Deb Sofield

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We have all been placed on this earth

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We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life.

There is such joy in seeing happiness, contentment, and peace when someone finds their right path, their calling or their life’s work. There is no greater joy than seeing someone settle gently in the path of their God-given talents, skills and abilities.

Now there is another side that I see and that is when someone is not following their dream. When they are following the dream of someone else, that makes for a rough road. I’m not saying it’s impossible and I’m not saying that someone cannot grow to love the path they were told to follow. But from where I sit (and coach, and speak, and council), I just find the idea of discovering our own path to be the easier weight to carry.

The reason I have come to this conclusion is that I truly believe we have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path. And we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life. I am sure one can grow into a bit of happiness and survive, but I don’t encourage that path. Life is to be lived and not just survived.

I know that many parents, friends, and bosses push people to “fit in” because they think that is what is needed, or expected, or it is what “our family does.” I see kids applying to medical school, not because they want to be a doctor, but because it is what Mom and Dad want. I help students work on law school interviews because Grandpa was a lawyer—so you have to go to law school to carry on the family name. Sometimes it’s “you’re next in line in the family business, so buck it up and be happy because your last name is on the building.” These are justified with “don’t worry, you’ll learn to love it in time.” For many that’s okay, until it is not. My encouragement to you is that you consider letting your young person, your spouse or your friend discover their own true path?

It is always interesting to me when, in mid-life, people up and change direction. As they see the birthdays pass by and the aches-and-pains kick up or, heaven forbid, friends pass away it is a reminder that life is short. It is too short not to do what you dream of or love. You should at least try to make of go of it.

Now I realize we both know people who have done this and ended up with crazy results. They divorce their spouse or they join a rock band—at least until they come to the realization that was a bad idea. So no, I’m not talking about being foolish, but today I am encouraging you to consider the steps that will lead you down your own path.

Your path to happiness and not someone else’s idea of what your life should be or look like. Now I have to be careful here because I don’t want you to jump the gun and make a poor decision that would end up costing you… but what I find is when a couple honestly sit at the table and shares openly some ideas of what they dream about – when friends feel safe to say what business they have always wanted to open – when young people can show a plan to their parents that prove they have though it out and are not going to blow their inheritance being a bum at the beach for a year working at the seafood shack it is amazing what doors open and opportunities present themselves when people are focused on the same thing.

You just have to have the courage to dream, plan and work on the discovery of your own path…and for those of you who are lucky enough to have one special person or a group of friends who believe in you and trust that you will be careful with the plan that has been agreed upon – you should get started today…

Do you remember when you were just starting out? Can you think back that far with me… what were some of the things you had hoped to do (now don’t let your left brain kick in right now just go with me for a minute) just think of the few things you had hoped to do…before what I call the 3 M’s – marriage, mortgage and munchkins…or after the 3 M’s – What path did you start down that had potential for great happiness and success as you see success (remember I’m not worried about the life others have for you right now?

If it was a good path back then and you have had the ability to continue and you’re doing your life’s work now – that is great.

If on the other hand you didn’t follow your dream – what can you do today to make small movements in that direction? With the blessing of those you care for.

I am fully aware that now most of you are in a job and you may have a family or other responsibilities that you can’t just turn the ship very easily but what I have found in my work is if you have a smidgen of an entrepreneurial spirit and attitude you can incorporate some of your own path – your hearts desire – your dream into a reality…and at this point don’t worry about what others have in mind for you – many well meaning people do not have a clue of who you are or what your made of or where you’re going… but believe that you still do and it’s that spark I hope smolders into a fire…I see success in small steps happen everyday.

When I was younger my parents really thought I’d be good at Real Estate because they knew I wanted to work for myself and have my own hours and set my own pace and have a job that challenged me… so I dutifully signed up for RE school and although I had a great time in class because I enjoyed learning new things – once I passed my exam I was quickly picked up with a company and put on the street looking for buyers or sellers. It was pretty obvious to me early on that I was not cut out to show houses… remember this was 25+ years ago… because I really didn’t like going into empty houses and I had no interest in looking in closets, attics, garages or under anything under anything – now that’s a problem if one plans to be a great RE agent … I will never forget Dorethia she was the one woman who ended my housing career because I really liked her and I wanted the right home for her and the one she showed me that she liked had been wrecked on the inside and I just couldn’t see her and the kids in this messed up house (the previous owner had pulled out the gas fireplace and left it a mess) so I encouraged her to look for another home in the same area if she was so inclined – somewhere in my conversation my broker was unhappy that I didn’t just sell her the one she thought she wanted – signed – sealed and delivered so we could all get paid and go home. I decided then and there that I didn’t like all the rules around selling houses… I liked selling land because it was more my personality to walk an acre then to waste my time discussing where one would put their washer and dryer… Without a doubt my parents meant well when they strongly suggested RE but in reality and in short order even they could see that was not my cup of coffee… so as we say in baseball – no harm – no foul and I found my way to my next great adventure.

I was lucky, directions were provided and offered but no harm came to my short-lived stint in RE. I think instinctively we all know when we’re pushed to live someone else’s idea of life – even if it is with good intention and not by force. But what I see so often is the reality that many people are living someone else’s dream and their dream slowly dies and smolders in ashes until a breeze comes along and stirs up the embers to re-light the fire.

And I trust that is I have done today… a simple breeze to remind you of what you wanted to do before you were told what to do… because if we believe that we have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life… we need to dust off the map, pull out our GPS and load up the car and get started down the road of discovery.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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