Thursday, August 25, 2011

All Directions Point West; How To Find Your North, South, East or West on the Journey of Life

I've sat here for the past 4 weeks contemplating which direction to take this blog. North would mean I take the high road aka "professional content" ONLY. None of the spirituality meets business success stuff.

East would mean I take it to the ocean and lay the blog to rest in peace at sea. South would mean I spice it up, and add some personal insight into my love life while starting up a business AND evolving as a person. (This approach was inspired by an awesome, new friend. Self-help love author, Andrea Syrtash). And taking it west would entail a hybrid approach, perhaps the most "me" combining business and life advice with lessons of inspiration, motivation and spirituality. A westward bound I go.

The clock was ticking down between these various directions, and I had to pick one--for my blog and for my life. The process hasn't been easy but I know it's time. The compass and the clock say it's time to pack up the red, over sized suit case (the one that takes up half of my closest in Manhattan) and move back to LA again. It's time to bid the Big Apple a long kiss goodnight. Time to take a mental picture of all the places I've seen, the people that have embraced me as their lifelong friends upon first meeting me, it's time to evolve into another chapter of my life and leave the 29 year old version of Jaclyn Mullen, who is inspired to accomplish her dreams while helping others, here in New York City. As the famous lyrics go, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere, it's up to you, New York, New York."

I finally walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo credit: Jaclyn Mullen

Everyone wants to make it in the game of life. To do so, doesn't require that you be a bi-coastal nomad like me. If you are looking for a way to "make it" in your city or in your own heart, I'm here to tell you, you can! The map to self driven success includes spirituality, mental stimulation and facing personal challenges, all managed while possessing a daily attitude of gratitude and moving in the right direction for you. How do these all come together? Allow me to explain.

What are your road signs?
Blogging, business and breaking through plateaus--these have been the recurring themes I've dealt with day to day. I've often looked back at the past 9 months of twists and turns life has presented to me, each which have been amazing but challenging as well. I mean so amazing that I had NO idea that these things were options on my horizon when I think back to last year. Instead, I've allowed each opportunity to be it's own blank canvas--one where I don't know the outcome, but I paint the experiences, new places and faces plus the way my soul feels (some days found, other days lost) upon my blank canvas to create a new masterpiece rich with emotions of gratitude, humbleness and happiness.

"That's great Jaclyn," you must be thinking and "what the heck does that mean?"

Often times, friends or business associates will ask me how I "do it." It being challenge myself, have a laser focused drive while truly living the life I want to lead. First, you have to look at the signs. Not the stop signs or names of street signs, the signs of the universe such as not getting the job you had hoped for, feeling unpleasant in the pit of your stomach about getting up everyday or dealing with a co-worker. Ignoring what seem to be coincidences as far as people, places or things. When I look back on the past 8 months of this journey, hindsight is of course 20-20. I can see the signs CLEAR as day from Googling the term "co-working in NYC" to coming across the Wix Lounge in Chelsea to, 6 months later, having a close friend from LA move a block away from the Wix Lounge in Chelsea (proving I had come full circle). Big co-relation? All directions point West, for me. There have constantly been recurring signs of LA in NYC.

What are your signs? Look back then look forward. Write down any signs or experiences that brought you to where you are today. And start paying attention for the future!

Business and Blogs--The meaning of life
Once you start paying attention to the compass of your life, and begin to follow it's direction, your real test of faith begins. I can assure you, it is not always easy to walk in faith. To trust that, by taking chances or stepping away from what you consciously know is best for you, requires a lot of faith in something. In nature, in Starbucks or in my case, god. We don't always have the answers for our lives (or our blogs for that matter), plain and simple. I cite my blog to say that I have been stuck in a paralysis of analysis as I contemplate whether people reading this want more social media, entrepreneurial advice or a blend of life advice, inspiration and business acumen. I have opted for the last direction and I'm doing so with a daily dose of faith by my side.

Mental Stimulation
I often joke that the Internet allows us to obtain our own MBA but it's quite true. There is an abundance of information online, it's never been easier to access books, so what are you waiting for? I make it a point to read 1-2 books per quarter and you should too. Information allows your thinking to evolve, information often stimulates inspiration. If you want to move forward, you must expand your comprehension and understanding. Pick up (or download) a book. Reading can often take you places you've never been before without requiring you to leave your town.

The Way To Work A Compass--Facing Personal Challenges
So, you've picked the direction you want your life to go. You're looking for a new job, getting out of an unhealthy relationship, perhaps you want to start planning a family or even launch your own business. Whatever your goals are, whichever direction you choose, just remember. If you get to a certain destination and it's not working for you, change directions. Grab that compass, close your eyes, take a deep breath in and see which direction it points to next.

Personally, I started off heading east, half way through the year, I went west. Then south, back north and now I'm heading west again--for business and my blog. Follow the signs, have faith, then buckle up for the ride.

That's what I set out to do in writing this blog post this morning. I hope I've taken you on another journey, safely.

Now, if you wish to help me on my journey, please let me know what you would like for me to continue blogging about. Oh, and one last thing, I'm doing a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity LA for my 30th birthday. Feel free to donate here.