Today, Holly Read from Carmel, Indiana is sharing her thoughts of being a Hero On A Mission from the perspective of a young mother, athlete, and solo business owner. Holly is also a Certified Business Coach like me, and she runs a coaching business called Element Business Coaching.
Going through the Hero On A Mission (HOAM) workshop was an exciting, but different experience for me. I was in a group with most people 20 years my senior. They were in, or entering, empty-nester phase while I am in the beginning stages of motherhood. They were also well-established business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporate professionals. I am a young, but seasoned solopreneur still balancing raising a baby boy and just-out-of-toddler-stage, boy. The differences were striking, yet there was an amazing ability to relate, learn and gain a deeper understanding of each person’s life and dreams.
Different Things, Different People
Being a HOAM may mean many different things to many different people. It causes one to reflect on what their life has been, where it is, and where it’s going. And is that where we want it to go? That is the biggest question of them all, and really the purpose of the course. While the “more experienced” people in the group were wrestling with the fact that they were on the downside of the proverbial “hill” of life, I was wrestling with how to set goals that were different when it seemed like I’d still be in the same phase of life in 5 and 10 years.
But that is what makes HOAM so great! You can adapt it to whatever phase of life you are in. I know a lot of people younger than me, struggle with the idea of writing an obituary. It just seems so far away when you’re in your 20’s. Even in my mid-30’s it was hard to write it from a perspective of being that age. I still feel like I have my whole life ahead of me. And as we all know, life has many twists and turns, so to put onto paper my obituary felt premature. However, the practice of thinking that far ahead, made me focus on what I really wanted out of life. How DID I want my husband and kids to remember me? What REALLY mattered at that point? Was my career as important as it feels right now? Was a big house in a nice neighborhood really the best thing for us?
From Floundering to Realigned
You see, if you don’t look at the end, then you’ll flounder in the middle. And that’s exactly what life has felt like, floundering. We were just trying to make things work, try this, try that, and hope it all turns out ok, with no clear direction. Writing an obituary started to put into perspective what really mattered, and more importantly, what didn’t. While I’m sure my obituary will change over the next 60+ years, the exercise of writing it as a 34-year-old was invaluable. It took the pressure off. It realigned my thinking. It brought me back to a place of savoring every moment with my kids and husband as well as friends and extended family. You never know how many days you or someone else has. And while I don’t focus on that aspect daily, because well that’s just depressing, I am more aware of what I say yes to and what I say no to, as well as my reasons why.
Where I struggled the most was those 5- and 10-year goals I referred to earlier. What truly helped me in this workshop, was having the group advise me to instead of thinking 5 and 10 years out, because I’d still be in the same phase of life with kids at home, think 10 and 25 years out. That was a “Eureka!” moment for me! It broke the box and let me think of my life in bigger seasons. In 10 years, both my kids will be in school and pretty independent. In 25 years, they will be out of the house, out of college and maybe even married with a kid or two of their own! What an exciting thing to think about!
I was able to then create goals of where I wanted to be in 25 years from now and work backwards with more time to allow myself less pressure. Plus, I didn’t just have to focus on family and career goals. It allowed space for me to think about what I wanted as an individual. I am a runner and one of my main goals is to make the Olympic Trials for the marathon. In order to do that, I need to focus on that now as age is never our friend when it comes to sports. But it helps when my husband can see that this is a seasonal goal that eventually will die off, simply because of age. And while it takes precedence in my 1- & 5-year goals, by 10 and 25, it’s not even there. It becomes a hobby again and other priorities take place.
Simply put, HOAM helps you clarify your life by starting with the end in mind and working backwards to create a series of “checkpoints’ for your life to make sure you are on track to where you want to end up. It brings it all the way back to, “what are you doing daily to reach your ultimate destination?” Every single person should go through this workshop, at least once, to make sure you know your purpose and live a life of meaning.