Episode #3: Choices
Welcome to episode 3 of LIT. My name is Ravi Toor, I’m your host. If you’re new to LIT, what’s up! Welcome to one of the coolest spaces on the internet. There’s a reason and rhyme to the episodes so, find 30 minutes in your day to catch up on the last 2 episodes so that this episode makes a whole lot’a sense to you. If you’re coming back, wicked job for sticking with the program, I’ve got another great episode lined up for you. Today’s episode is all about choices.
Last week, I talked about the 6 different Changemaker archetypes out there in hopes to get your creative juices flowing and mostly, to get you connected to your true self. You see, often as grown-ups, we box ourselves into careers or jobs just to make money when instead, we should be focusing on what we’re really good at, what inspires us and what motivates us. Why? Because this is what’s going to bring you that “easy” button solution to many of your own personal problems but also, the global issues you’re concerned about. So, let’s deep dive into… Choices.
Since birth, a lot of us have been told we can do anything and be anything we want. We’ve been told we can be an astronaut, head a company, be an all-star athlete, fly planes, work in politics, be a doctor, play the piano, be a star but mostly, change the world for the better. Most of our caretakers had high hopes for us when we were itty bitty but as we grew up, things obviously changed. All of a sudden, real-world issues were the focus of our development. Maybe you were born into poverty making it tougher for you to access resources to hone in on your natural skills. Maybe you were part of a family of high achievers meaning everything plus the kitchen sink was tacked on to your daily list of activities. Or maybe, you experienced some form of trauma or setback that really set you back in your dreams, desires and drastically changed your route in life. Whatever it may have been, after listening to last week’s episode and looking at your life as it is, are you aligned? Let me be clearer, are you living your life as the Changemaker archetype that best fits you?
I get it, that question… it’s kinda vague and really might not do anything for you so, let me use my story to explain what I’m asking. Remember, in episode 1 I talked about Donald Trump elected as President being the catalyst to my movement. The thing that woke me up and created a need for change in my life. Well, that’s true but it’s not the whole truth. You see, that was the thing that created actual momentum in my movement but my need to create change for myself and for the world started long before November 2016.
I had grown up wanting to help people mainly because I had been affected by trauma myself. That led me to want to help other victims rise from their circumstances. That’s why I joined the social service sector and focused on youth because I’ve always believed the younger the recipient of help and healing, the stronger that individual’s chances to creating real, meaningful change in their life. But here’s the thing, I left the sector because of my choices. At the time, I was plagued by constant work and life stress that included really hard to swallow work, not so livable wages, constant travelling and piling up debt. Apparently, that was pretty much the perfect cocktail for my repressed trauma to rear its ugly head and now, it was one of the only things I thought about and my burnout was becoming a thing. Ok, those are all the pretty reasons, let’s quickly release the ugly reasons too. In efforts to cope and continue to function as I began to process my childhood trauma as an adult, I began to self medicate which quickly turned into full-fledged addictions. With one choice after another, I found myself in a totally different life than what I had expected or even envisioned growing up. I was lost and it seemed, I was failing at life.
But was I really failing?
Let’s fast forward a bit to when I began rebuilding my life. Yup, I made choices that helped me get clean. Although the choices were as simple as putting one foot in front of the other, the choices were really tough. In the end, I made all the right choices that helped me to get a place where I no longer needed substances to help me get through the day instead, I had come up with 1 phrase that became the foundation to me, my mindset and my choices: Truth is the Essence of Freedom.
I knew at the time, Truth meant not lying, not keeping secrets, being open, and being honest. It was how you lived in the program. But later in life I realized, Truth meant being authentically me which inevitably would bring me to freedom. Bringing me to today.
So, as I began to rebuild my life to the standards I felt were acceptable, I found one thing constantly dictated how I choose when it came to the set of my next choices. My mindset.
At first, when I scrambled to get my life back in order to something sustainable, I found myself beating on me constantly. How could I, the silver spoon conservative woman with vast access to opportunities by sheer association find herself here? Mid 20’s, recovering addict, homeless living in transition homes trying to find a job. And about that job, who the hell would hire a chick who had addiction issues and didn’t have her own fucking roof over her head? That’s how I found myself serving as a waitress.
