I have a friend … a very dear, close and personal friend who had been my career coach but we now have a “cross-consulting” relationship in areas of our unique professional expertise. Her name is Tracey Parnell whose website preaches “living your dream” (http://www.creativityguarnteed.com).
In writing this article, I began to ponder just what that meant for myself in my attempt (hopefully not an overkill of Tracey’s concept) to help others recognize how one’s dreams and mental/emotional state can direct them to realizing those dreams. I had a very Italian mother who wanted her only son to become a “doctor.” The closest I could get was my becoming involved working in a dental office lab while observing dental procedures. I enrolled in a pre-med program at my college. While in the capacity of having a “hands-on” experience, I learned two things.
The dentist was a seasoned and well known figure in his profession who also taught at the dental local school. He was experiencing serious marital problems about which he confided in me with my responding with observations in trying to help him sort through the myriad of consequences that he would need to face should he end his marriage. He ended up leaving not only his wife and children, he also left his practice and ran off with his hygienist to California leaving a trail of heartbreak damage behind. From that experience, I learned that I, at the tender age of 20, I was not only pretty good at listening and helping (even though the outcome was less than positive) but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it … more so even than my considering a dental profession.
The second thing I learned was that I abhorred dentistry and the pre-med training that it took as a stepping stone to become one. I couldn’t withstand the natural sciences and was barely passing but when I switched to the social sciences I excelled academically and loved it. From that point, I obtained a job in a center for emotionally disturbed children and my career grew from that point some forty years later to become a private practicing psychotherapist onto my present role as a consultant, author and motivational speaker here in Florida.
I want to emphasize that my passion and dream was not something that was obvious from the outset. For me, it took a series of steps that led me to those realizations. Essentially, as I view it, I grew into my profession and work with people. Was my mother disappointed? Probably, but I believe she was more confused because she couldn’t quite understand “what I did for a living.” To prove my point to myself, since I have been ill for several months, I’ve been unable to perform my duties as a consultant. However, in a recent stint of my work with the football players at OPTI, I found a sense of renewed energy which underscored the fact that what I do is still the passion that I experienced many years ago. I came alive and my many years of activity in my field actually felt like that first time when I worked with my first athlete … the adrenaline was pumping and the fun that I experienced made me experience those old feelings once again.
And so my recommendation for readers and those whose lives they might influence is to allow an evolution of one’s passions and dreams to take place. I think the greatest answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” as I might answer it today after almost half-a-century of evolving is “I don’t know … I haven’t gotten there yet.” The more able we are to allow the dreams and passions to develop, the greater the adventure. And that’s what Tracey is really all about from my standpoint: the evolution of the human person. Her ability to teach that comes not just from her words but her own example of living out her passion and dreams. It’s never too late or too early. Leave all options open to a new beginning or a refinement of the old one. Enjoy your life and PRESS ON! Also, enjoy the journey and not just the outcome.
Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.