A few weeks ago, Vous Vitamin, a multi-vitamin company reached out to me about their product and how their vitamins are uniquely personalized for each person. It was interesting timing because I had made a mental note that I needed to purchase a multi-vitamin and in hearing that their vitamins would be crafted and personalized to better suit my nutritional needs, it really got my attention. We can look into the shelves of vitamins and do our best work of choosing one that appeals to us and reflects the nutritional values that we are seeking, but the concept of a company wanting to first better understand who I was and then provide me with a product that would serve my unique self —- sounded like a winning formula.
This process of understanding who I am and then offering a supplement/nutritional action plan that meets my personalized needs should foster a healthier me. I transferred this concept into career goals and it made me think about how many of us don’t give ourselves the option, the gusto, or the opportunity to understand who we are, so that we can prescribe ourselves a career plan that will foster our most productive selves. Now, I completely understand that some of us didn’t have the best choices or the best circumstances to choose —- we had to find work. Some of you may have had early responsibilities in life that prevented you from educational access and limited resources got in the way. The cards that we are dealt are beyond our control. But what if in the smallest of ways we took time or better yet, tried to understand what we liked and more than anything, gave ourselves permission to think and dream.
I can be honest that it has taken me a long time to figure myself out. And wait a minute, I’m not fully evolved and know it all, but I’m in a better place than when I was younger. In college, I changed my major more than I want to admit. It looked a little like this: “Ummm….today, I want to be a dentist…nope, I think I want be a reporter…or, I think I want to be a school counselor.” I was all over the place. I always had some core interests, but who I wanted to be in life was a little foggy. I had a really big vision, which was to be a speaker and to be able to help people in a large way. But how would I get there? I had no idea.
One thing I did that took me on my personal path of self-discovery is that I always leaned in on my strengths, my passions, and what I liked. Now, I have to be honest, there are some consequences to that. For example, my sister told me that I should major in computer science and get a high-paying job after college. Well, I took my first class freshman year and hated it. After spinning the wheel on majors, I finally decided that I would major in Spanish language and literature. Part of the reason was because I already knew Spanish and it made getting good grades easier, but the other part was that I was innately connected and it felt right to learn more about my heritage and hispanic roots. My sister who was an electrical engineering major secured an amazing job right out of college and looked at me in complete disapproval. She shared that it was going to be rough for me with this degree in Spanish. I became a Spanish teacher and even though I didn’t get the great salary, I was able to experience and connect with so many kids over the years. So, not the best paying job and absolutely one of the hardest roles in the world, but I will always treasure all of my lessons and experiences in the classroom. Nothing compares to the emails, message, and calls from students who reminisce with you about how much fun we used to have.
The point I am trying to make here is that although I wasn’t making tons of money, and at times my patience was challenged more than I would like, I was in a space that reflected my interests, strengths, and passions. And because of it, I was able to learn that my passions are connected to interacting with people, serving them in the best way and how I love the art of communication.
When I decided to pursue my PhD it was because I loved learning and I wanted to potentially teach adults. Many wondered in confusion why I would put myself through school for so many years and sacrifice several years for no real “huge pay out.” But in choosing a road that reflected my interests, I continued to gain wisdom about who I am and what I love. It was another revealing experience that made me miserable at times because I didn’t enjoy the hours of research and efforts to cite correctly. In all honesty it drove me nuts! But in this painful journey of IRB approvals, academic discourse, and hundreds of dissertation drafts, I learned how to own my writing voice, lose my fear of having a point of view, and I gained validation that I had a creative and analytical mind. In sum, my biggest revelation was how I learned that my thoughts were always worthy and valuable as long as I believed that they were. Technically, I didn’t need a degree to learn this, but because again, I stepped in the direction of my interests and passions, I gained more clarity and I strengthened my best skills.
This concept is important because when we pursue jobs and positions for money and not what you are innately good at or passionate about, you are potentially walking into a world of stress. That highly coveted role may not be in alignment with your best skills and you will always feel like you are pushing a boulder up a steep hill. When your work is connected to your skills, there is a higher likelihood that you will shine with more ease and you will glide around this skating rink of work because you were built with the right skates. The truth is that even if you have the “right skates,” you will still have to work hard and practice all the time. But you are going to want to go out into that rink without anyone telling you to do so, and you will have an edge in that rink because you’re in your element.
I conclude this post with a push to not submit fully to the scripted roles and the boxes others may have set out for you or careers/ titles that “sound good.” Be an active creator in personalizing your journey and career. Choose the road that reflects who you are, which will position you to excel, surround you around others that share your values, and will help you to fully realize who you are. Furthermore, embrace your uniqueness, your individuality, and always take on a personalized approach to your choices in life. In my opinion, the best success is one that mirrors who you are inside.
This post is sponsored by Vous Vitamins. Vous Vitamins is a personalized vitamin company that customizes their multivitamins based on individual lifestyle traits. I’m excited to use these vitamins, as they are tailored to meet my health needs and I love that it’s led by physicians and it’s an all natural product (free of additives, GMO’s, dairy, and meat products.) I will give you guys updates along the way on my experience with this personalized multi-vitamin. If you are interested in learning more about Vous Vitamin, click on the link below.
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Have the best week!