Fake smiles and missed opportunities

The difference between living and being alive is the difference between being the driver or a passenger. Those who are living are empowered to make certain demands from their life like authenticity, joy and progress. Contrarily, those who are simply alive become the accumulation of other people’s choices and conveniences instead of their own.

You probably know at least one person like this. They went to school because everyone told them it was a good idea. They ended in their current job by apparent coincidence rather than any personal interest in what they do every day.

Drivers are the people who are bold enough to make decisions based on personal interests and mindful reflection. They are the ones who seek reward and fulfillment by being true to themselves rather than convenient to other people’s whims.

Taking the backseat is depressing and unnecessary. I know this because normally I am the driver but on the second day of being in South Korea I became a passenger. Surprisingly so, the transition from driver to passenger is a slow and subtle process.

The organization I traveled with had an orientation process on the second day designed to last the entire day. At first, I thought I was having fun and enjoying myself, but as the orientation continued I became more disengaged and uninterested. Before I knew it, I became a puppet simply going through the motions.

By the time I realized all I wanted to do was go to bed, I was miles from home, my feet were swollen, and my spirit was dismayed. I was going through the motions because that is what was expected from me. What I wanted from myself was nonexistent.  I put my own well-being aside to try to fit the expectations of others.

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Don’t be fooled! This smile was forced! On the inside, I was beyond exhausted!
I did not take an 11-hr flight to South Korea to become a passenger in my own car. If I was being true to myself, I would have realized that I was dead tired and needed to rest. I would have put myself first and turned in early. Instead I became preoccupied with following a schedule other people set for me, so I became a puppet.

That day was filled with fake smiles and missed opportunities…..missed opportunities to be true to myself.

Do you feel like you are a back seat driver and need help taking the reins? I promise you making the transition to the front seat is a worthwhile endeavor and I can help you do it! Please reach out to at achievementconsulting.org

Nnenna Umelloh

Redefining access to higher education and professional achievement

Achievement Consultant

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I never want to fake being this happy again. 

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