Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Consider More

A year ago I lived 70 miles from where I grew up, in southwest Michigan, working for my undergraduate alma mater. Now, 365 days later, my life doesn’t even resemble what it did. I'm 2,200 miles away from my hometown, nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, working with a university system of which I had no previous ties. This massive life change was in the works long before I realized, but it would not have happened if I wasn't willing to consider possibility.

My life last year was good. It was the perfect blend of unfamiliar familiarity. The cities I'd left more than a decade ago had grown and changed, as I had, so it was like being reintroduced to a former love. I was surrounded by childhood friends and making new ones. My job was professionally and personally satisfying. I felt like I was in a groove, a really good groove. I was comfortable...and that's when I started hearing a faint whisper, urging me with the words, "Consider more."

That simple yet powerful prompt led me to ask myself what was missing. I looked around my office and thought, "The only thing missing from my job is international education. I would love to do what I'm doing now for a study abroad program." Giving myself permission to consider more from a career that I was already grateful for allowed me to search for precisely what I wanted. Not a variation, no need to compromise. I didn't need a new job, I was simply considering more.

A casual search on a seemingly random day initiated a huge life change. Yes, insecurity crept in. Fear tried to dominate the conversation. But I was driven by the urge to consider more. I had to consider more than where I was. I had to consider more than insecurity and more than fear. I needed to consider possibility and within one year, what was once just possible became my everyday.

As you look back over 2015, you may feel that the year didn't deliver what you'd hoped. Maybe you didn't deliver. I challenge you to consider more. It only takes one realization to drastically change your life. In 2016, consider more. Consider more than your job. Consider more than comfort. Consider more for your family. Consider more for yourself. Consider more than insecurity. Consider more than fear. Consider possibility. Before you can change your everyday you must first believe that it's possible and if you're willing, it is absolutely possible.

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