Will Lukang, MBA, PMP, MASCL, CSM

Do you sometimes wonder how things would have been had you taken the course that you liked a few years back? What if you pursued a degree other than the one you had? What would you be doing? What if you left your current job and pursued other opportunities two years back? All these what ifs do create a lot of uncertainties. The fact of the matter is that most people would not dare take the step to seek their passion or try the alternative they desired. Why? Because there is no guarantee for a positive/good outcome, so people stay where they are and settle until it is too late.

What’s the point of this blog? I’ve met a couple of people who, while facing challenges, took the steps to seek their passion and step outside their comfort zone to try something new. I’ll blog about each one of them and describe their journey. It is important to note that success is relative to how happy you are in pursuing your goal. One quote that comes to mind is from John R. Amos, “It’s simply a matter of doing what you do best and not worrying about what the other fellow is going to do.” The point I’m trying to get at is that some people are willing to push the envelope to do more and learn new things, while others are content with what they have.

In this blog posting, I’ll feature Elizabeth Hawk. Miss Hawk graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Italian from The Pennsylvania State University. She has always been interested in fitness and even thought about pursuing a degree in Kinesiology, but instead chose to pursue her first passion – writing – for her undergraduate degree. After ten years of working as a sales and marketing consultant after college, Elizabeth decided to enroll in an intensive Advanced Personal Training certification program offered through Santa Monica College. At the time she lived in Los Angeles, CA. She completed the coursework while employed as a Client Services Manager and Implementation Manager for a consulting firm specializing in outsourcing and quality assurance. It was a challenge for her to complete her coursework and weekly quizzes as well as all final exams and papers – especially as she was traveling a great deal for work at that time. Since all coursework was to be completed online, however, she had some flexibility and was able to do so. She received her certificate as a summa cum laude graduate.

Maybe not so coincidentally, Elizabeth lost her job at the consulting firm where she had recently been promoted and where she had worked for two years. She decided that it was fate and proceeded to pursue a career in fitness. Elizabeth struggled to get back into shape and lead a balanced lifestyle so that she could set an example for her clients and emphasize that balance is key, having herself fallen into the trap of working too much and exercising too little.

Miss Hawk began her fitness career at Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City. There she completed courses at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute (EFTI) and worked with both men and women in designing optimal training programs. When an opportunity arose for her to move back to Los Angeles to work at the new flagship Equinox location, she took it. Soon after she transferred to Spectrum Athletic Clubs, a more community-centered gym, and was very happy with her clientele as she worked with clients of all ages and professions. Her specialties included working with clients with MS and arthritis and those with previous surgeries such as knee and hip replacements.

To supplement her training income, Elizabeth pursued another passion – online marketing and research. A self-professed “research guru” and “internet junkie” she completed coursework through SEMPO Institute and received her certification in Search Marketing, and is also certified in Internet Marketing through Inbound Marketing University. Elizabeth has written, designed and/or copy edited many Websites – including www.socialnetworkbutterfly.com, www.thefitnesscell.com – and has provided online marketing expertise to a number of online companies. She has advised many of the benefits of using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to not only gain an audience but to drive traffic to Websites as well. Some of her recent projects include writing a Beauty, Health and Fitness blog that boasted over 40,000 readers and many fitness industry-specific articles with an emphasis on cardiovascular training. Elizabeth has also founded a networking organization for women called Social Network Butterfly – where a sound body and sound mind approach is emphasized in all social activities – and is currently seeking funding to help take the organization beyond Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. She found that when training her clients (mainly women) many were so dissatisfied with themselves – especially their bodies. This led her to become even more passionate about helping others not only achieve good health through proper diet and exercise, but to achieve a positive self-image as well.

Miss Hawk managed to balance full-time work while studying to be a personal trainer. She did this because she has the passion for it – unlike some of us. We dwell on our desire to take courses that match our passion, but rarely do we act on it because there is no guarantee of a successful outcome, or sometimes we struggle to juggle multiple balls in the air. Elizabeth is currently working as an Analyst for a strategic advisory and business consulting firm and is writing her first book for women about how to find true happiness by first achieving positive self-worth. She credits her recent experience as a freelance journalist and consultant in helping her receive an invitation to join such a prestigious firm.

People like Elizabeth inspire me to pursue what I want and push myself outside of my comfort zone. As such, I started pursuing my Certified Leadership and Development Coach. I believe that if you want it bad enough, you’ll work day and night for it. You’ll give up time and sleep for it and never be tired of it until you achieve your goal. The goal is what keeps you going. You’ll never make any excuses to stop and fret on things that you missed. You’ll gladly sweat for it and plan every step of the way. Nothing can stop you until you make that dream come true. In a way that’s how I view life. Sometimes people ask me how I do it. My answer is: I will it and if I want it bad enough, I’ll make it happen. I hope this blog inspires someone to chase their dream. Imagine what it’s like to do what you really want – picture it and feel it. Keep that image and start your day by saying to yourself, “The investment I do for today is a building block for my future.” Therefore work hard and persevere to achieve your goal.

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