Why I'm Trading In My Desk Job For a Life on the Road
“It is better to live your own identity imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” - The Bhagavad Gita
In one month, I’ll be packing my bags and boarding a plane to South America leaving my career and life in California behind. What had started as a vacation with my partner flourished into an idea; a concept that this could be a new chapter of my reality. This journey will be more than an extended vacation. This journey will be one in which I pursue my passions, my talents, and skills and leave behind the corporate world. For good.
While this shake-up may sound terrifying, I know that the stability I’ve had over the past 5 years is more terrifying. The idea of making six figures and clocking in every Monday-Friday just doesn’t sit right in my stomach anymore, and it may not sit right in yours. We live in this ultra-connected society where we are able to easily access the lives of others and watch their story unfold. If seeing that story makes your heart flutter, then maybe you’re soul is asking you as Mindy Kaling says, “Why not me?”
You Have Nothing To Lose
We hear the phrase, anything is possible, all the time when we are younger. Our parents, our relatives, our teachers, tell us we can be whatever we want to be. That ideology diminishes as we get older and a “reality” sets in that we’re supposed to go to college, get the job, get married, have kids, blah, blah, blah. These things are all wonderful gifts, but is there really one all-encompassing story for the human race? No!
In 2005, Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech at Stanford University saying the following:
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason to not follow your heart.”
“But, I’m Scared!”
All too often we wallow in the face of fear, telling ourselves it will never work out or we’re not good enough. We make excuses and deny our talents because we’ve been told there’s a strict recipe for success. Well, that recipe hardly works anymore. With unemployment rates for recent college graduates increasing, it is clear that we can take alternate routes to live the “American Dream.” Why can’t that route be doing what you love?
Flipping your life upside down (or right-side up, depending on how you look at it) by moving towards your true passions is certainly a way to bring about fear. This fear, however, is a sign that you are on the right path. Nothing extraordinary was ever accomplished without a bit of fear or doubt. Use this fear as a signal that you are exactly where you need to be and allow yourself to be open and receptive for whatever comes next.
Where To Start
So what can you do? The opportunities are endless, really, once you start tapping into what you love. When you picture your perfect day, what does that include? For me, I dream of days filled with yoga, writing, and spontaneous adventures. Is it much of a surprise that those three ingredients will be making up the next year?
If you don’t know what your talent is, then try everything that appeals to you. Maybe you enjoy writing like I do or have a passion for photography. You may have a kick ass social following and want to build that or build a following for other businesses. There is so much possibility. Why not tap into that possibility today?
By going out on a limb, you are removing the regret that so many have as they get older. The “What if I did this...” fades away and is replaced with a feeling of abundance. This abundance is one of knowing that you chased your passions and didn’t default to a life of mundane routine. You didn’t live someone else’s life, you chose your own perfectly imperfect world.