Mid-life she decided to move to Paris. A dream she always had. With kids grown and little or no responsibilities she decided to take the plunge! She bought a house exclaiming “it’s my first time”.
I thought about that. I have had many first times. An explorer and lover of adventure, I have sky-dived for the first time. I have moved to different states and countries for the first time. Not to mention my first time at writing and publishing my research on Success Strategies. A book that has many others for their first time.
I remember the first time I experienced childbirth…exhilarating yet humbling experience. 14 years later I did it again for the first time and the experience was no different. Wonders of the world! A little me was born again for the first time.
I now look forward to my own personal travel to a Cafe in the French Quarters…a dream to feast, ponder while I write, and ride the gondola in neighboring Venice. Now that’s a first time that I can hardly wait for as I did in my Weekend In Paris…
Is there something you’d like to do but because it’s the first time you’re afraid? Why not take the risk? Try it. Step out in faith. Who knows you may experience Success for the first time ….all over again.
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Suess
I have always wanted to visit Paris. This was the promised gift to myself when I hung up my student cap after years and years of continuous studies. Then the workaholic that I am, saw 4 years go by in a flash embarking on community initiatives, writing, and more.
A month ago my oldest surprised me with a Birthday Weekend trip to Paris. But how can I visit Paris for just a weekend? That’s when my youngest ‘scolded’ me. “Go”, she said. “You have always wanted to do it. Just go.” I agreed and made it into a long weekend. Wonder of wonders! I discovered I even had time to spare. Time to watch the rain, the people, and the waves of the Seine River go by at sunset.
Travel Across Continents
The flight was long but it was far from boring. I read. I wrote. I watched movies. I chatted with my oldest, slept, and I ate. Before we knew it, the descent was upon us.
Reading in Flight
Travel’s Cultural Differences
Cultural differences are everywhere. In Paris the hotel rooms are tiny spaces. Just enough to get by, yet absolutely comfortable. TV channels are in le francais. Plugs for chargers, electrical items and such differ. Disappointed, frustrated for sure I was at first, but then it’s not about me. I travel for new experiences and that’s what I got.
A polite society…bonjour, merci, pardon, were among the basics to know in that language and will serve as the basic entre to service. They are curt and offer no apologies. So do your research before you go and you’ll be just fine (smile).
Food in Paris is divine. Delicious. Sumptuous. Absolutely satisfying. But don’t rush….it ain’t fast food. When you visit the unique restaurants among which my fav is the Cafe, you dine, taste the delectables, and chill. No rush for the check. You ask, you eventually receive.
Getting around you have the choice of the cabs, buses, the metro. But may God help you if you do not understand the linguistic pronunciation of the place where you are going. When you arrive at your stop, you may not even know. So ask, ask, ask information before you board. Then read as you progress at each stop.
Speaking from experience…do I need to say more? Hint…frustration (smile)
Paris Sites To See
You haven’t been to Paris if you haven’t visited La Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Le Louvre and smiled with Mona Lisa. Sites …beautiful. Historically meaningful. Mesmerizing. Long walks. Tired feet, but worth every minute.
So that’s a tiny glimpse into my Parisian journey for the first time. The trip was memorable. The photos provide the stillness of the moment. A dream come through. Would I go back? Yessss definitely!
I encourage you to take the time to step out and achieve your own dreams. Big or small, they will come through despite the odds.
Goals. The Path. When You Can’t See Clearly, Slow Down or even Stop. ~ Dr. Shelly Cameron
The news reported sisters returning from a trip to Disneyland. The driver a mom in her early 20s, could hardly see due to immense fog and rain. She accelerated to get past the fog. Sadly, she drove head-on into another car that caused two fatalities. One family member said they couldn’t see clearly and that’s what caused the accident.
Innovation and Industry Disappearance
A friend shared with me a compilation of research that discussed the demise of Kodak whose name years ago was synonymous with photos. Gone. Disappeared. Artificial intelligence has taken over business. If we consider the likes of Uber, where a driver shows up at the click of a button to take you wherever you want to go. Airbnb vacation rentals has created disruption in the hotel industry. Social media giant Facebook, and other devices recognizes the face of our friends, family, colleagues without even a click or a whisper.
And there are more.
Things change. We create goals and invest the time for them to become real. But if we are not careful about monitoring our rapidly changing environment, we suddenly discover that what we are working towards, no longer exist. A politician spent time networking and missed the application deadline to run for office. Though she had the mass of supporters who were willing to get behind her, she was disqualified because her application was late. Tis sad.
Don’t Be Alarmed
But don’t be alarmed. If you are in the midst of forging ahead with a business entrepreneurship endeavor, pursuing college education, extending your family, or planning a vacation, be keen. When you can’t see your way clearly, you may need to slow down or even stop, if necessary. It’s only wise. Accelerating and going full speed ahead can be dangerous. At times you may need to pause and reflect. Are you still on track? Is it even still applicable? If you are not paying attention, and things change, it’s necessary to recoup and see if you need to change direction, make a U-turn or try something new.
Today I encourage you to open wide your eyes. Try to see clearly the path you need to take? Are you still on track? Need help? Let’s connect.
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” –Swami Vivekananda
Begin with the end in mind. Write that resignation letter. Then begin to plan your escape route.
