By: Sue Dickinson
Someone asked me this week if I thought we really can have "it all." My immediate answer was "of course," but after thinking it over, I concluded that it depends on a lot of things. I think three main questions to ask are (1) Do YOU think you can have "it all"?; (2) Do you have a clear definition of what "it all" is?; and (3) are you willing to change your definition of "it all" as you life changes?
In my opinion, the answer of whether or not you can have "it all" has to vary from person to person because we are all so different, and everyone has a differing definition of "it all". In fact, I believe that even the same individuals definition of "it all" varies over their life. Most babies believe they have "it all" when they are in the arms of their mommy enjoying a good meal. Thats all it takes! But, as that baby matures, their definitions become more complex, and finding "it all" becomes increasingly a private matter.
I have learned a lot of important life lessons during my search to have "it all." It began in Junior High School, when to have "it all" meant having my own room, getting HBO, and being on the "A" volleyball team at school. And, yes, I achieved those goals and had "it all." At least for a little while. Because the first lesson I learned about having "it all" is that as soon as you get "it all", you want more!
In High School, I thought I only needed one thing to have "it all." I wanted so badly to be a member of the Madrigal Singers, a prestigious choir sponsored by our school. I finally worked up the nerve to audition, despite the fact that no one had ever told me I had a special singing talent or that my voice was unique. At least, until my audition, when the director of the choir had no problem telling me how LITTLE talent I had! When I didnt make the choir, I learned that if my definition of having "it all" means having something that isnt a god-given gift, I will always be defeated. If, however, I choose to pursue goals that fit with the talents I have, the chance to have "it all" is unlimited!
In college, my quest for "it all" became more mercenary: a great job, a car, the grades I needed to be "sellable" after graduation. As I started my career, these goals were only expanded to include more and more "stuff": a house, nicer car, better job ... the list went on and on.
About two years after my husband, Marty and I were married, I thought we were really getting somewhere. We were making more money than we ever had before (and, I might add, spending more money, too). I remember one evening we were on our first real vacation since getting married, and were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. We were dining in a very nice restaurant, enjoying each others company, good food and cocktails. We were doing a great job of congratulating ourselves for all wed achieved. In our minds, that night, we actually had "it all."
Well, God really does have a sense of humor, because two weeks after we returned from vacation "it all" went up in smoke when Martys company decided to close his division, and eliminate his job in the process. I quickly learned another lesson: if having "it all" is reliant on circumstances outside our control, we can easily be disappointed.
So began several adventurous years where Marty and I moved across the country, changed careers, and started a family, always in search of a new and improved definition of "it all." In the process, Ive learned some more important lessons.
Most importantly, Ive learned that the best "all" I can strive for is in my head. I cant lie, money, a nice house, clothes, cars and jobs are important to me, but they are easily lost. Tony Robbins has often said that there is nothing in life you can control except the way that you perceive things. And, in order to place a positive perception on any circumstance that comes my way, Ive learned that I must do three things.
First, I must be at peace with myself, comfortable that I am always doing the very best that I can with the hand life has dealt me.
Second, I must be happy and secure in my relationships with those closest to me, with my husband, son, family and especially with God.
Finally, third, I must be constantly growing and improving, always trying to learn just a little bit more. For me, when I can achieve those three things on a consistent basis, I believe I really will have "it all."
Since every person is different, I cant tell you what it will take for you to have "it all." But I do know, that if you keep looking for the answers, the lessons you learn during your life will guide you until you, too will find the answer. Always continue to ask. Do YOU think you can have "it all?" Do you have a clear definition of what "it all" is? Are you willing to change your definition of "it all" as your life changes? If so, Im positive that you will not only achieve "it all," but have a great time in the process Yes, we CAN have it all!
Sue Dickinson publishes the Unlimited Mom Newsletter, a newsletter dedicated to helping working moms recognize and value all facets of their lives their families, their work and their personal development. Visit http://www.unlimitedmom.com for more information.
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