Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Taking a Leap.

I never really thought about how I came to these conclusions before until I was talking to a friend tonight.  The conclusion being when you decide to take a leap of faith and make a life change how do you decide which way to jump? 

Most people have not been doing the same thing their entire life.  If we think about it, we have actually done a whole lot of things.  Most of us have a lot of skills we seldom use.  In many cases like myself, your best description of yourself is Jill (or Jack) of many trades.  Especially as we move forward in life, we change from student, to entry worker, to more and more specialized workers (in general). 

In my case, I had a few directional changes along the way.  Some were by choice, some were by changing circumstance but they were changes all the same.  I never really thought about those changes other than as "shit happens and we move on".  Then there was that whole little "incident" where the wheels fell off and all bets were off.  I started really honestly thinking about where I was going with my life.  Was I really going anywhere?  Was I just moving along where everyone expected me to?  Was I just following money?  Was I following my heart or someone else's?  Should I do what I was told?  Should I do what I had been doing?  Or should I perhaps do something totally different?

At some point in time, I sat down with myself and asked me all those questions and more.  What was expected of me?  What was I doing? What did I think about all that?  And then we had some tough conversations about all this.  It all started with a simple question from someone. 

If you could do anything you wanted to do, what would it be?  

Earth shattering isn't it?  Not really.  It is really quite a simple question when you look at it.  If you take away everything else and just look at the question itself it is really quite simple.  The difficult part is taking away everything else.  I asked me this question and at first, I thought I was answering honestly.  Then I realized that I was answering but I was still paying attention to everything else.  It was only when I put all that other noise aside that I could really have a genuine conversation about it... and honestly I had to lock that stuff in a closet and leave the room..... 

Once I could have that conversation honestly with me, it turned out that the path I was following was not where I wanted to go.  It was a path and while it was a good path but it was someone else's path not mine.  So I made a simple shift of perspective and found that I could in fact be just as successful, if not more by doing something differently.  There.   That was it.  That was in fact earth shattering.  Imagine that.

So, my best advice for you is to think about all the things you do. The things you do best and the things you may not do so well. Everything you have ever done in your life in fact.  Now sit down and have an honest conversation with yourself about what you really enjoy doing. Not about what has the best potential, not about what might pay the best, but about what you love to do. What tasks do you find the most joy in?  Put aside what your family expects, put aside money, experience, and what you HAVE been doing.  Look at what excites you.  It may be some little bit of what you are currently doing.    If you are really lucky, it is EXACTLY what you are doing.  It may be something totally different.  It may be something that you tried once but never did again.  It may be something you have never even done before.  That thing, whatever it is will look sexy as hell to you, it is the thing that will get you out of bed when you are sick on a miserably cold and rainy day to go out and just do it for no reason other than just to be doing it...   THAT right there is the thing that you should be doing.

I am not saying that you should chuck it all away and run off to live in a hut on a beach because you once had a fantasy about doing it..  I am not saying that in reality you even CAN go do this thing because in reality all those other things ARE really out there.  One really does need money and family and all those other things but knowing what you really want is still important.  It does not even have to be about your day job it might be about something totally different.   You do not have to do it right this second but know it, love it, and promise yourself that maybe one day, you will.

I see a white sail
skipping cross a blue bay
and I say Someday I Will
I see a young man
strumming on a green guitar
and I say Someday I Will
I don't have a plan
It's not that kind of thing
I'm not Martin Luther King
I don't have a dream
It's just sometimes I know
That's the way I'm supposed to go
I see a flying boat
and I get a lump in my throat
and I say Someday I Will
So whatever thrills you
Anything you love to do
Just say someday I will
Don't need to know who
May help you make it come true
Just say someday I will
Don't have to work it all out
Don't have to tear it all apart
All you need's a place to start
And if it never worked before
Try it just once more
That's what your heart if for
Whether it's big or small
If you have a passion at all
Just say, someday I will
Someday I will
~~Jimmy Buffett