I was in campus, young, aggressive and ambitious! I sat across the table in utter amazement; wondering what people did and how they did it to achieve half of what he had in twice his age. He had landed a dream job in a dream company right after his undergrad studies. And he was the type that bloomed wherever they were planted. He loved his job and his job and the bosses loved him too.
“Are you just lucky or do the stars simply align for you wherever you go? I mean how do you manage to achieve so much, so effortlessly wherever you are…”
I asked with a slight pinch of intimidation. His success story could easily intimidate anyone.
“I wouldn’t say I am lucky. I put in a lot of work. But the bottom line is that ‘Wherever you are, there you are! You can’t under deliver with the excuse that the conditions and the environment are not right. It just does not work like that… My job is far from perfect, but I try make my work place worth every morning sunrise. See, I chose this job, and as long as I am there, it’s the one job I do”
Very typical of him; delivering weighty and witty messages with the flattest of faces.
I planned to write this post then- about making lemonades out of lemons, or blooming wherever you are planted or living by the present moment. But then I was a mere campus kid; unplanted and with no lemons on my plate/crib.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I met my mentee for the first time, and she asked me how I did it. Like honestly, how do you?! It was almost hilarious that a day would come when I would be answering the ‘how do you’ question that I had once asked.
Of course this took me by surprise. It’s the last question I expected then. Truthfully speaking, I was not even ready for a mentee for starters, let alone one who would look at me with enviable admiration. I wanted to ask her to drop the joke, but then oya, I was doing ‘something’ in a way that was worth a second glance. Whatever it was that I was doing, I was doing it right. Or at least, that’s how it appeared.
“Do what?” I thought to myself,unsure whether she meant the blogging or my career.
I just do it, and while at it, I remind myself why I do it. I said, blankly. When you have a person who looks up to you right across the table looking at you, you sure must bring your A game.
But over and above bringing the shine on for my mentee, I decided to not just live, but thrive from then on. We have the option of letting ourselves bloom or wither in gloom. (You might not know, but I feel like a small genius right now coz I’ve just pulled such a line that kinda rhymes!) Time and again, we have gone through opportunities with a whine. The environment is not conducive, the bosses are work, the pay is peanuts and the work is unsatisfactory. We dread mornings and countdown to sunsets and paydays (Of course paydays). Before then though, we are comfortable delivering just enough to keep us remotely visible to the people who matter, we are okay with delivering results cursorily without going the extra mile. We allow ourselves to be just present enough, noticeable enough and good enough to survive. We push through life day in day out with no personal drive. We let our talents slide and sacrifice our passions and goals, eventually ending up as just another statistic. Of employees who left no mark and individuals who leave no legacy.
So today, I dare you to chase your dreams and to live in the present moment. To come to the realization that whatever you are doing right now, or are thinking now is what you ought to devote yourself to now. In your career, in your life, in your family, in your relationship… Allow yourself to be in touch with the present moment, to bloom in whatever garden you have been planted.
And finally, the stars do not align for those who dazzle, you have to go all in! You have to make the conscious effort to go all in in whatever dream you choose to chase.