December 2009

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler

 

Here is One for the Road

As the year comes to a close I am prone to stop and take stock of what I have gained, learned and lost on life’s “Blue Highways.”

So here is one for the road.

The first thing I learned is the awesome power we have to create opportunity in times of adversity.

The real key here is not to give attention to what we are challenged with, but to keep a clear focus on our dreams and desires with unwavering faith they are ours to have. There is always a choice between what we are confronted with and how we act on it. We are only bound by our own self doubts and fears that keep us from moving forward.

If all we see ahead are barriers and constraining boundaries we will always be confined to the landscape of that vision. Conversely if we see boundless abundance and unlimited potential, then the Law of Attraction will move people, places and events on our behalf. Our dreams and aspirations will be our assured reality.

In challenging times, moving our spheres of influence and personal power outward can create room to grow financially, professionally and personally. This power lies in all of us.

As an educator, I notice an example every time I place a pair of shears in a student’s hands on their first day of beauty school; I get their look of momentary fear of the unknown. “I don’t know if I can.” or “What if I make a mistake?” I look in their eyes and tell them: “Your future is now, it starts right here, there is no someday.”

The greatest responsibility I have learned is to always affirm the inner beauty and future mastery of evolving new professionals. Guide them and be the good example of what they can aspire to be and hopefully grow beyond.

The secret is when we attend to this task, we get better. We become more inspired by being inspiring, we radiate inner beauty and grace because we are nurturing those attributes in our emerging professionals in a quest to grow our industry from the inside out. We become mentored while mentoring, as we remind ourselves of what it is to be true to the path we need to create for them to follow. It is the balance between nourishing and nurturing.

Another truth is the challenge to embrace change, to be in the now, and accept the new. To live in the past is to stay there, while the ever-changing world moves on without us.

Resisting change is like fighting to restrain a freight train that is already leaving the station. The more it picks up speed the more energy is needed to get it to stop. Creating positive change is also like a freight train. It hardly seems to be moving at all. This is where tenacity and perseverance comes into play.

If you don’t give constant attention to moving the train forward it will stop and the journey won’t continue. At first the train may seem to barely moving, but once it catches speed you can’t stop it. Are you on board the train or back in the station? Don’t let life leave without you.

No matter how focused we are on the destination our journey is taking us, life sometimes throws curve balls. Often we don’t see it coming. Sometimes, all we can do is dive and not get hit. Then what? The natural reaction is to lose or trade in our joy for anger and frustration at things beyond our momentary control. Often these circumstances are a wake up call to bring us where we need to be. We may have lost our sense of direction and don’t even realize it.

One of the unrealized blessings from these reality checks is to be grateful for the long term benefits these departures and detours provide us. No matter what is placed in our way, either by design or default, how we let it affect us is our choice. Nothing truly happens by chance. If we are going to succeed or fail, we have everything to do with it.

In the end it’s facing challenges, providing meaningful solutions, and awaiting success that make this all worthwhile. No matter what, it is all because we did it on purpose. I know I won the race because I am tired from the effort. I know I fell short of my desired success because I tripped. I have to get up, dust myself off, refocus and persevere toward my intended goal.

Those who stand on life’s sidelines may applaud those who won the race, but the difference is, they will never know the thrill of victory or the temporary pain of defeat. They were not part of it, they didn’t enter the race, they weren’t present in the game of life. True abundance in life is not a spectator sport. One of my mentors once told me that this is all we get in this go around, so just go for it. This is not a dress rehearsal for the next life. Now go produce a standing ovation with standing room only to a sold out house!

As I roam the Blue Highways on the road less traveled, I will always be grateful for the gift to share with my industry partners. This has been for me, as I hope it was for you, an amazing year full of promise for new horizons. I wish you all a happy and festive holiday season and prosperous New Year.

Jerry Tyler’s column Blue Highways is his “Road Less Traveled” perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. Jerry Tyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director for Vidal Sassoon Academy and currently as Director of Education for Carlton Hair salons. He is also a licensed cosmetology instructor and has served as President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.