Learning Gratitude: A Personal Story of Realizing Appreciation, Self-Worth and Letting Go.

Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Southern California (And Myself)

As I look back on the past two or three weeks, I have realized that I have been a slacker.

A little over eight weeks ago, I moved across the country, the whole country, not part of it, from Florida to California. I immediately began the process of setting up my new life: New LLC, applying for business licenses, building my network and creating (and blowing up, and creating, and blowing up and creating) my new website. I was also applying for jobs so that I would have income while my practice began to grow.

After the initial flurry of activity, I found myself with some level of stability.

Without an external schedule to prioritize my time, I fell into a trap of, “I'll get it done later.” Things got done, but without a sense of urgency.

An old boss of mine used to say, “Tasks will expand to fill the time allocated to them. If I give you a task and give you two weeks, it'll take two weeks. If I give you the same task and give you two hours, you'll have it completed in 2 hours.”

I was a victim of not setting deadlines. I became distracted by the need to find a job as bills began to eat away at my bank account.

I've wrestled with the immediate reality that I had to devise some sort of income so that I could proceed with my life. Two months of few rolling in as I wait for LLCs, business licenses, seller's permits, etc, began to prey on my mind.

At times, I felt like a failure because I had put myself in a place where I had to go back to work for someone else.

I also allowed myself to become frustrated by the current method of online application for jobs. Really, if you have not had the “pleasure” of this process, it's dehumanizing. Few companies respond after the time-consuming task of entering ALL of my qualifications and experience, YET AGAIN, after I've uploaded my resume that covers the same info.


Did I exist at all? I began to wonder.

On the positive side, I did take the time to finish the manuscript for the book I've been writing since December (now 36,000 words) and, as mentioned, re-created/rebuilt my website numerous times and made connections for the future of my local business.

Then I noticed friends posting some videos from Gary Vaynerchuk.  In one, he's talking about people asking him, “How do I build my own thing if I have a full time job?” His reply was simply, “Do the work. Do it from 5P to 2A. No excuses. Just do the f***ing work if you want it.”
I shifted my mindset toward my situation and got out of my way.

Instead of beating myself up for not having a full client list and an office after only 6 weeks in LA, I stepped back and took an attitude of appreciation for the opportunity for income that will sustain me in the short term while I build for the long term.

Last week, I received confirmation that my job applications were not in vain.

What's my point in all of this?

I guess that it's OK to be where you are at. Don't take that to mean that I want to stay in my comfort zone or that you should. Take it to mean that where you are right now is where you need to be. There's a lesson to learn, there's information to gather: understand where you are right now and it will help you to understand how to get to where you are going.

I tell my clients that there are no bad goals, only incorrect time frames. I needed to learn that lesson for myself. I also needed to learn that I have to appreciate what's around me – yeah, the Reticular Activating System – what you focus on is what you tend to see all around you.

As soon as I stopped fighting my situation and began to see the good around me, it all started to flow.

You know what? The past few weeks have been pretty damn good. I got a lot done and I have a job. I am making network connections and have a stable foundation on which to move forward.

It only took eight weeks. From complete disruption of life-as-it-was in Florida to living in SoCal, realigned with my purpose and moving forward with a new approach and appreciation for life.

It is possible to re-invent yourself. Age does not matter; it is a fiction. You live the life that you choose to create.

Stop allowing yourself to live a life of default, accepting only what you see coming to you. Decide for yourself that your life should be what you picture it to be.

Now, go make it happen.