I used to consider myself pretty good at a lot of things but wasn’t an expert or the best at any one thing. I was kind of a “a jack of all trades, master of none.” When I think about it, that’s how I was as a kid. I admire the parents who encourage their kids to excel at something and am in awe of those kids who are at private piano lessons 7 days a week or the skating rink before and after school. But that wasn’t me. My brother and I tried everything and if we didn’t like it, we gave up.
I dabbled in Scottish dancing lessons, ballet, jazz and then tap. I tried gymnastics, horseback riding and motocross. I joined toastmasters to learn to deliver a speech when I was in the 5th grade. I took acting lessons, art lessons and spent a summer thinking golf might be my thing. I learned to water ski and snow ski. I tried softball, cross-country, and track and field, I went out for the basketball team (got cut) and moved into volleyball. I joined musical theatre, but couldn’t sing. Acting classes came next and then I joined the debate and the mock-trail team. I was good at that. Maybe I would be an attorney!
Of course, this behavior didn’t end in childhood. As an adult, I remained energetic and through college worked a plethora of part-time jobs. While applying to law school, I was teaching several types of fitness classes before and after my job as a paralegal. My energy was dispersed and I was flailing.
I continued to wonder, “What is my life’s calling?”
I was about to start law school and was running a personal training company and couldn’t silence the questions, “What was I meant to do?”
One day I was listening to the radio and I heard a story that changed my life. The radio announcer was sharing a story from early in his career when he had lost a job. Rather than send his resume out to hiring companies this resourceful and creative individual took out a full-page ad in the newspaper listing his many, many qualifications. He had been an actor, a small business owner, had been successful in sales and as a manager. Job offers started rolling in!
But among the letters of interest one letter changed his life.
In the expanse of a plain white, tri-folded sheet of paper was simply one word typed in twelve-point font. Focus.
That’s what I had been lacking all these years. Focus.
In the days to come, I hope to share some of the ways I have found to focus my energy and to identify and implement tactics for success. I look forward to hearing from you how these strategies change your life just as they have mine.