Two years ago my life was full of surprises. You know those illustrations people use to show you about space and room...they fill a vase with marbles. Is it full? Yes, but then the illustrator will add sand...and there is more filling of gaps between the marbles. Is it full? Yes, we observe, but then the illustrator will add water...and there is more filling of gaps between the grains of sand.... Lesson? Our perception of 'full' is changed forever. I was under the mis-impression I didn't have room for surprises in my life. Surprises meant finding room to fit in the outcomes, good or bad, from the insertion into my world of control.
Today I read a commentary on the Huffington Post Living section (@HealthyLiving see: huff.to/19nf6Wp ) The commentary was a summary of a session at the Huff Post's first women's conference and the outcome was 26 things every woman should know about success. I was struck dumb by several, and yeah, I knew that these were things I already knew but had been variously too stressed out, strung out, down trodden, head in sand, kicking and screaming to make it go away to notice. No, really. I just had forgotten, I think. So I thank the kind folks for reminders. I posted one reminder in my career blog. The other, I think is more relevant here.
17. Gratitude will get you through a lot. "I am endlessly grateful. Every day I'm grateful," said Sallie Krawcheck, former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America. "Yes, I worked hard to have the career that I have and plan to continue to do so, so I don't want to take anything away from that. But how in the world I was born in this time to my parents in this world, right, as opposed to another time, a slum in India -- I am so grateful. I'm grateful for everything.”That gratitude proved very useful when she was fired from the job that had made her the most powerful woman on Wall Street. “I got grateful when I got fired,” Krawcheck said. “I said, 'How many people get to be fired and it's on the front page of the Wall Street Journal?’"
I certainly was not fired on the front page of the WSJ. In fact, I wasn't fired, per se. My duties were removed, and I was provided with little guidance on what happened, what needed to be corrected and what plans were there for me in moving on. The best advice I could get was when I received endless requests that I write up positions or job activities for myself to showcase my talents and abilities.
Doesn't that sound like a dream? You get to tell your employer what you want to do and then have the opportunity to do it. Let me share: It's not a dream scenario--and it has potential to fade quickly to nightmare. I realized that though I knew myself, I didn't know enough or the full picture of myself. Or perhaps I had just forgotten.
I did recognize my core values, and for that I am thankful. I know know the gifts that one can behold with commitment to those values, open eyes for opportunity and the ability to persevere. I will tell everyone I can, whether asked or not, that I am blessed with my work. I did not choose the service I provide in my work today, rather it was chosen for me--sort of. It's a long torturous story, but the happy ending is there. Like Ms. Krawcheck, I am grateful and I know I am blessed. I am given surprises in each and every day now, but they no longer scare me, and they no longer control me. For this, I am grateful. I still work to see that full picture of myself, and I continue to remind myself that I still have space, I am not full and therefore I am not all that I will every be.