When doctors implanted a pacemaker in 79-year old flight attendant Evelyn Gregory's heart a few years back, thereby grounding her forever, I phoned her to see how she was faring. A true people lover, she had told me several times over the years how much she loved her job. It was a calling for her, the fulfillment of a childhood dream. I expected her to feel depressed, or at least deflated, but she was in good spirits. "Don't worry about me, Prill," she said. "I'm the kind of woman who sees obstacles as stepping stones to greater opportunities."
I thought of Evelyn this morning as I was flipping through my Georgetown alumni magazine. In an article titled Out on the Hilltop: LGBTQ Experiences at Georgetown, I came across a profile of a man named Wes Combs who graduated a few years before me. He told the interviewer: "I have dedicated my life to not letting sexual orientation or gender identity be a barrier but instead an opportunity." Today he is the co-owner of a marketing and public relations firm that helps Fortune 500 companies develop and implement strategies to reach the LGBT consumer market.
Keeping Evelyn and Wes in mind this week, here's an exercise you might want to try: Choose an obstacle that is coming between you and your dreams and examine it from all angles. Then ask yourself: "Is there anything I can do to turn the situation to my advantage?"
Note: The obstacle I plan to examine this week is my writer's block. (The blue file box at left contains research for the novel I'm working on; the document on top is the first draft.) I'll let you know what happens.