Vocation, Vacation, Inspiration

Mark Twain’s quote, “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation,” reminds me of when I wrote EggMania while relaxing on the beaches of Hawaii. When I was packing for the trip, the idea of writing a children’s book never once occurred to me, and certainly not doing so while on vacation. Surprise! Even before I was settled in my airplane seat, I experienced a gripping inspiration, which seemed to come out of the blue and knock on my door. Loudly!

Many of you have asked how I came to write EggMania and conceived of “ManiaTales” when I was a highly successful image-communication consultant and a non-fiction author of the category best-seller, Casual Power: How to Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication and Dress Down for Success. I will be discussing exactly this with Caroline-Dowd Higgins on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:30 EDT (4:30 CDT; 2:30 PDT) on the Career Coach Caroline show broadcast LIVE on CBS Radio http://sky.radio.com/shows/coach-me/. Caroline is a blogger for the Huffington Post and the author of the new book, THIS IS NOT THE CAREER I ORDERED, which is an excellent read, and a ‘must read’ for those wanting to reinvent themselves or make career changes.

Career change was not on my mind the day I boarded that plane bound for Hawaii. Interestingly, a conversation from the afternoon before was stuck in my mind like song lyrics on automatic replay. The young woman, who was quite lovely, well-dressed and poised, had stepped from behind the Chanel counter and handed me my new sun glasses. She smiled and said, “Eggzactly” as if it were a three syllable word, an exclamation point to a comment regarding long flights. The word, and the way she had said it, adhered to my grey matter. Brain wallpaper, it refused to leave my head.

Having studied Linguistics in college, my minor actually, I register the nuances of enunciation and this was not the first time I had heard the word exactly pronounced in this fashion. In my travels for corporate consulting and speaking engagements, I had often noticed people mispronounce the word “exactly” as “eggzactly,” especially when they wanted to exaggerate their point, and this included educated folks from varying geographical regions across the U.S.—North, South, East Coast, West Coast. Somewhere in the corners of my brain, I must have been cogitating on this, toying with images of eggs when this less-than-exact enunciation assailed my ear canals.

A mere awareness though had suddenly turned into a discordant cacophony. Just when I was ready and eager for some much needed rest and relaxation, inspiration invaded me. Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Motivation is what happens when YOU take hold of an idea. Inspiration is what happens when an idea takes hold of YOU.” This is precisely what happened to me; inspiration tapped me on the shoulder, embraced me, and then held me in its powerful grip.

My husband, Stephen, had talked me into not taking my computer on this trip, convincing me to have a real vacation. And, lo and behold, a compelling idea ignited my imagination. Laptop or not, there was no stopper for the flood of words whirring inside of me. I wrote on every scrap of paper I could lay my hands upon, including the edges of crossword puzzles and a Sudoku book. Using hotel stationery, I completed the writing of EggMania: Where’s the Egg in Exactly? on the beautiful beaches of Lanai and Maui. (Yes, I am indeed blessed!) That February, the waters were chocked-full of dolphins. It was Dolphin Soup, literally, with dolphins stacked four and five deep swimming in formation. The beaches were dotted with chickens, typical Hawaii style, pecking at greenery, hopping between swaying palm trees. You may have noted the unique mix of chickens and dolphins in EggMania’s text and illustrations. Basking in nature’s creative elements proved fruitful as that is also when Stephen and I hatched the concept for a second book, EarMania, and then other books, essentially giving birth to our ManiaTales series.

In her book Passages, Gail Sheehy wrote, “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” I must say, this trip from vocation to vacation to inspiration has brought tremendous joy, and yes, major growth.

To hear more of our inspiring journey, please tune into the show with Caroline this Tuesday, May 21 at 5:30 EDT (4:30 CDT; 2:30 PDT).  New Sky Radio, Career Coach Caroline can be heard on KJAQ HD3 Seattle, WBMX HD3 Boston, WOMC HD3 Detroit, WDSY and WZPT HD3 Pittsburgh. The show also streams on NewSkyRadio.com http://sky.radio.com/shows/coach-me/, the CBS Radio AOL stream, and on Yahoo radio, Blackberry, iPhone and iTunes. (To listen via your iPhone – download the free App: Radio.com).


Sherry Maysonave