Let’s face it, dreaming can be a scary thing. We get these hair brained ideas in our heads of the things we can accomplished, the places we can go, the things we can see, the people we can meet and then…nothing. Is it all just a dream?
The saying “the world is your oyster” can be terrifying. Which way do I go? I like many things, how can I possibly decided or do I? There are many stages in life that each provide their own set of opportunities or life experiences. Yet how do we harness these times in our lives to make the most out of them, making the world my oyster.
A few years ago, well actually it is more than a few years ago, a couple walked into my retail shop. I had built my dream or at least the start of it. My vision was to own my own business by the time I was forty years old. Ten days before that date was opening day. I took my skills and experiences and opened a luxury stationery store in the historic city of Portland, Maine. It had the finest stationery, pens, desk accessories and décor for your office that you could ever want or dream of. It was quite spectacular.
This day would prove to be different. As I greeted the couple that walked through the door, they told me of their need for personalized stationery. I showed them the selection and we all sat down to discuss what they had in mind. As we talked the husband asked me about my business and where the idea came from. I was very passionate and loved what I had created so it was easy for me to answer that question.
He then asked me how I felt about “change”. My immediate response was “change, is my middle name.” Which was true in my mind. I am a lover of many things and have many interests, always have and I hope always will. Yet, sometimes this love of many things and talents in many different areas keeps me stuck, confused and sometimes even fearful. I wonder how many of you reading this can relate to this or at least know of someone like this.
It was at that point where he asked me if I had ever read the newly published book “Who Moved My Cheese”? Quite honestly, I had never even heard of this book let alone read it, I told him. He went on to introduce himself. His name was Dr. Spencer Johnson, the author of Who Moved My Cheese. This small and entertaining book was just what I needed to hear. Spencer went on to explain to me that we need to see change not as the end of something, we must learn to see change as a beginning. That life demands a certain amount of risk and adventure.
This conversation set me free. Sure, I had accomplished some great things in my life and career but I knew there was more in me. I had a lovely and profitable business after all, what more could one want. These were the words that I heard from friends and family. This day when Dr. Spencer Johnson and his wife walked into my shop was a blessing. Some might say it was serendipitous, or there are no coincidences, whatever it was; my world had just been turned upside down or right side up.
Breaking through fears, is what sets us free yet for many that is where they stop or cop out or let the negative self-talk or fear, powerlessness, confusion; stop them dead in their tracks. Thankful for me, my Dad was the ultimate positive mindset junkie. I knew I could do anything I set my mind too but therein lies the problem. Just what, with all the ideas, skills and interests that I had was I going to “set my mind to next?”
In the book “Who Moved My Cheese”, the Cheese represents our life, our job, our home and family. Cheese is what we think makes us happy and when the day comes that some part of this so-called happiness is taken from us for a multitude of reasons, we fall apart and become the victim instead of seeking new ways of doing things, seeing new opportunities or trying on a new way of being. Wherever you are in this journey of life, the risk taker, the sedentary, the fearful; stay present in the moment. When catastrophe strikes (as we view it), by remaining present we can then see the opportunities or another way out.
I will never forget that day or that conversation. This was the first day of the rest of my life, as they say. I soon began importing luxury stationery and accessories from Europe, opened a store in Europe and dove into a joint venture as the President of US Operations for another luxury European stationery brand. Life takes us on twists and turns. The road is not always clear, we can’t always see the end or what is around the corner. Being open to the possibilities no matter when they arrive, will bring abundance instead of scarcity into your life.
The world is your oyster, let that be your legacy. Keep finding new cheese. Experiment with new ways of doing things, new ways of viewing situations, new ways of growing yourself personally and professionally. Design your path and walk it.
Wisdom from Who Moved My Cheese (adapted from business-book-summary.blogspot)
• Anticipate change.
• Adapt quickly.
• Enjoy change.
• Be ready to change quickly, again and again.
• Having Cheese makes you happy.
• The more important your Cheese is to you, the more you want to hold on to it.
• If you do not change, you can become extinct.
• Ask yourself “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”
• Smell the Cheese often so you know when it is getting old.
• Movement in a new direction helps you find New Cheese.
• When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.
• Imagining myself enjoying New Cheese, even before I find it, leads me to it.
• The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find New Cheese.
• It is safer to search in the maze than remain in a cheeseless situation.
• Old beliefs do not lead you to New Cheese.
• When you see that you can find and enjoy New Cheese, you change course.
• Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.
• Read the Handwriting on the Wall
• Change happens. They keep moving the Cheese.
• Move with the Cheese and enjoy it!
Where will your pearl bring you? What is in store for your life that is yet to be discovered? If in fact “the world is your oyster” where is it going to take you? Go ahead, go out and find your oyster. It’s out there waiting for you, this I know for sure.
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