You see I figured no self-respecting not-for-profit would have me back because of my history and no well-off agency or firm in any other sector would have someone with my tarnished past working for them. In my mind, I was convinced they’d know my past just by looking at me. They’d see through the good clothes, the makeup and the pretty impressive resume. They’d find me out. So, why not serve? Its quick cash, no questions and all I need is my Serving it Right. So that’s where I posted up, serving at local bars and eateries.
At first, it worked. I was happy with my choices, I was happy with my life as I slowly rebuilt but soon enough I found myself not. I was not happy with my choices, I was not happy with where I was at in life and I sure as fuck wasn’t hell-bent on maintaining a serving career. So here I found myself yet again, faced with choices. But what I began to realize was my choices were always limited to how I perceived myself, my abilities and my potential. How I saw my world and how much or little I believed in myself.
As I began intentionally trying to escape serving by finding a desk job answering phones or some shit like that – because I knew I could answer phones, serendipitously a good friend phoned me up and said her husband was looking for someone to help him out at the office. I obviously said “I’m your girl.”
So now, I’m moving up, playing with the big boys. On the 12th floor of a downtown office for corporate finance, there I was, little ‘ol me with a secret. I was working in corporate but there was nothing corporate about me. I had just left the hipster scene serving $3 beer and now I was working for suited up dudes who’s car keys were more expensive than my whole life. But here I was and I was sure as shit was not going to fuck up this opportunity so I gave it my all. This chick who clearly didn’t dress like all the other people in the office posted up in her cubicle and learned every inch of the business I could. And I did. I stayed at that job for years, learning the ins and outs. Building my skills and becoming sharper than a shooter.
Then came the day, years before I left. Unhappy, yet again. But this time, life fit my standards. Roof over my head, food on my table, buying myself clothes, living clean and in a healthy relationship. I was back in the lives of my family, had me a dog and on Friday and Saturday nights, I wasn’t working. Life wasn’t terrible. It was pretty secure. It was pretty legit. But I wasn’t happy. Why, because I was stuck in a meaningless life. Nothing I was doing was contributing to my need to help create global change, to help heal people. Nothing I was doing was bringing me closer to those opportunities either, so it seemed. Instead, I was working longer hours than expected, making a below than average paycheque, living in a super inflated economy, still had those looming debts and having only enough energy to go home, cook food and binge watch some season of shit. Correction, Game of Thrones was never shit.
The real deal was, throughout the different seasons of my life, the 2 things that remained constant were my mindset and this odd yearning or deep obsession to affect change on a global scale. I think Oprah calls is your Calling and Tony Robbins calls it your Life Path. Whatever the word, big bird, I needed out of this life and into whatever was calling me.
At first, like in episode 1, things were dark. My mindset was solid but not in a good way. My mindset reaffirmed: “don’t rock the boat kid, you’ve got it good.” But I’m a boat rocker, so I knew time was limited. I had a choice. I could go at change the same way I’d been doing it before, bull-headed Taurus is just gonna make it work! Great resilience but not sustainable. I needed sustainability this time so I began working on my mindset. And that’s where the real change happened. I narrowed down on me, my experiences, my talents, skills and all the natural stuff I was good at. I created a plan. Like I said in episode 2, I’m a Nurturer at heart so I slowly designed my life to combine my Nurturer archetype and passions into my life’s work, creating meaning in my life.
Today, I coach Changemakers – whether you’re a business owner looking to startup for personal and community economic growth or you’re an average person looking to run for politics or you’re something in between with a deep need for meaning, I’m game to work with you.
You have a choice. You can accept things the way they are, ignore your internal voice, ignore your Truth and keep trucking on the way you’ve been. Or, you can understand that each season of your life has something to teach you. When you don’t hear the voice, you’re learning. You’re building. When that voice comes back, it’s time. You’ve gained the information, you’ve learned the lessons. It’s time to make another choice. But during that entire time of learning, growing and receiving, you have to understand your mindset is the one thing that determines whether you’re that astronaut or not. We’re not born as nots, we’re born with great potential. That potential is always within us. We’re also born with inherit talents and skills, things we are naturally good at.
In today’s day and age, there aren’t any rules anymore and the choices are endless. It’s up to you to decide what it is you really want to do. So, how LIT are you?