What are you escaping from? A boring job? Restrictions that immensely tug at your creativity? Doing something that has been calling your name?
Writing your resignation letter is similar to stepping out. Stepping away from something. It’s final. As head of Human Resources, it was hard receiving this letter from a member of the organization. Some should go (e.g. problematic worker) and we smirk when they do. But in the main 95 percent of the team we mourn as in a loss. It means they’re onto the next chapter of their life and no matter what, they go. We too needed to move on.
That’s what companies do. They move on. That’s what YOU should do. If you are unhappy, longing for more…do yourself a favor and move on.
Write that letter. It will boost you to take the steps to move into your next phase. But remember don’t hand it in until your plans are finalized… Until you have been offered and accepted that new job; or that new opportunity. Because once you do, there’s no turning back (especially if you fall into that category of problematic employee …smile).
It’s peak hour. Early morning. Light’s green. Bottle-neck. Car turns slowly. Suddenly, driver comes out of nowhere and cuts me off. Oh, I’m going to be late. Late for meeting. Late for work. Disappointed. Angry. GreenLight changes. Turns orange. About to turn red. Late for work. Unnecessary delays. I hastened to not let that light catch me. But then it did …because of the irresponsibility and carelessness of others.
I drove through angrily!
Oh what did I do?
Then I started thinking that for sure I am going to have to pay the penalty charge for running-a-red light. The slow driver. The driver that cut me off. None of them will have to pay. Just me. I began thinking… is it worth it? Is it worth it to react in a moment of delay? In a moment of impatience? Just to get to meeting/work on time?
It’s my practice to urge my girls and others to be careful on the road. To be patient. To exercise that patience. Yet I ended up doing the exact same thing. I am thankful that I did not have an accident. So often it is the same reaction that causes serious accidents. But I got lucky. Even though I knew better, I did not act accordingly.
Pursuit of Goals and Dreams
How often does that happen to us in the pursuit of our goals. For me it was the distance to get to my meeting/work. For you it may be goals such as further studies, marriage, starting a family, purchasing a car, house, career change, or other. Then things go awry and we think twice. In some cases we give up.
Today, I encourage you to never give up. Hold on. Be strong. Keep going. You will be glad you did. Need help? Lets connect
I have made many mistakes along my career. Mistakes that disappointed. Mistakes that caused hurt and pain. Here I share 3 with the hopes that they can help someone along the way. Someone who is just starting out. Or perhaps someone who needs a reality check (smile).
1. Don’t Tell All
Never tell all. When I got my very first job out of high school in an accounting firm, a week went by then the owner decided to have a talk. I was asked my goal to which I replied innocently, naively, stupidly (you decide which word best suits), that I wanted to be a nurse. By Monday I was no longer working there. What’s a nurse doing in an accounting firm? Using them to get to the next level?
Learning: Be wise. Don’t tell all.
2. Dress Appropriately
I wore a beautiful career top to an interview with a major insurance provider. The interview went well. Later after a few weeks went by, I was confused why no response. Digging deeper through a friend that works with the company, I was told that my blouse was too revealing–as in transparent. Beautiful career top with frills it was. But it was not appropriate without a jacket or blazer.
Learning: Be Professional. Dress For Success
3. Punctuality is Key
I am ALWAYS early. But for this interview, I wanted to look my absolute best! It was with a major airline. I went to get my hair re-styled. As ‘fate’ would have it, I arrived 5 minutes late. Never-the-less my interview went very well. However a couple of weeks later, I was confused about the lack of response and enquired the reason. The response…. I was late. Airlines need people who are always on time. Reliable. Punctual. I was all of these but my 5-minute tardiness cost me the job.
Learning: Arrive On Time. Punctuality is Key
Reflect: Connect The Dots
Often we go through disappointments. But when we look back and connect the dots, we learn in the process. Sometimes the disappointment is a path to the ideal career, or whatever goal we seek. I finally landed a job working with people (not nursing like I’d dreamed), but into managing the Human Resource portfolio for various countries for a major international pharmaceutical company. But I had to go through the disappointments to get to where I was supposed to be.
Today I implore you to hold on. Never give up. As I shared my mistakes along the way, I hope they serve to encourage someone who is waiting. Someone who needs it. I now spend my time coaching individuals making career decisions that I never knew I needed.
If You Had No Fear What Would You Do? What would you do if we were not afraid? These are questions that have been asked time and again. Robert Schuller, Brian Tracy and others have posed this question to their audiences, causing many to think. Here I share some responses received from goal-seekers in a public forum.
Write a book
Take a financial Risk
Become a Motivational Speaker
Start another job
Quit my job and start my business
Start an Organization to empower women
Diving, Riding a Roller Coaster
Get out of my comfort zone
Travel all over the world
Ride a scooter (I’m terrified of them)
Live to love and serve
Take those damn dance classes
Learn Something new
If we look at the ‘wish-list’, some seem very simple to some of us. To others, they are more than difficult. We dare say that often the restraints exist only in our minds. If we were to negate some of the tangible reasons we are afraid, we will find that we can do the very thing that we are afraid to do. Yes there may be financial restraints. There may even be our real hesitance to step out against the will of our family, friends, or those we work with. But most often it is simply our fear of failure.
Today, I challenge you. The next time you find yourself afraid….