The Marshmallow Effect: Making a Bold Move
A Guest Blog from “Tina” Valentina Janet
Original Post can be found at That Professor Life
When you think of a marshmallow, what comes to mind? How about a squishy white cylinder-shaped kind of sweet treat? What do you think would happen if you warmed up one of those squishy treats? No worries I’ll tell you what happens; it expands! Are you a little curious as to where I’m headed with this marshmallow talk? Let me tell you a story about a woman who decided to make a BOLD move and step out of her comfort zone into new ventures.
Let me tell you a story about a woman who worked in the corporate world for many years, and then one day it was all over. She was fifty plus years old with no job and had to start over again. So, what did she do? Well, after lots of crying, late night ice cream runs and much encouragement from friends & family she teamed up with a few friends and we started The Long Island Breakfast Club. With The LIBC, we are able to assist middle class mid-life Long Islanders get back into the work force. Well, after lots of crying, late night ice cream runs and much encouragement from friends & family she wrote a book filled with inspirational and funny stories about other people over fifty who experienced the same or similar situations as her.
That woman was me! I wrote “From Fired to Freedom: How Life After the Big Bad Boot Gave Me Wings”, hoping to help bring awareness to the many men & women who have lost their jobs midway through life and are trying to start again. I wanted to be able to encourage them to not give up, because starting over even at fifty plus is possible!
But I didn’t stop there! While networking, I met two wonderful women in the book/publishing industry and we joined together and founded The Long Island Writer’s Club, to help middle-aged people become writer’s, craft their skill in writing, and share their stories by getting published. Today, both clubs are doing great! We’ve helped so many middle-class Long Islanders (of all ages) get jobs, start careers and write & publish books! But wait, there’s more! A couple of my friends encouraged me to do a little comedy during one of my book readings at Tavolo Kitchen & Pizza in Wantagh, Long Island, New York. At first, I said absolutely not… personally, I don’t think I’m “comical” but apparently my friends do. Well, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give humor a try!
That night, there was a comedian named Vinny Marra (very nice, funny & talented individual from Long Island) at the party, and gave me the name of “Tina Valentina”. Two weeks after that very crazy evening, a former friend and colleague had contacted me and so we met up for lunch one day. I was glad to have reconnected with this very kind gentle giant of a businessman. While we were reminiscing on the past, and catching up on the present, I thought maybe he got wind of that crazy night a few weeks ago at Tavolo because… he presented me with an opportunity to have a spot on an internet radio show (called Govs Radio) and I accepted! So now, I’m he host (along with my fabulous co-host Gregg Cajuste) of The Long Island Breakfast Clubs: “The Long Island Breakfast Club Sh ow”! I know what you’re thinking… how awesome it is to be able to host your own show! And you’re right, it is awesome! I must also mention that I recently reconnected with another colleague at the cleaners, yes the cleaners and boom, Greg Cajuste appeared! A smashing interesting show at the Long Island Breakfast Club Show on Govs Radio,Facebook, You Tube!
I’m sure you’re wondering what all of this has to do with marshmallows right? Remember in the beginning when I explained how a marshmallow expands after it’s heated up? The marshmallows represent us, we get set in our ways, we may bend a little here and there but we’re comfortable. Then something happens and we end up in a pot (metaphorically speaking), and then someone turns the eye on, and the pot starts getting hot! The heat represents us stepping out of our comfort zone into something that we’ve never done before… now we’re melting. Us melting, represents opportunities opening up for us that if we hadn’t stepped out of our comfort zone, wouldn’t have been offered to us!
That’s what I did! Each time I stepped out into something “uncomfortable”, connections and opportunities came across my path and now my vision is expanding beyond what I could’ve imagined! So, are you ready to let The Marshmallow Affect work for you!
As I post at BOLD MEDIA, I say keep up your hope, keep up your inspiration, and keep up your possibilities. And Always Get Up Get dressed Show up!