the year of you, day 41

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Meditation: In the Stillness: Liquid Mind –

Question: How do you view the past versions of yourself from each decade of your life so far?

Answer: To be honest, I don’t remember (or care to remember) much from the past versions of myself. I’ll put it together as a sort of timeline as a way to answer this question.

  • 0-9 years: I can honestly say that I don’t remember much at all! I can’t even think of a single defining moment that I could honestly say impacted my life. More thinking…still drawing a blank. I’m sure I learned to ride a bike, so that’s worth something.
  • 10-19 years: Very hard years, very traumatic events in the early part of those years, confusion and chaos at the end of the decade. Remember things more vividly, but not for good stuff.
  • 20-29 years: I call it my true formative years, when I was really developing my living philosophy. Getting degrees helped in that development – more of informing me what I didn’t want to do vs what I really wanted to do. Probably when I felt the impostor syndrome the most.
  • 30-39 years: Two of the greatest blessings in my life – Amanda and Bethany – were born. My work was more focused on accomplishments than serving; had the mindset that I had to do twice as much as a white person to get half the recognition. Started my insane workout program after Bethany was born.
  • 40-49 years: Change of mindset in my work, moving from “it’s about me” to “it’s about serving others.” Major life changes both personally (divorce and remarried) and professionally (worked at 3 different schools during decade). Beginning process of understanding my place in the world, especially at work.
  • 50-to now: Defined what I want the second half-century of my life to look like. Much clearer about who I am and what I’m here to do. Extreme affection for and loyalty to Life Design Catalyst Tribe; not so clear about my role or place at UNCG. Creating plans for “life after college,” since I’ve past 30+ years in higher education. Biggest question to ask: What now? What’s next? (Hint: Title of new book.)

I’m sure there are a lot of nuances that I’m missing here, but this at least provides a glimpse of how I see the past versions of myself from each decade. There are two things that are constants – change and growth. One of the things that I’ve noticed about myself is that I take a proactive approach vs reactive approach to my life. Instead of waiting for things to happen, I try to force the issue and take active steps to define what happens to me vs letting others control my destiny. And despite all of the success and lives changed, there’s still more to do – I just know it most likely won’t happen at UNCG, which is a shame. I would LOVE to create something new and magical there, but they aren’t interested in investing in anything that I do, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we go our separate ways. But I also know there’s a bigger and brighter future on the horizon. Plus, once I hit 60 (in less than two years), I get senior discounts on almost EVERYTHNG! And that’s a HUGE positive!

Other Stuff

As I reflect on my decades of life, I realized, like many of you, that life/success is not linear. I use this picture with the students in my classes when talking about success:Most of us know that life is more like the second picture than the first picture. So, knowing that your path is going to be a squiggly line, the only thing you need to do is take a small step, then see where it take you. You’ll end up where you need to go at some point in the future, just know that it may not be exactly the path you intended to take. Here’s an article that might be helpful about schooling and success:

And if you haven’t watched this AWESOME Ted Talk about the education, take 18 minutes to watch it. This TED Talk was instrumental in helping me develop the Life Design Catalyst Program. Here’s the title and the link:

So, let’s start something special for our young people!


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