One of my favorite people is Lorenzo Inglese. A former client, he has carved out a very nice career for himself. In the piece below, he shares the wisdom he gained going through his own transition.
Hello to all of the readers out there, I hope that this article finds you in happiness. Summer is coming to a close and fall is now upon us. Just as the seasons change, so must we. As successful human beings, we must learn to embrace change and use it to craft the lives that we desire. Many of you are reading this because your lives are in transition, you are facing uncertainty, or perhaps you are sitting down and trying to create a completely new roadmap for your path in life. I’d like to use this article to discuss some of the mental, emotional, and spiritual tools that can help us during such times.
Ask anyone going through a transition in their life what emotions they are encountering. Fear is almost certainly one of the answers given. Fear is a powerful emotion. It can cripple us from action and emotionally hold us captive. It’s hard to feel fear when we are bombarded with so many questions: Should I leave my job? Am I too old to change careers? Can I make it as an entrepreneur? Am I really doing what I am passionate about? Although we may be faced with fear, we can learn to use it. Fear is actually our friend, we just don’t always know it.
When we experience fear, the first thing we must do is to ask ourselves, “What am I really afraid of?” Often times, the things we are afraid of can be put into perspective, analyzed, and dealt with. If fear is met with uncertainty, nothing changes. If fear is met with the will to overcome, it can lead to profound change. This is what I refer to as a “diamond hard resolve.” Anytime you do something that scares you, you are fostering change. This is why fear is your friend. Fear presents you the opportunity to test limits, overcome challenges, and toughen your mental resolve. Therefore, in your path of transition, learn to harness the power of this powerful emotion.
One of the other major issues that comes along with being in a state of change in life is the presence of outside factors that try to influence our thinking. Our loved ones, our friends, our colleagues, and the media will always try to influence our thoughts and actions. Just as we use a diamond hard resolve to stay focused on our goals and surpass emotional boundaries, we must embrace a spirit that is as smooth as silk – not being damaged or wrinkled from outside forces. We keep our spirit smooth. That is to say, we keep our positive demeanor and do not let things sway our thinking. You must remain uniquely you.
So now that I have discussed these two concepts, you may be asking, “Why do they matter?” They matter because they are skill sets. Along with languages, artistic abilities, oratory abilities, or technical knowledge, these two concepts are skills. They must be practiced and implemented into our daily lives if we are to grow and improve. Mental toughness and
emotional resiliency are not always innate. They must be forged through years of hard work. Look around you in this country. We have a large number of adults on drugs to control things like depression, anxiety, and stress. This is because we are too focused on single jobs skills and subjects and not on internal skills! We are not given the means and knowledge to develop these skills. This is utterly tragic.
Possessing a diamond hard resolve and a silk spirit is not an event. You will never wake up one day and magically have these two skills. They are a part of a process, and the process begins with the will to take accountability and responsibility for our lives. We cannot place the blame on anything or anyone else. When we learn that our path in life can only be walked on our own two feet, we experience the precursor to a diamond hard resolve and a silk spirit, clarity.
Suppose you were asked to complete some moderately difficult math problems. If you were given a quiet room with a nice table and complete silence, my guess is that you would be able to get through them fairly well. Now imagine I ask you to complete these math problems up against a concrete wall, standing up, in a waiting room full of screaming kids, loud music, a blaring TV. That would make things difficult, wouldn’t it? This is why clarity is important in our lives. The noises and distractions are the ones that we create and the ones that we allow to enter into our lives. If you seek clarity, you will eventually develop the mental and emotional toughness that will allow you to accomplish any goal.
I want to make it perfectly clear that developing new skills takes hard work. Nothing just happens to us, it is the result of daily, weekly, yearly practice. I liken it to cultivating plants. If we are passive, lazy, and do not take action, it’s like having a plot on a farm and waiting to see what grows. When you take full accountability of your life and make the commitment to developing yourself internally, you are cultivating a spirit of achievement within yourself. That would be like planting the seeds you want, watering them, taking care of the soil, and reaping the benefits of a great harvest. The key is action!
I hope this article helped you in some way or at the very least, made you consider some of the internal skills your can work on and develop. Transition periods are tough times. That is why we cannot walk them without first preparing. In your own life, try to focus on developing a diamond hard resolve, one that never loses sight of your dreams. And also, try to craft a spirit of silk, one so delicate that we remain our unique selves while flowing gracefully through whatever life brings. You have these wonderful gifts within you. It is now time to begin the exciting process of unlocking them!
-L. Inglese 2014