I made a leap a few years ago. It was a career shifting move. I took a path that was uncomfortable and scary, to say the least. It was an unfamiliar territory. I was starting from zero to 1.
Two nights ago, I was with ex-colleagues and friends. We talked about our current situations. My former boss told me I was one of the outliers who took the extreme path. I went out of my comfort zone to purse a career that I was uncertain if I would succeed. But then I remembered another ex-boss telling me this: “Know thyself.”
People will put you down. Your company will frustrate you and sometimes kick you out. But you should remain resilient. The journey is what matters. In this journey, never lose yourself.
I heard myself sharing this mantra to a new-found friend who was at a crossroad. He was brilliant and yet his company didn’t see that. What was funny was he felt he was being punished for doing things that are unconventional. He gave it his ALL, and yet the company was NOT acknowledging his contributions. He wanted to quit!
The above stories are fairly common. You may know of someone who was in similar situations. And there is nothing you can do but listen.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know the answers to life’s problems. My lessons in life are different from yours. We will all face challenges. And we will all go through low-points.
Today, I saw a film about Steve Jobs. The guy was not only brilliant. He was resilient. After he was fired, he didn’t muck around and took pity on himself.
Instead, he built a new company that would eventually show Apple what they were missing. What happened next was history: he got hired back, and was made CEO again.
Jobs took a leap of faith because he knew who he was. He was a visionary. He only wanted to put a dent in the universe. To get there, he was ready to shake up industries. He made people around him uncomfortable. But this happened because he had this thing called “reality distortion field.” When he was focused on succeeding, he abhorred mediocrity. He believed he could make insanely great products.
And he did.
What inspires you
During job interviews, I would often pose this question to any potential candidate: What makes you wake up and get excited about the day?
Try it. Ask anyone. See how they answer.
This simple question will reveal how self-aware one person is about themselves. Their answers will provide you some sense of their direction and their purpose in life.
In my case, I wake up in the morning excited to work because I know I’m making a difference. It’s a bonus if that difference also made people happy and inspired.
Take a leap of faith. Have fun. Dive in. Take a plunge. Swim. Get wet. It’s never too late to try out something new and fail, than regretting NOT doing it. Quit now if you’re tired. Resilience is NOT equal to submission or inaction.
Take a leap of faith. Throw yourself against the wind. Swim the other direction. Be THE red fish in a river-full of blue fish. Think the opposite. Take a full-circle.
Never wait. You have little time in this world.