In A Shot Of Optimism, Discover Your Passion, Uncategorized

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.  Begin it now.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Have you ever told yourself:

It’s too late to try something new.
I can’t make a career change this late in life.
If I stick with what I know (even though I don’t really like it), I’ll get better results.

You don’t have to believe it!

Meet Jerry Leener, a sweetheart with a big smile, who proved to himself and to everyone else that it’s never too late to re-invent yourself.

Jerry was a CIO at a global accounting firm.  He’d been featured in Fortune magazine and worked long crazy hours, when one day he went to his son’s baseball game and saw his son hit a homerun.  At that moment, Jerry realized he wanted a change.  He didn’t want to miss out on his son’s life.  Jerry wasn’t living his yippee.

He wanted more freedom, he wanted to give back, work with a community of people, and he didn’t ever want to wear a coat and tie again.

Jerry sent in his resignation and, after a real yippee journey, he became an Emergency Medical Technician.  It wasn’t easy.  On his way there he quit twice and was kicked out once.  But he kept on, and now he’s doing the most satisfying work of his life.

A few days ago, I interviewed Jerry and mapped out his Yippee Journey, live, on Jane Pauley’s show.

We discovered five steps to making BIG yippee changes.  First, you have to know it’s not too late and then:

  1. Commit to making a change.  When Jerry saw his son make the homerun, he committed to change.  He knew he wanted something different.  He didn’t know what,but the what isn’t important at this stage, only the commitment to make a change.
  2. Get outside help  – Are there mentors or peers who are doing what they love?  How did they get there?  Interview them.  Or set up a group of others who are also looking for work they love.  Books, webinars and coaches can help.  This summer, I’ll be launching a Discover Your YIPPEE! retreat and webinar series – More information.
  3. Develop your criteria – What are your priorities?  Jerry wanted to give back, he wanted to work in community, he wanted more freedom and he never wanted to wear a suit and tie.  What are yourcriteria?
  4. Identify options – Given your criteria what are some options that fit them?  Go wild here.  Brainstorm.  Make a lot of lists.  It’s about the quantity of ideas at this stage.  He knew he wanted to be engaged with people and he wanted to give more than he gave before.  Some of his options were chaplain and professor.
  5. Go exploring – Once you have options you will want to get more information.  Jerry narrowed down his list and decided that being a professor would be a good fit.  But often exploring doesn’t stop with that first step. He hated being a professor.  Still, he didn’t give up, he stayed open to possibilities and ideas.  Be curious about yourself.  Become a beginner again.  Go back to times when you were successful to call upon your sense of “I know how to do this!!”

Jerry made the commitment to change, and because he stayed open, he is fulfilling ALL his criteria: he has more freedom, he is giving back, he’s working in community, he never has to wear a coat and tie, and he can watch his son make as many homeruns as he wants.  Most of all, he realized something huge: It’s not too late.  For him, or for you!!  Come watch Jerry here and get inspired…

Until next Tuesday.  YIPPEE!

Elizabeth

 

Showing 6 comments
  • Brian Copelan

    What amazing advice. Thanks for constantly being a voice of positive life!

    • elizabeth

      And thank you Brian for being an example of a positive life in action both in your professional as well as volunteer life.

  • Janie

    BRAVO, Elizabeth!! Truly inspiring! So looking forward to your book!!!

    • elizabeth

      Thanks Janie,

      In September people will be able to sign up for a Discover Your YIPPEE! 2 day workshop. And we’ll be launching our webinar series.

      In the meantime for those who can’t wait. Organize you own YIPPEE group and let’s talk.

  • Sabra Love

    Elizabeth, you never cease to amaze me. No matter what the subject is each week, when I see the e-mail in my in box, I know that I will be inspired.

    • elizabeth

      Thanks Sabra. Your comments inspire ME!

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