Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

brainI had a client I’ll call Sara who recently who complained about not being able to meet a good man, When I asked what she wanted in one she emphatically explained that he had to be a creative type. Being a photographer, Sara believed she needed a guy who was also in a creative field, to connect better. Plus she found those types more attractive.

Sara had dated an actor, 2 screenwriters, 3 musicians, and a novelist but none were ready to settle down, which she was. Several drove her crazy. I suggested she be more open-minded about the type of guy she wanted. But she insisted she couldn’t be happy with a guy who wasn’t in a creative field. She continued complaining after a bad breakup with a songwriter. I pointed out that the type she insisted was right for her wasn’t making her happy and I implored her to be more open-minded about who to date. She agreed to try.

Sara was giddy with joy when she called to say she was dating a lawyer who was talking about marriage. She was deeply in love with him. He was very uncreative and she was surprised at how happy she could be with him. He was reliable and also fun. And he appreciated Sara’s creative side. She couldn’t stop thanking me for pushing her to be more open-minded.

Will Henry said, “An open mind collects more riches than an open purse.”

When you get set on having things go only one way, you miss opportunities that could make you happy. A woman who goes out to buy a certain kind of black dress to buy to wear to special event. might not notice a blue one that would flatter her more. When looking for a job, if you decide you only want to work in one industry, you may not apply for an opening in a different one that pays better and that you might enjoy more.

When people ask where I want to take my career I say wherever my path leads me. I never planned for the career I have now. I just remained open-minded and followed opportunities I found along the way. When I did my first driving trip by myself to the Rocky Mountains, I remember driving through Montana and seeing a skinny cut off on my map that seemed to go in the direction of my destination. So I turned onto a small desolate road and drove for an hour without seeing another car or person. I did see incredible panoramas—unobstructed views of the mountains— and horses running in spacious fields. It was a glorious experience that I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t open-minded.

It’s fine to know what you’d ideally like and go after it. But do that while keeping an open mind about opportunities that might come up. I wouldn’t have the career I do had I stuck to my original path. My life is filled with so much abundance that I allowed in. Yours can be too if you keep an open mind.

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