it wasn’t long before I realized that a life that is lived without living up to one’s potential is meaningless.
Throughout my childhood, I never thought that I had what it takes to be a leader. I was an awkward mess with absolute-zero-coolness factor. I had the athletic ability and poise of a new-born calf, I had a crazy mane that no amount of hair gel could tame, and I was so poor that I could barely afford to wear the decade-old hand-me-downs given to me by family members. I clearly remember looking in the mirror and hating who I saw. I knew that I was different from my peers in appearance, thought patterns, interests, and socio-economic status. I could have ignored my unhealthy way of thinking, but the words and actions of my peers, class-mates, family members and community members reinforced my self-loathing notions. Throughout my childhood and even into my early adult years, I allowed others to control me simply because I had no self-worth. Buying into the standards of others I found no value in my natural and creative abilities to connect, advocate, demonstrate compassion towards, educate, and lead others. Nevertheless, it wasn’t long before I realized that a life that is lived without living up to one’s potential is meaningless. Coming to this realization helped me to recognize that it was time for change.
Through a painful process of trial and error I broke the mold of conformity that I was once forced into and chose instead to be the person that my creator designed me to be. Much to my surprise, the areas of my life that I once considered to be areas of weakness turned out to be areas of strength. My attributes that others wanted silenced have now been used to advance my career, increase my education, grow my faith, and most of all…. they have been used to empower others. Today I no longer find myself bound by the expectations of others. Instead, I have decided to unleash my inner lion and announce my decision with a glass-shattering roar. I make no apologies for my decision, I have a clear path laid out in front me, my goals have been set, and I live in anticipation of the day when my goals will be met.
In the blogs to come you will hear more about “my journey”. My desire is that you too will be inspired to unleash your inner lion and become what you were designed to be.
*This was posted on a prior blog of mine, “unleashed lion”, in April 2013
Photo credit: ucumari / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
John Eli has spent over 15 years mentoring and coaching individuals in life skills, career transitions, and through organizational change. He has worked in behavioral health, pastoral care, and higher-education. He has found that he is most satisfied in life when he is helping people recognize their potential and assisting them to reach their goals.
He currently lives in Chandler, Arizona with his wife, mini-schnauzer and an antique piano whom he calls, “Betty.”