I spent the Fourth of July at a swank beach house with a friend who was recently laid off from her corporate job after 15+ years. While wading in the backyard pool on a sun-filled afternoon, we talked about her situation. After taking some time away to deal with emotions about the loss, she was ready to start her job search. But she admitted that she didn’t know what she wanted to do next. She was burnt out and couldn’t fathom a return to the constant pressures and work cycle of her previous position. Her situation made sense – how many of us have run out of gas in our work life, have lost that loving feel of what we do? Some of us are currently experiencing that now – our work no longer drives us, it’s no longer a passion. Or maybe it never was, and somehow we got stuck on the treadmill to no where – making money, living comfortable – but never really going anywhere.
I challenged my friend to answer the following with the first thing that came to her mind:
Despite everything you’re going through and forgetting any obstacles you currently face, if you could do anything, absolutely anything, what would you do?
Her response: “Tell stories.”
She looked up at the sky, seeing limitless possibilities, and elaborated on her love of storytelling, people, and humanity. She wants to take her skills in content development and mesh them with news ones she’s learning about documentary film making. Her desire is to document the lives of people, weaving a message together of how, despite our differences, we are still people who share the same basic needs and desires. I exclaimed, “There you go – sounds like you do know what you want to do!”
So.. why not now? What’s holding her back? It’s the very thing that holds many of us from living the life we truly want, from doing the very things we truly want to do – fear. The fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or even fear of success will keep us procrastinating day after day, holding off pursuing what makes us sing, smile, and excited every time we think about it. If you are at a crossroads of continuing down a path of least fulfillment or walking down one that could lead you to your dream, ask yourself:
If not now, when?
What’s holding you back from doing what you want to do – NOW?
If you like this, you may like:
“10 Reasons 2013 Will Be the Year You Quit Your Job” (TechCrunch)
“I’m Leaving the Corporate World Behind to Start a Business” (Project Eve)