I've always had an eclectic way of seeing things. I draw my inspiration from an incredible array of sources, time periods and industries. It's like I'm building a never ending vision board for my life and career. 


Thankfully I had a constant throughout: thinking in pictures. I draw out the way all my ideas are going to look, act and what purpose are they going to serve and need are they going to take care of. The natural outcome was that I ended up pursuing a creative career, dealing with images and stories. Hence, I decided that I am a visual storyteller. 

Becoming aware of your talents and the skills that can help you move forward is essential if you want to grow a career out of just a passion. "Passion" is such an emotion-filled word. "What you're naturally good at and enjoy doing" sounds better. But for the sake of word economy, let's continue naming it "passion".

Being multi-passionate and loving to do many things can become confusing if you don't spend time working out the bits and pieces that will help you understand what career should you really follow. Most of us finish school and immediately get a job. "That's the safe thing to do!" common sense tells us. Sounds fair, and for many of us, it ends up being their road in life. And that's completely fine and normal. It's their choice and if it makes them happy, go for it!


I was the other kind. The one that had the regular 9-5 job, but had her mind on creative projects almost all of the time. Given the situation, I kept the things I loved to do as hobbies and tried my best to integrate them into my daily work tasks. Every time I got the chance to do one of them, I felt happy. That feeling went away when I got back to whatever I was working on.

For a long while, I thought it to be normal. We all have jobs that get us tired and hobbies that help us refresh and get us back on track. And so a few years passed and while I was working, I always thought of starting my own thing on the side. The dream of building my own business doing what I loved never left me. 

The decisive moment that completely shifted my actions was the 25th of July 2014, the day the neurologist told me that I had Multiple Sclerosis. In less than 24 hours, all my thoughts pointed to living my life the way I always wanted and making my dreams a reality. Even more so, wanting to continue working equaled pursuing my passion. My time was limited. Nobody knew by how much or less. The illness is unpredictable, so I have to hurry! 

There was no turning back after that. After just a week back at the office, I listened to my gut and left. It no longer provided me with anything rather than monthly pay. I chose my health over money. And so I started my sabbatical. Taking time to clear my head after the diagnosis, learn as much as I could about the disease, find ways in which to keep it inactive and most of all follow my dream career.

Do you know that feeling of liking so many things that you can't really decide which one to really pursue? Or, if you had narrowed in down to two or three areas, it's still difficult to start because for each one there are SO many things that you can say or do? Welcome to my world!

The funny thing is that I already know what I want to do (and I kindda knew it for more than 7 years now), but there's always something left to do, improve or wait to be the right moment for. Up until a few months ago, I thought it to be fear of failure. But no. Failure doesn't scare me for quite a while now. I mean, what's the worse it can happen? I already have an incurable disease! (*smiling ironically here*)

The fear of not being good enough isn't it either, as I managed to get passed peer pressure too. The thing is I find it difficult to decide. And that's so funny, because the blog is named SMart Choice, so technically, I should have mastered the decision making process by now. But not in the things I hold dear to my heart.

And so my one year sabbatical became two years, and the more I learned and the more ideas I had, the worse I became at deciding to start. I had it all planned on paper, all organized, but no action. Constant learning. An eternal student. I like learning, but I also like to be productive. 

The biggest lesson that I've learned these past two years is that you can't work on your dreams if you don't know the dreamer. Meaning that you first have to come back to knowing who you are and then see what you can do for work. 


That's why I came up with this 5 step process that you can also take to get in touch with your true self, or at least with your inner motivations and ideas that make you uniquely you, helping with your career goals.

So, without further adue, here are the steps that get you closer to yourself. You'll need a piece of paper and a few minutes to write things down.

Find a picture of yourself as a kid. Look at it and try to remember who you were back then. Asses your current lifestyle choices, the things you're naturally good at, the skills you've learned throughout the years and see where you stand. What's the thing (or things) that have remained a constant? Note them down and move on to the second step...

Note down your core values (limit yourself to just 5, the most important ones). After a life spent working, what would you like to be remembered for? What are the most important things that you leave behind as a professional?

Make a list of goals that you want to achieve during this lifetime. Be specific in naming them. No matter how big or unimportant they seem, they are part of your vision, so note them down. Given the values and legacy that you've decided upon already, how do you plan to achieve those goals? Define a short strategy. What choices will you need to make in order to achieve those goals?

Achieving mastery or anything in life means discipline and work. All the people that got somewhere with their lives and careers have to (and most still are) work hard to get their goal. You'll need a plan. Make it simple, actionable and daily. Think of the bigger picture and then narrow it down to what are the daily tasks that you need to do in order to get where you want to. Start with the first goal on your list and go from there. Then act upon that plan, but...

To know how far you've came, you need to do regular reviews and measurements. Nothing fancy, just, for example, see how much of Project X is done and what's left to do. You need to know what you need to do, in order to plan your day and efficiently dose your energy, especially when living with Multiple Sclerosis.

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