Even as an introspective and insightful professional woman, I found it difficult to identify “my why.” I felt such great appetite for so many life endeavors and experiences (pasta included) that I couldn’t home in on that one special connection. I had no doubt that my family’s happiness was my “be all, end all,” but I struggled when it came to finishing the puzzle of my professional life.
Luckily, I found inspiration along my circuitous and serendipitous journey. For years, I had enjoyed a series of progressively rewarding professional opportunities for which I am very grateful. Many of the paths before me had not been on any map I consciously drew. I had moved from project to project, job to job, as interesting options appeared. I was comfortable with risk and change, possibly because I was still searching for that elusive something else.
If you are searching for something more in your life, watch for your own defining moment(s)! Here’s where I found mine.
A profound experience revealed my passion, love and excitement for learning, growing, and sharing. I unexpectedly connected with that in 2006, during a guided visualization of the future I wanted. It was Week 4 in the Extraordinary Self 8-session, in-person training program. As my mind saw me floating toward my dreams, I unexpectedly envisioned teaching that same program in Florida. My passion path had emerged, and our vacation home became my permanent location.
In years past, my heart ached with the desolation of family members and friends going through hard times up to and including suicide. And, just before starting the Extraordinary Self program, I had read heart-wrenching memoirs: A Long Way Gone, by a child soldier in Siera Leone whose spirit was broken by atrocities he witnessed and took part in; Infidel, a woman (Ayan Hirsi Ali) whose family sold her into marriage with a stranger in a foreign country. Whether they wrestled with typical family dynamics, schoolyard bullying, emotional distress, workplace drama, relationship issues, or extreme brutality and dehumanization, these individuals held hopelessness in common. I felt called to help those I knew and those I’d never met.
Have you struggled with lack of a higher purpose? Many find it through spiritual exploration. Others reach inside. If you are searching, as I was, start by noticing those “Aha” moments in your life that excite, attract or inspire you. We’ve got a load of curiosity questions to guide you in our blog on Self-Discovery.
With new clarity, I began channeling my passion-vision into deeper learning for myself, then into teaching others to re-frame their own minds, thoughts, feelings and behaviors for healing, ongoing positivity, success, and personal fulfillment. I began teaching the 8 Key Abilities for Your Extraordinary Future course in my new locale. And I learned the power of changing one’s beliefs about oneself and one’s circumstances.
My passion for learning, sharing, and this powerful Extraordinary Self program, eventually led me to co-found the Extraordinary Self® online portal to self-development along with Extraordinary Self program founder, Dr. Diane Kramer, a clinical psychologist and professor emeritus. We, and many others, now get to live with Extraordinary Self® spirit every day. And we get to share it, too.
This is obviously my story, but I suspect if you’re still reading, you also are on a self-discovery quest. Or perhaps you are very content and just curious! Either way, please read on.
Speaking of passion, I had always loved writing and the arts. That early passion still lives in me and proves handy when designing and editing e-Courses that lead people to reach their own goals and dreams.
What are your dreams? Are you already living them? Or are they still out of reach? Have you thought about how you can make them real?
From Passion to Goal Achievement
Earlier, I had dreamed of living waterside, surrounded by palm trees and exotic birds. In 2004, we had purchased a lakefront home just minutes from the ocean—literally, my dream come true. I looked out my patio doors one day—to see a pair of tall sandhill cranes moving between the palm trees beyond—and realized we had bought the exact lake view, complete with the cranes, in a painting we had purchased years before in the Florida Keys! Visualization truly manifests! Incredibly, it turned out the artist was from Melbourne, Florida – our new home town. Serendipity!
Another longstanding dream of mine had been to author a book – a big goal that had always seemed beyond reach. Knowing my love of writing, my husband had gifted me a copy of How to Get Happily Published. That book revealed the poignant Publishing Catch-22: “If you’ve never been published, nobody wants to publish you.” The suggested counter measure was to build relationships with other writers to learn how to get your work published. That advice soon led to my first opportunity as a freelance journalist.
No matter your goal or dream, getting there takes work. To realize your dreams, it helps to visualize what you want, map out a plan (I like brainstorming possible steps, then writing each step on an index card or Stickee® note and moving them around on a table into a logical order.) Once I can see a pathway form, I take a first step. And then another and another until I’m where I need to be. Would this work for you?
Before becoming an officially published author, I had logged six years as a news and feature writer and eventually managing editor of a group of community weeklies (back in the days before journalism morphed into biased reporting and edutainment). Eventually, my work was published in The New York Times and other outlets, while my award-winning academic research studies (using e-learning to improve health outcomes in collaboration with nurse managers) were selected for publication in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Women’s Health Obstetrical and Neonatal Nurses. Those successes (fueled by passion for learning and writing) propelled my career.
