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What Comes Up

I go to a rather hip barbershop in Seattle, but have a rather old fashion relationship with my barber. He’s told me about his passions and hobbies, I shared my plan to propose to my wife with a poster on the side of a tug. He’s heard all about my grandkids, and now he tells me he’s the one getting married!

Getting my hair cut is as much about catching up as it is about cleaning up. Today, he talked about his journey from being a union pipe layer to cutting hair. As a pipe layer, he was commuting three hours a day and working six 10-hour days per week. He was miserable. On the weekend, he’d go shopping with his wife just to spend enough money to make it seem worthwhile.

The problem was he didn’t know what else to do. That was the hardest part. So he kept going to work, kept being miserable, but kept thinking about what he did want to do. Then he saw the movie ‘Rushmore’ and thought, ‘That’s it! I’ll be a barber! It combines what I love – being creative, working with people, and using my hands.”

He’d been working as a pipe layer because he thought he was working to make money. After seeing the barber in the movie, he realized what he really needed from work. So he quit his job, sold his big house, and the new truck, and commuted to beauty school on his Harley. He finished this way: “Now I like what I do. I set my own schedule and have time for music and other things I like. It cost me a wife, and even that Harley, but it’s been worth it. Now I’m getting married again. I even have another Harley, from the 70’s. I’m rebuilding it, which is fun, and it’s a lot cheaper than the first one. It’s amazing what comes to you when you decide you’re ready for a change.”

When you’re ready for a change, focus on the essentials, not the particulars. If it’s a job, what skills and talents do you want to use or learn? What type of people do you want to work with? What type of physical and social environment do you want to work in? If it’s a new partner, who does that person need to be? What qualities, personality, and looks does that person need to have?

When you focus on getting a particular job, partner or whatever, it’s hard for the magic of life to help you out. Focusing on the particulars limits the myriad ways you can get what you really want, or to not like it if you do. So wherever you're looking for a change, get clear about the essentials and you’ll be the one who’s amazed at what comes up!

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