Moving from wondering…”How did I get here?” to “This is where I am going and who I will be”
One of the biggest transformation for me took place when I transferred from Southwest Texas State University to College of St. Thomas(MN) in 1986. At my first university it was all about exploring the world, especially the world of college life. I found friends for fun and kind of went to school. I was paying for it myself from the 2 or 3 jobs I had worked each summer. I felt independent and free to do as I wished. Then my dad got transferred to Minnesota.
When they offered to pay for a college of high caliber in Minnesota, I took them up on that. I was tired of the fun and was ready to get to work anyway. And that I what I found at this new college. One Thursday I asked my roommate where everyone was going she said “To the library”? Perplexed I asked why and she told me rather flatly, “To study”. For real? To study? I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
“I abdicated much of how that life was lived to others in the community or the community itself.”
But like at the first college, I fell inline with the acceptable activities of this community. I must say that academically, this was a superior choice for me. My willingness to do as the locals did was strong and it served me.
And this is how I lived most of my life, via my roles. First I was a daughter and a sister. Then I was a dancer, student, flutist, high school senior and then college student. Each of my role determined the transformation that took place in my life. Each role dictated how I would act, what I would do and the life that I would live.
On some level I did choose my life…but I abdicated much of how that life was lived to others in the community or the community itself.
It was kind of a “Oh that look like a good choice” or “I want to be part of that community” choice as opposed to choosing who I am becoming through it.
In my conversation with Rob Fenlon on Thursday’s Podcast, we talk about how most of us go into relocation wondering what this will be, rather than directing how we would like this to go.
Knowing that the transformation is coming is the first step. Directing what the transformation is and includes in the second step.
“I blame it on the K through 12 years, but that was just a distraction to deciding to live a life I want to live.”
Intentional transformation is the process of executing a planned personal change or evolvement. It takes us from being dragged along on a raft by the current, to building a boat and sailing it in the direction we wish to go.
As a mom I have experience crafting intentional transformation for my son and perhaps by husband when he lets me, but until the last few years I have not created and intentional transformation for myself. There have been the exercise kicks and pursuing a degree or certification. However, taking time to craft a vision for myself and putting together a plan to get there never happened.
I blame it on the K through 12 years, but that was just a distraction to deciding to live a life I want to live.
More than the where and do
Usually, when we talk about who we are, we talk in terms of roles. I am a mom. I am an HR Director. I mentor high schoolers.
We identify ourselves with where we are from. I am a Texan. I am British.
When we talk about transformation, we talk about gaining knowledge or experience: certifications, group membership, reading the latest Economist or parenting book.
These attribute though are only a subsection of a whole. They are rather static and are all singularly focused. They may cause indirect transformation, but they are typically not part of a whole personal transformation.
Who I am today vs. Who I want to be tomorrow.
Intentional Transformation is about our “Who”
Consistently in ReloWomen, you will find that I reference your “who”. This is not where you live or what you do, though that can influence your who. Your who is the wholeness of you where you make the decision for all of life.
“Evolving our current “who” allows us to realize our potential and become more of who we already are.”
This “Who” is the driving and directing part of us that embodies what we believe, what we value and what we want to accomplish in our lives. You might see it in want statements.
- I want to be a great mom.
- I want to create a company to support my family and families in the community.
- I want to help everyone understand how important this is
- I want to be a good steward of what I have.
When we strive to do anything bigger than what we are doing now we have to tap into our “who”. Because it is in growing our self image, our knowledge and our experience that we can go into our community, big or small and create the impact we have on our hearts to create.
So to do any of these things above we need to define and expand who we will need to be to accomplish this. Perhaps we need to be brave or flexible or skilled or observant.
Evolving our current “who” allows us to realize our potential and become more of who we already are.
How to Intentionally Transform
Intentional transformation begins with the idea that it is possible to direct the transformation that is taking place on a daily basis. We all have experience choosing transformation, like when we went to college or chose to marry or take a new job.
Seeing transformation as daily rather than big life changes puts the power in our hands to direct our transformation. With this we still see the external people and cultures that have led us to transform in the past, but we see it in an active way not with passive acceptance.
Be careful not to judge any past “going along” as bad. It is not bad. Those passive choices were just not chosen with personal intention.
When we chose to intentionally transform in the moment and over months or years, we are continually evaluating this incoming information against who we know ourselves to be, what we want to accomplish in our lives/world, and ultimately who we want to be.
Start with who you are now. That gives you a solid place to step off from. If you haven’t defined it recently, check out the first part of my 3 Step Relocation Guide. It is all about knowing and defining your current “Who”.
Intentional transformation is about knowing on some level, about the destination. Many times during our lives we talk about not knowing what we want to be when we grow up.
The Future in terms of intentional transformation is the act of choosing one. Choosing something you want and who you must be to accomplish that. A great speaker, a lover of learning, someone who keeps their word, someone who shows up for themselves just because they decided to do it.
This idea of our future selves is what provides the guidance to know if the path we choose is the right path.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any path will get you there.”
~ a paraphrase of the exchange between the Cheshire Cat and Alice,
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
All of us are on a journey. How do I know? Because I am here, as I am, in this place and with these people doing these things. I got here because of my journey.
At this age I know that much of the past journey was dictated by others. But now that I know, the current journey is more often one of personal choice.
So which path do you choose? It depends on the future self you are going after and this will dictate the path or journey. No journey is a straight line or without potholes, but the active choosing of a path and a journey does mean you will get there more quickly than no choice at all.
It begins with where you are, then choosing a future and finally choosing the path or paths on the journey between the two.
Passive transformation becomes
when chose a fuller destination.
Passive Transformation takes place in every relocation. It is the relocation decision puts passive transformation in motion.
Passive transformation becomes Intentional Transformation when chose a fuller destination. When we choose, and put into the plan every piece of our lives beyond simply a community, schools and a job…THIS is when we step into our power to direct our lives.
This is when we create intentional transformation.
- So, who do you want to become and be?
- Who do you want your children to become and be?
- Who will the family become and be?
Knowing we can use this relocation, this clean slate of life to intentionally transform, means that we utilize our innate power and truly live a life we want to live…no matter where we land.
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