The Detours That Build Your Dreams

Has life ever taken a detour for you, and looking back it turned out to be the best thing?

I was always interested in being a teacher, but not a grade one teacher with all the cute little kids. I always wanted to teach adults. I remember sitting in class in college, being fascinated by how many of my instructors and professors had a career in the field they were teaching in, and their teaching was more like a side gig or passion project. The only way I knew possible to teach adults was in university and to do that, I would need a university degree and then a master’s degree.

I worked hard to get my bachelor’s degree, doing it part-time while working full-time in my career, and once I completed that, which took seven years, I started looking into master’s programs. The ones that I became aware of seemed more research-based, which didn’t interest me. I was already well into my career, and I wanted more of a hands-on, life-based MBA program. I finally found one that checked off a couple of those boxes for me, including that it was international, another big passion of mine, and it had an incredible business program.

I wanted to be a teacher of adults. And here I was on a different trajectory than what I had planned, but still seeing the fulfillment of the same dream.

So off I went, taking steps to get accepted into that MBA program while preparing for the GMAT exam (similar to an ISAT to get into law school.) I wrote this exam and I did okay, so with that. I applied to the business school. As a result, I received conditional acceptance.

All this time I was in my executive position, I was building a company and no one at that company knew what I was up to. My husband Jeff and I kept taking the steps that we could take. We worked and got our house ready for sale for this pending move overseas. The school is to start in mid-September, and at this point, it was August, and as part of my conditional acceptance letter, they wanted me to rewrite the GMAT. So off I went for a weekend away to do a prep course. I rewrote the exam and was fully accepted, I was thrilled! This dream was about to become real!

The next step was to submit my letter of resignation, and it was a scary one. With this lump in my throat, I walked into my boss’s office to tell him what I was up to, and shock would be an understatement about how he looked when I told him this. He tried really hard to keep a poker face, but I could tell that he was disappointed. I had worked side by side with this man building a company for many years. It was a hard job and we had navigated a lot together. I felt like we were now in a position that it would be okay to leave, and he thought otherwise.

I don’t remember his words that day and what he said, but within a day or so, he came back to me with an offer to stay. Part of that offer was financial, which had never been my driver, but the other was a vision of where we were taking the company. After much discussion and entertaining both dreams and possibilities, Jeff and I ultimately decided to stay.

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I graciously turned down the MBA school, and we set our minds on a new path. Despite our best efforts and dreams in that company, they were never fully realized, a story for another time. There could sometimes be some resentment in me, thinking, “Oh maybe I shouldn’t have stayed and we should have gone,” but here’s what happened.

Within a few weeks of us deciding to stay, we were introduced to a class that powerfully unlocked our awareness, and that class led to taking another course by this incredible woman who spoke to my soul. This unlocked a whole other level of thinking and awareness within me that sparked new dreams and passions, which eventually led to me being certified as a life coach. Since then, I launched my own business and am now teaching adults all over the world, which was ultimately the dream.

I wanted to be a teacher of adults. And here I was on a different trajectory than what I had planned, but still seeing the fulfillment of the same dream.

Benjamin Franklin says for the best return, pour your purse into your head. Teaching these individuals not only how to be great business leaders, but to be great leaders of their own lives, is truly a dream fulfilled.

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If I had gone ahead and taken that MBA, there is a good chance I would have felt this obligation to pursue teaching at a university, staying in my business career to justify the time and financial investment that went into that MBA. There’s a chance I would never have discovered that class and that particular teacher, and who knows, maybe confined to a classroom teaching stats. That would have been wonderful in some people’s dreams, but I know it wouldn’t have fed my soul for a very long time.

I ultimately am so grateful for the detours, and as Steve Jobs famously said, we can never connect the dots looking forward – we can only connect the dots looking backwards. Somehow we have to trust that they will connect.

Thinking about the detours in your life, and maybe things aren’t quite unfolding, how would you love or think they should unfold? Remember, the “how” is none of your business. What is your business is the “what”. What would you love? What is your dream? Trust the process. Keep taking the steps you can take, trusting that ultimately right now, the universe is conspiring for your greater good. Be grateful for the detours, they could take you to some amazing places.

Here is to you living a life you love,

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About Stacey

Stacey Berger

Stacey Berger

After 16 years of climbing the corporate ladder, mentoring entrepreneurs in marking, operations and finance, I made the decision in 2014 to teach success principles full time, combining my love of business and personal development.

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