Saying Goodbye to Someday
Start Booming, the message etched across our notebooks read. The blue cover glistened as it made its debut on every table adorned with name cards and folders in our lecture room. My ticket, tucked away in my oversized bag, assured me that I was ready for this. My heart, not so much. It raced, skipped and would have done the Tango, if it could.
Grabbing my name tag, I glanced across the room. It was medium-sized and filled with incessant chatter of “Hellos”…..”…and what brings you here to this event?” it was a never-ending ribbon of introductions. I made my way to the pastry stand.
It may have been the sugar or the sweetness of cherry filled surprises that greeted my lips—a wave of calm enveloped me. “I was meant to be here today,” I thought.
In a room full of executives from mid-level to senior, sprinkled with emerging and serial entrepreneurs with grand ideas – I sat there in my seat ready to brace myself for what came next. A woman’s voice was heard. A professor of Cognition at Virginia University was making her opening remarks, leading us to what will be a full on transformative event.
The message was clear. We were all there for one thing. We wanted to see a change in our business and our ideas. From topic to topic we transitioned, taking short breaks for lunch and quick but meaningful pleasantries. By the end of the day, we knew everyone intimately by first names.
‘Let’s discuss the “Ask,” our lecturer said. We all exchanged looks as if she opened Pandora’s Box. “Yes, the ASK.” Motioning to the room, she reminded us that we could not have been where we were presently in our careers— without making an ASK, a question posed to someone else other than ourselves, which would take us closer to our goal.
We fundamentally knew this. It may have been because feared being vulnerable or hated the decision-making process altogether, a process we had no control over. Whatever the reason, the room fell silent. “Why do people fear it? She continued, gazing around the room for someone— anyone— to challenge her. “We fear it because of…………….REJECTION,” said a woman, a co-founder of a tech start-up.
The lecturer smiled saying, “It appears that the elephant left the room.”
Giving a lifelong assignment, she encouraged us to make daily “ASK” to advance our careers and personal life.
I vowed that day, I would say goodbye to someday. Someday was keeping me from facing reality and declaring my “ASK.” Being accountable for your dreams is not cushioned with the words someday. It’s cushioned with the words right now, in 1 year, 5 years or two weeks from now. Being a master of the ASK requires you to keep peddling towards your goal—even when faced with one rejection or a sea of them.
Say goodbye to someday. Live in your present and be prepared what will happen. You’ll be one step closer toward that goal. For your lifelong assignment, declare that you’ll perform a weekly, monthly or daily “ASK,” which could be toward a personal or professional goal. Brace yourself for a transformation.
Amanda A. Ebokosia is a freelance writer, speaker, and founder of The Gem Project, Inc. The Gem Project is a not-for-profit organization that is focused on building worldly leaders, through its enriching educational programs for youth and young adults. Ebokosia’s work has been acknowledged in a number media outlets, including the White House Blog (Young Americans). As a writer, she is most passionate about discussing leadership, feminism, social-issues and education. You may find her on twitter: @ebokosia or her personal site,amandaebokosia.com.