• Betsy Perez

My Biggest Aim

This essay was an assignment in my first yoga teacher training this weekend. I enjoyed writing it and feel it truly speaks to who I am and what I believe.

When I was 7, our small community theatre decided to put on a production of Annie. As soon as I heard about it, I had visions of myself on stage, under the spotlight, wowing the crowds. I shared my plans with my mother. My mother, who was on the community theatre board was encouraging, but cautioned that I might not get a part. The director was planning to look for kids older than I was because he wanted to make sure the kids could read well and they were able to memorize songs well and sing in front of people. She said while she knew I could do these things, not all kids my age could.

About a week later, there was a board meeting at our home and the director was there. I knew what I had to do. From the room next door, I performed. First, a reading and then several songs. I was sure to be loud enough for all to hear. My mother tells me now that all the adults noticed and chuckled at my quote on quote audition. I’m happy to say that the efforts paid off. Later that summer, I performed as Molly in Clear Lake South Dakota’s production of Annie.

I tell this story to demonstrate how I think and how these early successes shaped me.

As someone with classic high achiever syndrome (Ennegram Type 3), I am a goal-oriented big thinker who is constantly striving to be her best. Aiming big is part of my DNA. Unfortunately, it can be a trap. I can forget to focus on the here and now and get entirely too focused on what’s next or what I think I should be doing or achieving. I still believe in visioning for the future and setting intentions, but, for me, when they are based on my sometimes selfish desired outcomes (that frankly I have no control over), they aren’t always my healthiest path.

So, what is my biggest aim? What is my most intense and important purpose I am trying to achieve?

Ten years ago, had you asked me this question, it would have been all about climbing to the top of my field.

Fortunately, About five years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a gifted life and career coach. During that time, we worked on this question - what is my core purpose. Even though it was five years ago, it’s something I still believe is part of why I’m here. My life’s work is to help creative people thrive. I have a passion for this and I’ve been blessed with talents and opportunities to accomplish it in both big ways and small.

But this essay is about the biggest purpose. For me, right now, my most intense and important job is teaching my daughters to be kind, brave and to act out of compassion. I feel grateful to be their mom and I’m certain this will be the biggest impact my life will have on the world.

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