My career coach, Joy Pecchia used to ask me after every coaching, “What was your biggest takeaway?”. That question made me stop in my tracks every time. Soon, I began to think about it during the coaching. “What is really speaking to me?”
“What was your biggest takeaway?” became something I brought into my life daily. It makes me live in the moment. I’m stuck in a line at the grocery store, what’s my biggest takeaway? Should I slow down right now, notice my surroundings, smile at the elderly gentleman behind me and talk to him, because I did. He reminded my of my Grandpa, now passed, and it was a pleasant moment talking with a nice man and remembering my Grandpa.
I ran into one of my good friends during errands and learned she had just been diagnosed “cancer free” after treating lymph node cancer holistically. What’s my takeaway? Loved ones are so important. I wasn’t planning on spending over an hour running that errand, but it turned out to be the best hour of my week.
So, why talk about this? Why because after I writing my book with my mother, it became evident, that I should share, “What was my biggest takeaway” of the book writing process?
Here are my biggest takeaways from my writing our book, Maze of Thorns – a memoir and story of an illness that almost took my life and nearly broke the hearts of my family.
- Mom – It was a blessing to spend hours on end writing, laughing, crying and many times blowing off the writing and just chatting with you, my dear momom.
- Bonnie – It was wonderful to meet in this process, our editor, Bonnie McDermid. I’ve gained a true friend and another angel in my life.
- Family – Man, do I have a great husband, daughter and puppy. Plus, my dad, inlaws, extended family – amazing.
- Angels – Yep, whether your into it or not, I saw two of them when I was sick, and they told me, I going to be alright. My takeaway is they are still with me. Everyone has them, just look for them.
- You are One of a Kind – After being sick, it took years for me to regain my mental capacity, if ever! As I re-entered the workforce, there were things that were a struggle and some continue to be. I muscled through and berated myself for not “being like others”. My friends, this is the single biggest takeaway from the book. We’re all different. Struggle to be like someone else and you lose yourself, forgetting to give yourself credit for the gifts and abilities that are uniquely you. I would blame the illness on my inability to pick something up. Stubbornly, I would try harder, spending hours on end on something, that someone else could complete in under 30 minutes. While there are some good qualities in never giving up, would you better serve the world and yourself by focusing on your own unique talents? We all have limitations, it’s just a fact. Could Steve Jobs swim like Michael Phelps? Just sayin’ My takeaway is I’d rather embrace and be very successful doing something within my strengths. By doing that, I can offer the world the best I have to offer and hopefully, just hopefully make a difference for someone.
Find what you are good at and throw yourself wholeheartedly into it!