you have done a good job you should see little or no toothpaste in your hand.  Now lick your hand.   What do you taste?  Of course you taste toothpaste.  Even after you think you have gotten every ounce of toothpaste back in the tube, there are still remnants on your hand.   Every day you and I squirt a lot of toothpaste out in the world.   What do I mean?   Our words!
Business People #12
Back when I was in college I had a friend that I used to hang out with a lot.   Like most guys of college age we would go out at night and see what was going on around town.   We would go out on double dates, we would go grab a drink and we planned our weekends so that we could go out and do the usual irresponsible things that college age guys do.   It was a great friendship.  Things were going alone great until I met this girl that I really liked a lot.  It turns out that my friend liked her also.  But as life happens once in a while she and I started dating.  My friend dated other girls and on occasion we would double date.  I had taken a job at night to help pay for school expenses and he would often stop by after a date and hang until I closed the place down.   One night he stopped by with the girl I was seeing with him.  He explained that they had gone to the mall so that she could help him pick out a shirt for an upcoming date.  They had stopped to say hi and after a few minutes they left to drop my girlfriend off back at home.   After they left I could feel the jealousy rise inside me.  The more I pondered that idea that my best friend and my girlfriend were hanging out, the angrier I got.  About 30 minutes later he returned to hang while I closed up.  He could tell that something was bothering me and he kept pushing for me to tell him what was wrong.  I resisted as long as I could then all of a sudden I opened my mouth and a barrage of accusations came spewing out.  I could tell immediately that he was shocked and hurt and then mad.   The only thing he said to me was “I wouldn’t do that to you.”  then he drove off.  To keep this long story from getting longer suffice it to say that the reason they were together was they were planning a surprise birthday party for me.  It took several days and many, many apologies from me for us to get back to a place that we could talk again.  But the reality was things were never the same between us again.  We continued to hang out.  We had fun but the closeness that we once shared was no longer there.  Little by little we saw less and less of each other as we drifted apart and eventually lost track of each other.  Several years later I heard that he had been killed in an accident.

My words to my friend were just like squeezing toothpaste in your hand.  The words came out.  I tried to take them back but there was always the remnant of the moment there.   Even though on the surface things looked like we had returned to normal, the reality was once the words came out there was no taking them back.  It was a very important lesson for me.  Words can be very harmful and once used the consequences of what was said remains.
Whenever I speak to someone about their past and they are sharing something that is painful I find that more often than not the pain that was inflicted was not as much physical and it was emotional.  I constantly hear stories from people who talk about how words cut to the core of their beings and the damage that is done remains with them forever.  As you go through your day today I want you to think about the words you use.  Words have strength and power.  You can use your words to encourage and express love or you can use them to tear someone down.   Today listen to your words and ask yourself how you’re using your words.  Like the toothpaste in your palm, the words can last a long time.  You have the choice to leave a good taste or a bad taste.  So let’s go out and leave great toothpaste everywhere we go today.   And don’t forget, Life is a journey, not a destination!