Photo courtesy of Deniz Altindas from unsplash.com
One of the biggest lessons I’m learning right now ever since I’ve decided to “start my career over” is, “How you do anything is how you’ll do everything.” How you do the smallest and insignificant of tasks, will be the foundation of the greater things you’ll accomplish in your life. It’s called integrity.
This principle applies to EVERYTHING imaginable: How you treat others, how you complete job assignments at work, and even how you fold your laundry.
Do you find yourself treating the janitor and the CEO with the same level of respect, or do you favor one over the other?
Do you give it your all or do you cut corners?
Do you leave your laundry piled up in the corner somewhere after you’ve washed it or do you neatly fold it and put it away where it belongs?
How you do anything, is how you’ll do everything. Integrity is based on principles repeatedly done creating habits that make a person who they are.
My former career as a Registered Nurse gave me a pretty good foundation, which I’m thankful for. I had no choice but to give my utmost best because I could not live with myself if I didn’t. Caring for sick patients though is very different from serving someone a cup of coffee, but what I’m learning is that the intention behind something is always more important than how important the job might seem.
Cutting corners in medicine is for the fool and the cold-hearted. And although I knew several doctors and nurses that treated those who took out the trash – like trash, I made sure I didn’t. I give credit to my grandma and my respect in God for that. Nursing Assistants and Respiratory Therapists became my friends, because there wasn’t a job I wasn’t willing to do that I could and would delegate to them.
However these past 3 months, I’ve struggled in this area: to do what I’m doing now as I would do something very important, because at times where I am now seems menial to me. I work at the front desk of a Pilates Studio and although some clients and coworkers are polite, others can be pretty stuck up.
There was a part of me earlier this week that didn’t want to do a good job and cater to these vain women fully attired in Lululemon. It was clear who had their judgements, but the longer I thought about it, I realized this was a part of the process of pursuing my dreams. You are often challenged to take 5 steps backward to take 2 steps forward. And you have to swallow your pride for a long while, before you can have a vantage point from the top.
Following your gut isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. We learn too fast to ignore our intuition (aka: gut) as we become adults, but it is the very thing that gives us life, purpose, and meaning.
Your intuition is your compass. It is the key to many of your life’s riddles without it directly giving you an answer to them. It is a vision of YOU at your purest form, undefiled – before anyone told you who you were not. Under all the disguises we learn to wear when we walk out our front doors – your intuition, your gut, your inner voice is your savior. You just need to listen to it and act on it. And that’s just what I did! I took the proverbial leap of faith into the unknown.
At first, I was elated and I felt like I was a caged bird, finally free from her cage. It was exhilarating, fun, and exciting! It made rational sense to get a job that would not be so taxing, something easy, while I focus on school (Fashion Design classes) and auditioning for acting jobs. My energies needed to be directed towards what I desired, rather than in a day job with no future. I remember years and years of working 12-hr night shifts at the hospital and attending acting school the next day without much sleep. Something always gives…so after a few months I’d regretfully take a break from the things I was passionate about to continue slaving away as a cog in a machine.
The reason why I feel compelled to write is because I’ve been noticing some growth while working at the front desk of this studio.
1) Just because this job isn’t highly regarded in society (an in-between job that pays pennies), I should still have integrity and do my very best. And…I can proudly say that I do, yay!
2) I notice daily that some of the clients aren’t very cordial and don’t treat me very nicely. Many people who live in West LA act entitled and think they shit in ice-cream cartons. Just sayin’. I’ve had many women roll their eyes at me, when I was giving them great customer service. There are a few men who take Pilates at this studio – some are nice and some have literally treated me like crap. With that said, I don’t give any fucks.
3) Some of the instructors are stuck up and don’t associate with those who work front desk. But some of them do! And they are awesome!
4) How I do in this season, even though no one is watching, will prepare me for when I have bigger professional responsibilities in my career endeavors.
5) It’s really not about me. I can be a bit of a drama queen – more so when I was younger. I’m learning that I am just a functional part of the whole and that is humbling and refreshing.
I’m learning by observing. I’m talking less and when I do say something, I’m learning to use my words truthfully and meaningfully. I used to blab a lot as a child and way into my late 20s, but lately I don’t want to. I’d fill the air with words because I was afraid of silence, especially around people I didn’t know too well. I realized that’s an insecurity because I often want to be liked. Now, I just don’t care how people view me.
When I’m a boss one day of my own company or working on set as an actress, I will not treat those doing packaging or hair/makeup any different than I do the director or CEOs of other companies that want to do business with me. I will also know how to earn people’s respect and know when to put my foot down when the situation calls for it.
How does one become a leader that inspires rather than puts down those looking to you for direction?
Over the many years as a professional RN, I’ve had many managers during times of stress, snap at me. I have had senior nurses dismiss me when I was a student nurse and colleagues belittle me. On the flip side, I had managers that acknowledged my good work ethic, senior nurses that helped me and taught me the ropes, and colleagues that made me feel like I wasn’t alone – they had a way to make me feel like we were in this together. The latter made a lasting impact on me.
Personal things I’m learning:
1) My self-worth is not based on the title of my job, the clothes I wear, or how much money I have in the bank. My worth runs deep than what’s on the surface – because I’m made in the image of God. Everyone: Black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, straight, gay, lesbian, transgendered – all are made in the image of God. We are all made from dust and to dust we will all return. Everyone is worth gold and there is nothing external that can define how valuable you are. ❤️
For the longest time, I had something blocking me from pursuing my heart’s desire. And it was this: I didn’t know my worth! I believed that if I made a lot of money, I was valuable and if I didn’t make a lot of money, I wasn’t worth anything. If I had a job title that sounded high-class, I was important. If I had a job title that sounded unimportant, I too was unimportant and incapable.
2) Don’t take anything personal! This is huge. People will be assholes and it has NOTHING to do with me.
Really. I can’t stress this enough to myself. I’ve met plenty of asshole doctors, nurses, and other people throughout my life journey so far and when I was just starting out in the working world, I took everything to heart. I’m an artist at heart, so my go to is being sensitive which is a blessing and a curse.
But now, I just don’t give any fucks.
3) The only person that can get in the way of your dreams is yourself. And you have the key to the doors of opportunity!
4) I am my own best friend and my worst enemy. So I have to decide daily which one I’ll be.
So…these are just a few things I’ve been learning lately. I’ve been growing, shedding, re-identifying, and letting go of what doesn’t serve me and building up what does.