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Smack!


Smack! I didn’t see it coming. The fog was dense. I could feel the mist on my face as I walked the same path I had many times before. It was like the tree branch swung out to get my attention. Only there was no wind, and the branch was too thick to swing. Nope. The tree was in the exact same place it always had been.


The tree got my attention; my attention to look ahead instead of down. And all of a sudden, I could see further. The low clouds that had been keeping my eyes narrowed in front of me could now see the horizon through the mist. The fog was lifting. Here comes the sun!


I realize now, looking back on my “departure” from my 26-year career at the same company, I had learned to walk the same path that had served me so well. I had my head down. Taking on the projects, building teams, getting the promotions, celebrating the wins, evaluating the deficiencies, and doing it all over again. Keep on trekkin’. Head down.


It wasn’t that I was underperforming or unhappy. I enjoyed what I did, who I worked with, and I was valued by the company. The momentum was challenging and often invigorating. Yet, there were days I wondered, “How did I end up here?” or “What am I missing out on?” I never took the time to answer them – to look up and see the sun through the fog. I didn’t look for the possibilities. Or maybe I just didn’t know how to.


Everything is easier to see in hindsight. Just like our sideview mirrors warn us that “objects in mirror are closer than they appear,” we have an amazing tool to use that we carry with us all the time – our inner compass. Pay attention. Can you feel the pull, something calling you? Is something just a little off, and you can’t quite place it? Some people call it intuition. It’s time to listen. Get curious about you. Because who you are is more important than what you do. When you lose the who, you’re no longer genuinely you.


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