Discovery, Direction, Achievement
So here we are again in the “Reading Room”, with the lovely Hazel McGuiness. It’s easy to see why Hazel has garnered such an amazing reputation throughout the world. She’s a special person for sure, and learning from her is powerful.
Most of us at some point throughout our lives feel lost or overwhelmed, and really have no idea how to change that. Hazel shares some thoughts as to how to move forward, to discover who we are, what we want, and how to get there. “It’s an ever-evolving process” says Hazel. “It’s also hard work. You have to be open to looking at yourself in a deep way. Looking at everything you were, are, and want to be.”
Now to the tricky part, how do we begin?
“You need to begin with a simple question” explains Hazel. “Who am I? You want to look at yourself, as though you are looking in the mirror, from top to bottom, from the inside, out. This is where the work comes in, as we need to go back, and look at our past, our experiences, our wins, and our losses. Everything in life happens for a reason.
We may not always know it in the moment, but when we go back and take a look at our past, the pieces begin to fit together.”
Hazel gives me a great example of what she means here; “When I began my working career, I was a bookkeeper. I learned very quickly that I didn’t like numbers. Later on, I moved on to a bank teller position, which I liked, and I realized I liked it because I like the transactional piece, and also loved the ‘working with people’ piece. Then came my career in corporate marketing. This I loved. There was something new to be learned every day, deadlines to be met, you wore more than one hat, and had a huge learning curve.” These differing career paths led to self-discovery for Hazel, and that was eventually what led her to “The Reading Room”. She prepared herself to be the owner of a business where she would be working with people, adapting to something new with every client, and fulfilling a childhood dream. That’s how far back self-discovery can take you, and when we connect all of it, our self-awareness becomes stronger than ever.
It can sometimes be difficult to look back on decisions we’ve made, ones that may have led to different outcomes than expected. However these are the ones we should be paying most attention to. I call them my “war wounds.” The beautiful thing about looking at yourself in this manner is the appreciation you can have for the missteps you took, when you think of how they’ve shaped your world. These lessons often teach us what we want, what we don’t want, who we are, and who we are not, and ultimately lead us to hone our decision making skills towards achieving our life goals.
One thing to be aware of in this “discovery” phase is that you don’t get stuck there. “We need to look, accept, acknowledge, forgive, and name the lesson” explains Hazel. “The entire point is to move forward, and achieve your goals. “
Another element of discovery is to go out and try new things. “You’ll never really know what you like or don’t like in life if you don’t have experiences.” For my husband and I, we’ve discovered through travel, that we love being near the ocean. So we’re now beginning to look at “ocean” options for retirement. This is where the direction comes in. We know we want to live near the ocean, now where in the world can we explore to make that happen? When I’m lying on the beach in the Bahamas, just steps from my back door, I will have achieved what I wanted from a retirement destination perspective. “This is where you begin all over again” says Hazel. “You’ve achieved your goal, and now it’s time to ask yourself ‘what’s next?’ It’s all about finding out new things about yourself. Take up a new hobby, join a social club, read, get curious about life, and what you want from it. Listen to the signs that are being presented to you, and be aware of what those signs are telling you.”
So while the notion of “Discovery, Direction, and Achievement” is a simple one, the key here is to do the work. “Be curious about yourself, your life, and others around you” says Hazel. “Don’t make it complicated, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.”
This is the gift of “The Reading Room” and of Hazel herself. When you’re with her in this empowering space, there exists a certain safety in taking on a journey of exploration, and embracing a desire to understand that life is all about living, achievements, personal success, and self-love.
Written By: Kelli M. Maddocks | Resources: Hazel Mcguiness, The Hazel Tree