Last week I tuned into a couple of the Sunday news programs to see how they were wrapping up the year. I have to tell you, there was coal in those news journalist's stockings.
"One of the worst years...", "a difficult decade..." and most disturbing, "2010 doesn't promise to be any better!"
Really???!! My reaction was one of amused disbelief because 2009 and yes, the entire first decade of the new millennium was great for me! My first thought was, "Wow! I am so lucky!! But as I started to break it down, I realized it wasn't so much luck as it was good decision making and taking advantage of opportunities.
Believe me, no one is more surprised by this revelation than me. But the evidence is overwhelming. When I was downsized out of my management career, I opted to take a break and go work for an airline for a few years to indulge my travel bug. When I was choosing an airline-I received two offers on the same day-I went with the one with an excellent business record, even though the starting salary was 30 % lower than the other company. Five years ago, I bought my first home. This was in the heat of a run up in the market and I couldn't even get a realtor to call me back because my budget was so low. I passed up beautiful new construction that was 50000 over my high end, even though everyone said I could qualify, the prices would keep going up, etc.. I waited and found the perfect older townhouse in the part of town I wanted to live in at a price I knew I could afford.
So then I started to wonder how this miracle had occurred because I have made my share of lousy decisions. And I realized the difference between a good and bad decision rested on my choice to listen to myself. Yup, every time I held out for what felt like the right thing to do, not just the easiest, most glamorous or most socially acceptable option, I came up a winner. It wasn't always easy, either. The airline job?, I was asked if I was having a nervous breakdown. The house? I was told I'd never find what I wanted in my price range, no support there. But I held out and look where it got me.
In the past decade I have traveled to 5 continents, purchased my own home and I have a secure job making a great salary. Last year, I was wavering on whether to take a life coaching course because financially it just didn't seem smart. Because I was told it wasn't smart. However, I went ahead anyway because it felt right. And that is what made 2009 one of my best years, ever!
Boy, am I lucky!!