A Goal-den Journey

It felt like just yesterday when I decided I was ready to pursue my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Today in my mind but my journey began in May of 2017.

Having defined my goal, I begin reviewing what would be needed to accomplish it. I realized immediately that whilst I would have liked to have gone straight for the PMP exam, I didn’t have enough work experience hours managing projects. I could take the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) instead because it had pre-requisites that I already fulfilled. With that realization, I made a commitment to myself: I would break my plan into two sub-parts with the intent to complete part 1 in July 2017 and part 2 within a year of completing part 2.

My plan started on track but sometimes everything doesn’t work out perfectly. By the time I begin preparations to pay for the CAPM exams, I found an unforeseen issue! The exam body did not facilitate the online exam in Jamaica! Imagine my shock! Based on my initial reading and planning, I had not come across this bit of information! Even the exam facilitator that I had intended to use had not known this. I immediately set out to verify and determine alternative options.

Before long, I learnt that the exam body intended to facilitate the online exam in Jamaica by August 2017. Though I had intended to complete part 1 by July 2017, I decided to wait and took the exam in August 2017. Much to my delight, I completed the exam successful and shifted my focus to part 2.

Part 2 was much trickier! I needed to gain about 1000 project management work experience hours as well as study. At the time, I had just been onboarded to a new project that was beginning to ramp up.

Every project manager will tell you of that one project that totally made them:

  1. Question and redefine all they thought they know and understand about people and projects.
  2. Doubt themselves and their abilities.
  3. Sincerely wish they could walk away.

This was the project for me. I now fondly refer to it as my “hell project” because it was that one project that truly shook me to the core and taught me to never take anything at face value when it comes to projects “trust but verify and verify and verify again.”. Some positives came from it though. It was the project that I put so much effort into that I earned the 1000+ working hours by January 2018.

With that aspect completed, I breathed a sigh of relief and begun preparations to study for my PMP exam with the optimistic goal to complete everything by May 2018. Again, my plans were thwarted because of the amount of effort the project required. I worked truly long hours and by the time my day ended, I was too exhausted and wound too tight to even consider taking up my textbook. By April 2018, I readjusted my plan and shifted my most-likely completion goal to June 2018, factoring in the project’s completion date of a month earlier.

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A Ziplining Lesson

Recently, I went on a work trip. Part of the trip took us to Y.S. Falls where I tried 5 ziplines for the first time. Like any first experience of that active nature, I didn’t quite know how to feel but as the experience continued, I picked up a couple lessons on the way.

Before we could start, we were locked into the relevant gear including helmets. As we stood waiting for all our team members to be geared-up, we had a couple of persons who had done it already and they were the ones who tried to alleviate some of our fears. However, in talking, these were the ones who made facing the experience even more fearful.My level of fear was slowing vamping up as I stood listening. I realised then that whilst God has not given me a spirit of fear, fear could be found within the uncertainty of excelling at the unknown and from external factors like well-meaning individuals. At that point I stopped listening and told myself that I could do it.

The walk to the first zipline was long especially since I haven’t done any exercise in months. Again I found myself wavering as my lungs struggled for air and my knees protested and threatened to buckle. Just when I was about to give in to my wavering mind and protesting body, I reached the top and it was beautiful! From this experience, another lesson emerged. The hardest step to fulfilling your dream is the preparation stage to beginning. Sometimes everything will seem to be against you as you try to put things in place. You may even consider giving up but if you hold out, your destination (starting point) will be incredibly beautiful. With everything in place, you will be filled with an incredible pride and satisfaction as you stand on the brink of conquering the world.

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Let your eagle SOAR!

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About a year ago someone hugged me tightly and said, “You know what you remind me of? An eagle! Girl, go forth and whatever you do, spread your wings and soar!” At the time I didn’t think much of it but as I sit back and do some introspection, I can truly say that God has been demonstrating to me how to unfurl and use my wings.

One thing I have learned is that God allows every incident in your life to happen to teach/prepare you. A few years ago I had a bad case of stage fright whenever I spoke in public. I also felt that my ability to write had been nullified. I was left empty. But this is something you need to know. Sometimes, when God intends to bless you, He slowly empties you. He begins to remove any impediments to your blessing. Only then will He begin to fill you up.

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Be a Mosquito!

I know having read my title, you must be buzzing with curiosity and thinking what a strange command. I would have thought the request strange too, until last week when my sister, brother and I went driving in an area close to the mountains. It was in the evening and nothing would have been strange about it except one thing. The area was populated with mosquitoes!

As we hit the region, my sister started complaining about being bitten. I thought I was safe! At the time, I happened to be wearing a long sleeve top and a long skirt. Imagine my surprise when I felt the mosquitoes biting me in my arm through my blouse! I was so annoyed that I swatted and killed it. Within minutes another took it place! Before the evening was out I had become a professional mosquito killer and a very annoyed young woman.

The next morning, something occurred that made me realise something. I discovered a mosquito in my room. Much to my dismay as I turned off my fan I could hear the annoying bugger flying about. Then he struck! I felt when he landed on my arm and I struck, he flew off and I ended up smacking myself! This occurred thrice and each time I missed! I can just imagine how he laughed as he flew off. On the fourth attempt, he bit me and I was left bested by a mosquito.

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5K Run – A Lesson in Endurance

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So, crazy me decided that instead of staying in my bed like a good little girl on a Sunday morning, I was up by 5:00 am and ready to do a 5K run at 6:15 am. I must say that I thought I would die especially since I chose to do the run instead of the walk.

Honestly, at times in the race, I did think I was dying. At one point I wanted to indicate to the Race team that I was stopping. My legs ached and my lungs felt short on air but the most important thing was that I maintained my pace even when I wanted to push myself to keep up with the people ahead of me. I didn’t run the entire race, there were points I had to slow down to a walk but I am proud of the fact that kept my goal in sight and finished strongly.

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The Subject of Crying

Maybe no one told you that there was strength in your tears. – Kelly Clarkson

I used to be one of those females who believed that crying was a sign of weakness. Well, it should be the flip as crying doesn’t show that you are weak but rather that you have strength. It takes strength to show others that you are vulnerable. One of the things that have really struck me is that although tears show considerable strength, we tend to apologize anytime we become emotional in the presence of a group or others – especially if we don’t know them well. I had to ask myself: ” Why do we do that?  Why is it not okay to become emotional whenever we want?”

Here are a few reasons why tears, whether in public or private, are okay.

  1. Tears enable us to get in touch with our deepest feelings. Unless you’re putting on a really good act, eating onions, or acting in a movie scene, tears express the rawest emotions within. We have all had moments when a really amazing gift or gesture had brought tears to our eyes. We cry when we share moments of great elation with others. There are many times, I’ve laughed until I began crying. Tears are also an expression of grief at endings or the loss of those who are precious to us.

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You are who you are because of yesterday.

 

A few weeks ago, God dropped this thought into my spirit “you are who you are because of yesterday”. I wrote the thought down in my phone and left it there. Last night as I was browsing through the phone, I came upon the thought. This time, I asked, ” God, how do you want me to expound on this thought?” As I was about to fall asleep, Job came to mind, so tonight I will be talking about Job.

You know Job, the man who God was really proud of but allowed the devil to test his faith. I can’t even how imagine how Job felt as one by one he got news of his various misfortunes. Children killed. Cattle and possessions stolen. House destroyed. Misfortune after misfortune, all in ONE DAY. And if that wasn’t bad enough, his health went, then his wife and finally, his friends.

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