I started this calendar year with a lot of inertia, speeding forward on my chosen route toward success within the large corporation where I worked. My original mental GPS showed this road to be a straight, clear, well-paved highway.
However, 2020 soon turned out to be a steep, rocky hiking trail. I was aggressively focused on checking off all the steps I needed to secure a promotion. My husband, Devin, Chief Resident of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at a local military hospital, was also working diligently toward achievement within his own profession.
Suddenly, it seemed like my journey had come to a halt. My four-year old son, Andrei, became extremely ill and was diagnosed with leukemia in February. We began his three-year treatment plan with Andrei in the hospital for 20 solid days.
Devin and I floundered as we learned to care for his health while still meeting the needs of our active toddler son, Nolan.
At a time when we would usually rely heavily on family for help, my mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer within the same month. COVID-19 lockdowns started and we struggled to make sense of our reality within a whole new context.
Looking back, I know that my professional career goals did not come to a standstill while I took a step away to care for my family. I was still hiking through life with as much motivation as ever, but the path just wasn’t what I had planned.
The same changes that took me away from my former career goals also took me down a fortunate detour to finding my current leadership position as CEO of Media Digital Source.
It was a side path I would not have chosen to explore if I were still using cruise control on the highway I thought I wanted to travel.
This year’s unpredictability has been perplexing for many professionals and entrepreneurs who are working to find a successful path through 2020 for themselves and their businesses.
We often think that staying motivated means “keeping your eye on the prize,” or becoming hyper-focused on lists of goals. But often, motivation is best fostered by accepting change and embracing new opportunities.