A New Start

Last Quarter: Keep the End in Mind

It is so hard to stick to your goals when you are in the pursuit of them. We plan and work towards our vision, whether in our personal or professionals lives. And yet, it can still seem so daunting and overwhelming despite our plans and executions. We are always changing, prioritizing, and compromising. We may think that our time and efforts are meant to be like water: fluid and flexible. But we have our limits. Therefore, what must remain constant in this vast sea of life, is our destination. Without our aim, we are lost.

This concept of aiming for a destination is logical. From point A to point B we can learn and discover so much. We can move to somewhere better. We can be better. Whatever the result, we leave with experience. But where we are meant to go is up to us. I understand that the situations differ between all of us. It is true, life is not fair. Some of us our richer, with more opportunities or possess a different set of skills and talents. Yet it is because of these differences that our paths are meant to diverge. Every single person is not meant to be a pilot, doctor or branding designer.

So if you are self-conscious of your differences to others, skills or talents, do not be. Rather, embrace them, hone them and offer them to others. Simply by being the best versions of ourselves, we can make the world a better place. Moreover, changes in our communities and industries start with us. Therefore, the importance of knowing oneself and staying true to who you are is so important. Talking the talk and walking the walk, must go hand in hand in order for our passions and skills to align to one another and build trust with others.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
— Leo Tolstoy

For example, are you going to believe someone who says they really want to travel, but does not budget every month to save up for a trip? You may question either their intent or process to make their goal of travelling a reality. I know a young woman who was very diligent in her work and savings in order to travel. At one point, she was working 3 jobs just to have enough. The result was her travelling to the most amazing places on her, all on her own. How inspiring is that? When we prioritize our goals in our decision making, our goals can be reached.

In my case, I want others to trust me to help develop their brands and their message, but I was slow in being honest with myself and my own vision for my brand and business. How could I possibly expect others to be open and honest with me  if I was not honest with myself? Whether it is finances or experience, it is so easy to make excuses as to why we do not say what we really want. But when you are honest with yourself and with others, without our preconceived notions and limitation, suddenly we can dream anything. Dream big, dream dangerously. Without limits, what can you imagine? No matter how crazy, when you stick to your dream you will start to notice how aspects of your life start to align with your goals. By having your own personal, specific, tailored-to-you goal, the changes you want for yourself will start to happen.

You can see this in action with the change in your priorities and decision-making. Suddenly, with your goal in mind, how you act presently and approach opportunities change, because you have your goal as a reference. Will this opportunity work towards my goal or deter from it? Should I be doing this at this time? Does this benefit me and my vision?. On the other hand, it is so hard not to settle and to compromise in certain situations or with others. In some cases you do, but in others, stand firm in what you believe.

All opportunities are not meant for us. Remember our differences? They are not disadvantages, rather are the very attributes that make us stand out. This is how we start to develop our own niche. Our own special category of dream clients, go-to processes and tools and specific business models. These little changes will build up your public and business relationships and standards. Even in the midst of other branding designers, I have to make myself stand out to the clients that I want to attract. Not every client is for me, just as my services are not for every client.

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
— Albert Einstein

All of these reflections have manifested myself into a new trajectory in my career. By asking myself, honestly, what I want in my life and work, I have been able to discover and plan a vision that combines my professionally and personal passions and skills. I am scared to be judged by setting myself apart and offering what thoughts and ideas to others. Like I said, we are all different. There will be differing opinions on my approach and methods. Invite constructive criticism and feedback, it will only make you stronger. But in order to get to that stage, put the real you out there. Along with the negatives, there will also be positives. You will attract the right people, the people that you want, when you are vulnerable, honest and willing to work.

I am not sure how my goals and visions will pan out. There is still three months left in this year. The past couple of years have felt like they are just a continuation of the year before. Like I have been in a never-ending period of changes that go up and down. There is still time and I want to squeeze the most of this year. A friend reminded me that despite the craziness of our lives at present, we must still be thankful. We must never lose sight or faith that our work and little changes will make a difference in our lives. It is a matter of being patient with ourselves and our work that at the right time we will achieve what we want. We are in the last quarter, everyone! There is still time to start. Let go of the excuses, focus and act. Set your own goal and make it happen. Good luck! ■

Patricia Atienza