Make every day your Independence Day
Many countries hold annual celebrations of independence,
with picnics, parades, and fireworks.
Some people celebrate their own independence, every day.
As a consultant and coach, I like to work with people who
are just discovering their freedom to change cities, homes
and careers. Like the colonies, they experienced a last-straw
moment and they rebelled. They stayed and fought back or took
off for friendlier shores, as the colonists had done in the
And, like the colonists, they don't have the advantage of
power, royalty or colorful uniforms. Their advantage lies
in purpose and determination. Face it: the British were fighting
for another outpost to fly the Union Jack, but the colonists
fought to be recognized and counted as human beings. No contest.
I collect Independence Day stories.
Ken, a former colleague, left a lucrative job as a finance
professor to enter medical school at age 29. His department
head predicted he'd never get into medical school and lots
of people predicted he'd never get a residency. Last year
Ken graduated from a highly-regarded medical school and began
a surgical residency at a prestigious medical center. He's
in debt and very happy.
Jim a high-paying bank job to take flying lessons. His friends
thought he was crazy as he worked long hours at minimum wage
to get commercial flying hours. After ten years and a series
of jobs, Jim now flies jets all over the world for a major
airline. His banking friends wish they could trade places.
What worked for these people? It wasn't just change, but realizing
they didn't like being owned by a career, a city or a house.
Their awareness generated energy as powerful as rocket fuel.
Some ownership is more subtle: we can be owned by cigarettes
or clutter or friends who carry wet blankets to smother our
I once asked a woman why she was living in an overpriced,
underserviced apartment complex.
" I have a large dog," she said. "I have no
Since that encounter, I've met lots of people with large
dogs who are renting nicer, cheaper places. Some have two
large dogs. This woman was owned by her own belief system.
Being owned can be fun, which is why most of us don't take
a vow of poverty. .Right now, I like being owned by good coffee,
two temperamental cats, and a great dog. I used to like being
owned by an academic career and a house.
Transformation happens when people realize their ties have
become chains and somebody else is holding the key. It may
be worth a fight to get the key back. Often people are stunned
to realize the key's been in their hand all along.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.