and my thoughts
“By setting our sights at an extraordinarily high level, we’ll have the opportunity to see just how good we actually can get.” (Skip Johnson)
I truly appreciate this insight. Constantly, when making goals, I have to push myself to work towards bigger and better things. It’s easy to set a ‘reasonable’ goal, that we know we will reach without too much extra effort. But then how will I know what my limits are? I don’t want to live life at the most comfortable pace. I want to find out what I can accomplish when I dedicate myself to doing something I’ve never done before. Being better that I was before. It’s not easy, or second nature to me! I’m not a thrill seeker. I’m not a gambler. I’m not as physically fit as I’d like to be. But I know my values. I know what many of my strengths are. I want to be courageous, to try new things, to face my fears. I want to experience success and joy and accomplishment. Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to describe this motivation using specifics. Probably because I’m a philosopher at heart. But I feel it’s necessary to share a few personal examples.
Six years ago, I traveled to North Africa. My friends and family thought I was crazy. I planned on staying with a dear friend and his family for two weeks, meeting them for the first time in person. But a large part of why I went was because I felt that if I wanted to know how people in a completely different culture lived, then I needed to go outside my comfort zone and do more than simply read books, and join groups online and listen to rumors and fear-mongering. I’ve always admired my Grama Hansen, who was a world traveler when she was alive. I felt that to truly experience the best parts of life, I needed to travel and find out for myself. So, despite what anyone warned me about, I went. Alone. And my friend met me and I stayed the two weeks. And it was so different, and educational, and shocking and fun and fantastic. It would have been so much easier to tell myself that it was too dangerous, or that I could just wait for my friend to travel to the US instead, or that their way of life would be uncomfortable for me, or I should save the money instead, or that I didn’t know where the relationship would lead. But my bravest self prevailed, and I’m forever grateful.
One other example I’m willing to share, is related to my business. In the beginning, my only goal was to find a way I could earn a little bit of money and contribute towards expenses, while traveling around the country with my boyfriend at the time. He was a long-haul truck driver, and I’m not, and have never even driven a manual-transmission vehicle of any kind. So, I was a passenger, and felt I needed to help out in whatever way I could financially since I wasn’t driving. I heard about a freelance site from a Facebook friend and after reviewing all of the services offered, realized that I’ve been an Editor my entire life. So, my business was born. I knew that if I did something every day to support, promote or facilitate my business, no matter how small, it would continue to grow. People would ask what I do, and I started telling them that I was a freelance editor. Many didn’t know what that even meant, or they didn’t think very highly of it, seeing as I was living on a truck. When we broke up, I realized that I could take my business with me wherever I ended up and was determined to not let life’s curveballs deter me from my long-term goals.
What opportunities have some of you taken advantage of, after life threw you a curveball or two? How have you raised your expectations for your own abilities? Your own success?
I started thinking bigger. I thought about what type of clients I wanted to work with. What type of reputation I wanted to build. What type of office equipment I could afford. First, a new tablet to work on, and then an older desktop brought out of storage when I was in a more stable situation. And last year, a beautiful new laptop that is perfect for what I do, solid state drive, sturdy, wireless mouse, great laptop bag for taking my work wherever I go. Approximately around the same time, I created my own website. I started focusing on the bigger goal of being my own boss completely, and working towards having enough business to work as an editor full time and be able to support myself and be less reliant on others’ kindness. I didn’t need to explain my choices to everyone. I didn’t need to feel embarrassed that I wasn’t working a 9-5 steady job, or that I didn’t have a house full of stuff and a mortgage or car payments. I’m proud of my business, of my work and my choice to find my own brand of success at my own pace and in my own way, by staying true to my values, grabbing opportunities, doing research and listening to great advice when I hear it or come across it.
There are other challenges that I’m dealing with currently. My goal is to be the best version of myself as possible. To expect more from myself than simply the easiest solution or route. When I feel disappointed in myself, or frustrated with circumstances, I’m so glad to know that I can change things. I will not accept defeat.
If you’ve read this far – thank you so much for listening! And I hope you’ll share something with me in the comments.
Editing projects for week ending May 14, 2017
Crytocurrency website content
Client countries: US, Russia