I met him at the Verizon store. He looked like he was only 25, but he spoke with the wisdom of a 60 year old, and I left that store forever changed.
My SE iPhone- yes, the original model that came out in 2016, the tiny one that always makes my nieces and nephews laugh because they never saw a phone so small- was barely holding battery charge any more. I am the kind of person that doesn’t upgrade until my technology is completely worn out. (Much like other areas of my life!) And actually, I would have hung on to that model probably for another year, but an unexpected check had come in the mail. I decided to treat myself to the newest model of iPhone. What I didn’t know as I walked into the store that day was that I wouldn’t just be upgrading my phone, I would be upgrading my life.
As I sat across from the young salesman, I could see that he carried himself with a confidence and peace despite the hustle and bustle around him. He began to unpack his life story as he unpacked my new equipment, slowly piecing it together.
He had been offered a cross country scholarship to college that he turned down because, get this- he didn’t want to stop loving running. He also did not want to go to college just to go to college. What he wanted to do was to travel and experience another aspect of life. So he decided to join the military. He excelled there and found the routine invigorating. But after a couple of years, he was ready for the next thing. He knows that he thrives on learning new things and taking on new challenges. Upon his return to civilian life, he started his own business as a personal trainer with just a couple of people who he knew. Through word of mouth, his business quickly exploded in just a few months, and cash was flooding in. He decided to move more into the director role for the business and try a new endeavor. This time he was ready for college.
He studied nutrition because it was something he had always been interested in learning about. By the end, he could become a nutritionist, but decided that he had learned it just for fun and not as a profession. The military had paid for college and he still had money coming in from his personal training business. He does not need a job because he is financially free. He never once made a life decision based in fear or on the way that other people around him did. All his decisions were guided by his own self-awareness. He knew what he liked and he did each thing for the joy it brought him. His ability to follow the flow of his passions, and his belief in himself, brought him success everywhere that he went.
Now you might be wondering why he was working at the phone store. I asked him and he said, “I know myself. Even though I am a homebody who is content to read and play video games, it is not good for me to be alone too much. It stimulates me to be out with people. This job is great because I get to meet new and interesting people every day who I would otherwise never meet.” This was why he sat in a zen-like state despite the bustling store and the demanding and impatient customers. He didn’t have to be at this job, he was there because he wanted to be. He displayed how everything in his life led to something better, whether it was what society would deem better or not. He even knew not to do something he loved too much because he could become burnt out on it (running).
Walking out of the store that day, I felt inspired. Inspired to trust and believe in myself. Inspired to base my decisions on what brings me joy without fear of loss, failure, or financial need. I resolved to connect with myself each day to seek the guidance to do what would lead to the next best thing. Just like upgrading my phone to a new operating system with a greater abilities and capacity for growth, I upgraded my mindset to a more expansive view of myself and the world.
About the Author: Julie Glaser is a healer who creates sacred spaces for people to share, release, and grow. She’s in the habit of being in awe and wonder and writes to share her own experiences and learnings with other inquisitive souls in the process of transforming.