After beginning my Extraordinary Self journey, I applied myself to the seat of a chair long enough to finish Marketing Demystified, a 380-page marketing how-to book, published by McGraw-Hill in 2010. Goal accomplished!
How? I had learned to break through both mental and industry obstacles to success. Learning is a powerful transformative! And, it builds confidence. (Extraordinary Self® e-courses are designed so you “can’t not learn” and our exercises and tools help build confidence as you progress through a course.)
It was a long road, but no matter which job I held—from hypnotherapist in the 1970’s to journalist, PR and marketing strategist, business owner, graphic artist, coach/trainer, published author, radio talk show host, public speaker, and finally e-learning provider—I always sought new experiences to learn and grow.
Then I discovered the Extraordinary Self® program – developed based on academic research into the success traits of extraordinary individuals. WIth Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques to model the excellence of peak performers, and proven learning strategies, that program truly transported me!
Once I learned to master my mind (including the ability to eliminate negative inner language and challenge my thoughts and beliefs), I was moved to share the gold.
It really is possible to transform the voices in your head (your Self-Talk) from negative to positive. Learning is key. Once you learn how—and practice—the flow of inner satisfaction and outer success becomes steady.
Getting into the Flow
An entrepreneur at heart, my passion fired up whenever I realized there was still something to learn. I would get curious about how to learn it. And, as I learned, new ideas, opportunities and changes would emerge. The most important learning for me was how to transform a troublesome, critical inner voice into a helpful inner resource. With a kinder, more helpful inner voice, I was able to move forward faster. (And sometimes slowly, but deliberately, step by step.)
A professional communicator and marketer, I realized a radio talk show would give me a platform for sharing what I learned and helping others reach their goals, too. I just had to learn how to make a radio show happen. So, I spoke my intention out loud. Shortly after, a networking contact offered to put me in touch with a radio station owner. Imagine that! Within weeks of meeting him, I was on the air with BoldTalk Business Radio, an AM/FM Radio broadcasting stint that lasted nearly 10 years. I was in the flow and also busy, busy, busy.
What would it take for you to get in the flow? Write down your answer! You may find that simple act kindles your own fire for change.
From Overflow to Overcoming Overwhelm
All that passion can be all consuming! Eventually, I felt physically drained and realized it was time to regroup. I took a long and much needed break to focus on my health. During that hiatus, my blood sugar-induced brain haze cleared. As I felt better, passion rekindled.
When the world shut down during the pandemic, Diane and I went to work with renewed purpose. Tons of people were suffering new and unexpected setbacks. We wanted to help. We had the resource people needed to lessen anxiety and regain their senses of control, positivity and self-confidence. We just had to get it to them.
So, one small step at a time, we transformed the Extraordinary Self in-person program into e-Courses – that would serve way more people than we could reach through individual and small groups alone.
It took us years to develop and test, but we have finally readied seven e-Courses for prime time and prepared to launch them on our proprietary e-Learning platform. We had learned how to do it!
By the way, taking small steps—chunking big dreams down into smaller parts, and maybe even smaller parts again)—and rewarding yourself in between for the small steps you complete—reduces overwhelm. As you tick small steps off your checklist, your big goal will get less scary and much closer than before!
(Our e-Courses help Learners plan, move forward and stay accountable to goals.)
Feeling Passion Fuel Motivation
What keeps us going now is that same passion I discovered in the bricks-and-mortar Extraordinary Self program years ago. Seeing the difference we make by helping those who want more inner satisfaction and outer success in their lives, relationships and careers—and hearing about their own successes—still inspires and motivates us every day.
I am thrilled to play a part in helping to lower stress, worry and anxiety, overcome self-defeating patterns, power up self-worth and self-confidence, bounce back with emotional resilience, and build extraordinary relationships and win/win communication. It’s very satisfying to help people empower their inner voices and discover their own passions, purpose and abilities while moving toward more fulfilling lives. Who wouldn’t be?
What inspires you? What will it take for you to enjoy more inner satisfaction and/or experience the success you may desire? If you’ve been seeking a magic bullet to shift your dreams to reality, that magic is you!
Learn with us, and you’ll find explosive power inside, just waiting to be tapped. To unleash it, we encourage you to practice with tools that help you master your mind, brain, thoughts, feelings and behavior. Recognize that change is hard – but it’s so worth it!
Extraordinary Self e-Courses, based on no-fail learning principles supported by a rich selection of learning tools, lead our Learners to change and move forward, step by step, whatever their life, career, or relationship goals. And, making change worthwhile is our why!
Check out our courses, or contact us with your questions. We are willing to share thoughts and insights.
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