“Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it would live its whole life believing it is stupid” – Albert Einstein
Everyone has a dream! Sometimes it doesn’t completely come out as clear as daylight. Someone once said we are all artists. Like an artist, we keep sketching our life’s calling with our character wherever we express ourselves. Only a true artist sees the mind of the rookie and can possibly forecast the future of such restless souls. Irrespective of how much we love smooth sailing career paths, career curve balls help us discover our innate gift buried inside us.
With regards to my own journey, my dream was like a sketch. I made sure I littered every path I crossed, with it. Part of my inborn skills are the gift of galvanizing, speaking, training, writing, planning and inspiring ordinary and downcast to believe in ones self. Wake me up at midnight and I would coast freely with grace doing these. They all come to me by default – I am a natural giver.
In my mind’s eye, if my work doesn’t give me the ability to challenge myself and provide an outlet to give back or serve in this capacity, I am practically not going to be at par and possibly out of it. I got to a stage in my career path where I took my skill sets for granted and went about trying to manufacture new skills, which was thoughtful in the beginning! However, to an extent: that was the beginning of my career curve which took me a while to get back on my feet. I got drained on this journey. For once, my responsibility finally gave me an option of being stagnant.
I took up responsibilities where I let myself get thrown into paths where I literary was crawling rather than soaring. I made a big mess of the innate gift I normally coasted freely in. For a long while on this journey, I stifled my gifts which never found expression. These to an extent, dropped my creativity quotient to almost nil and since my main source of energy and influence were shut down, I became a shadow of myself. Unlike a typical me who never blinks before making up my mind, I started doubting self. I decided to take it all in my strides and told myself that I would be checking out my strength and stamina level (wrong move).
Several times I did a good reflection of my journey so far, I knew I had lost my mojo. Since it was the first time in a long time I had ever been shut out of myself, I dint know how to express self anymore. I grew up with a bit of a Spartan discipline which propelled me shutting down my emotions most times. Hence, I decided to test my tenacity. I told self I was going to take a detour on this career path at a specific date I had set in my head but I was going to test my breaking point.
Truth be told, at this time I understood what it really meant for one to lose ones mojo. I ended up making elementary mistakes I had no business making and my confidence kept dropping. I started drifting away from my crowd of influence and was left in a cocoon of people who knew me when my mojo went on a sabbatical. I was scared of the me that I had become and felt pity for him. Friends around me noticed my jaded nature to issues that normally left me the life of the party. Some confronted me, others couldn’t because I was an amazing actor during that period. I always made them believe all was okay. Little did I know many saw the struggle in my eyes and just wished they could help (somethings are very obvious in the eyes)
The easiest option for me then was to take a retreat. Retreating at that time wasn’t going to be good for my employer’s business even though I believe I wasn’t indispensable. However I set a date in my mind and kept praying I wouldn’t lose it before my end date. My plans worked out as envisaged and we both parted ways amicably. Looking back for me, that was an eye opener that showed me some of my dark spots and my biggest strengths. It made me tell myself never to take my skills for granted.
You see all those talks about doing what you love, what makes you happy and puts all your skills in use, they are valid thoughts. You could be helping people fulfill their dreams which is cool, however if work or your career doesn’t stretch any intellectual muscle in you and doesn’t give you a bit of fulfillment, I advise you to give it a second thought. My litany of lessons on my journey is memorable and would always serve as a reminder of who I could be and the kind of storms I could thrive in. I still believe I am a work in progress.
Like Einstein would say, “everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it would live its whole life, believing it is stupid”. Never underestimate your gifts, and what gives your mojo a lift. Never stop beating on your craft: the time line to self-improvement is forever. Namaste.
Words by Charles Umeh