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70 Years is too Long

August 13, 2021
The woman across from me is describing the next job she is going to take. She goes on to describe how she is starting a movement in her condo association to challenge those currently managing the complex because they are using bully tactics.

Something she hadn’t done before. We are having this conversation because her daughter suggested she could benefit by being coached by me. This conversation is showing me this lady is stepping out of her comfort zone and is pretty clear about what is next for her. She appears to be on her way. Then she told me about how she arrived at this point in front of me.

She spoke about how she had come to her recent profession of 20 years by making a jump from her initial career. It was a career selected because her first choice was closed. She couldn’t get housing on campus, so she returned home and enrolled in a technical school which launched her on a path of business and away from the medical field. She made the jump 20 years ago to be trained to be a nurse, her original passion. She contracted the current virus which has sapped her of her stamina and her five-year plan. She was going to retire after five more years of nursing. She is finding herself at the next crossroads.

Up until now I was hearing a woman boldly navigating her life, succeeding with her challenges. I didn’t hear a woman in need of coaching. Then we got to the interesting part of the conversation. She talked about how she presented herself at work and in her community. She was the shy quiet type who rose to the challenges and stayed in the periphery. She felt there were two of her. The one that was public and the other side of her. The private one would surface when challenged or when she would need to be assertive.

At 70 years old she was telling me the time is now for her to begin living as the person she knows she is. To bring together the person in the shadows with the one that has been presented to the world. Let me be clear, this is not a dual personality or other psychosis. It is a person who learned it was better to hide her feelings and opinions, to avoid the ridicule and reaction of others. It was to begin acting on what she saw to be the right choice for her. This is when I knew she was my type of client.


We all have some version of this woman’s story. We have stayed silent or given someone else’s opinion more weight than ours when we knew that opinion wasn’t ours. We have spent our lifetime believing in others without having connected with ourselves. We climbed the corporate ladder at our company or jumped companies because that is what you are supposed to do. That next promotion is where I should be. Yet when we have made that jump, taken that promotion, sometimes the thrill ends the week of the announcement and you are no longer enjoying what you have to do. This was supposed to be the answer. This will make us happy. Because “they” said so.

Believing happiness is to be found in another job or with the next title is a clue you are not connected to who you are. Promotions and job changes do bring joy. They can be validations of goals achieved. However, happiness is not around the corner. Happiness is found in how we live our lives today. It requires being in contact with who we are and including who we are as a critical piece in our decision process. Enjoying me now allows me to view decisions differently. Then when faced with a decision, it becomes an exercise of valuing its impact on the happiness I am already experiencing. The question will then be does it enhance or expand my happiness, or does it diminish or reduce my happiness?

The core component to living a life you love starts with knowing ourselves and empowering that part of us in all that we do. Seek out a coach, friends, mentors or others who can help you find your inner compass. It is what I do to help people learn how to live a life they love.