I had the privilege of meeting George last year, when OutGrowth was facilitating a Design Thinking workshop in collaboration with Greatest Possible Good. Initially, we connected through our commitment to education. It wasn't until later that we discovered that we shared a dedication to health and wellness, both deeply believing in the life design process. It has been a joy getting to know George, and I am excited to share with our readers a bit about how George's life and career have evolved. Check out our quick Q+A below, and be sure to read George's featured article in our latest issue of En Root!
Tell us about your dedication to life design. What has been your approach to building your way forward, personally and professionally?
It's only in retrospect that I can see the magic and perfection of the Universe. I realize that I have been unconsciously designing my life for years. I think back to my teen age years where I was always one to give a piece of advice or help someone follow their heart, it was never about me. As an adult, for years I have been working on personal development and growth, reading tons of books, devouring audio books, and going to programs. Come to find out that the concepts, ideas, and ideals I learned years ago come to me and through me as I work with people who need to hear them. All of my personal growth is becoming nourishment to help other people grow. I continue to ingest content from multiple sources. I recently read Designing Your Life and I see the conscious side of designing the life you want...doing it on purpose. I know this is me because I behave the same way in my professional relationships as I do in my personal relationships and let's face it, they're both personal.
At OutGrowth, we are committed to giving access. Tell us about some of the tools or methods you have utilized that could help others start their journey to a life built for them?
I absolutely believe in educating yourself. Read different topics by multiple authors, take notes, notice the threads that bind them all. Listen to books, watch authors, teachers, and experts on YouTube and TedTalks etc. Journal your thoughts. Expand your knowledge, dip your toes into the teachings about the Universe, quantum physics, manifestation. Don't discount things because of how they sound or how they are perceived, learn about them, seek the truth, try them on and see if they fit. Quiet yourself and listen to your inner voice. If you don't know how, learn to meditate or find another technique. If you have a strong enough desire find anything, you will find it, but you have to start looking first.
Tell us about a pinnacle point or moment in your professional journey- one that made you reconsider how to structure a life.
I graduated undergrad with a degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in television production. I was fortunate enough to turn an internship at BET into a job in their Special Projects Division. It took just a few months for me to realize that I did not want to live the life they were living. I think I said to myself, "there is no soul in this work." In other words, I was not helping anyone, I was just working. Actually, while I was supposed to be working I was reading Iyanla Vanzant's "Soul of a Man" and taking copious notes. I was also learning a ton about ancient Egyptian history from a guy I worked with who had no problem sharing his knowledge. Through a college friend, I was connected with a program that helped "at-risk" middle school students. I've never worked in this arena before, but I have always been good working with children. This was a challenge, seeing other people's challenges, but I was good at it...creating relationships with the students, advocating for them in school, and helping my colleagues in their persona and professional lives. In one way or another, I have been working with children ever since.
How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?
I think it was then that I decided work has to mean something. It's not meant to be something you have to do to get paid, or something you just have to grind through because that's what you're supposed to do. It's made me realize that when on Monday you say or think, I just need to make to Friday, then something in your life is unfulfilled and you need to pay attention and find that part of you that needs to be nourished. My idea of what a career is has been evolving since I graduated.
What are your top three pieces of advice for students and professionals who are looking to re-imagine how to design their own lives?
1. Get quiet, go within, and listen to what your inner self (gut) is saying to you. 2. Educate yourself (become an expert, learn something new, whatever education looks like for you. 3. Make a move, take action in some way, shape, or form...do something (don't complain, or just talk, ACT)
If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be? This is hard because I believe in the order of the Universe and things work out the way they are supposed to. Having said that, if I could give myself a piece of advice, I think it would be...Be Bolder!
What is your favorite quote? When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
Based on your professional experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe students should cultivate to find success and fulfillment, regardless of what path they choose?
1. Building and maintaining relationships 2. Communicating clearly 3. Asking Questions & Solving Problems
What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2020?
This summer, I am part of McDonogh's Virtual Camps in the section titled Virtual LifeReady and Personal Development as a Coach offering a 6-Week Intensive Program called Total Transformation. During the summer, I intend to market my coaching practice and finds ways to make coaching a must bigger part of my life.
George has been an educator for 18 years. Currently, he is a 4th-Grade teacher at McDonogh School in Owings Mills. He is also a Certified Life Coach and Health Coach. Learn more about his program, Total Transformation: The 90 Day Intensive by emailing him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.