I hit my two year anniversary at my day gig yesterday. Didn’t realize it until the end of the day when I was looking at the clock and saw the date. I’ve accomplished a lot since moving to NYC. And when I consider my current workload, the trust of a new boss, and the opportunities that are coming my way, my mind wanders back to the freedom I’ve longed for so long. There’s a reason I call this Free Write Friday.
As you probably know by now, I’m all about personal and career development. So I end up reading a lot of personal and career development websites. I read one article in particular on one of my favorite places, Pick the Brain. This particular piece was called Are You Postponing Your Life Until Tomorrow? 8 Ways to Start Living Now. It was one of the best personal development articles I’ve read in some time. It gave me the shot in the arm I needed, as it felt like the author was speaking directly to me (sans her personal tribulations). Here are a couple highlights (simple reminders) that got me Red Bullin’ at my office desk:
1. You keep waiting for the perfect opportunity.
Here’s a newsflash: There’s never going to be the perfect moment or opportunity. You have to create it and the best way to do that is to act. Now. The longer you put something off the less likely you will actually do it. I know that from first-hand experience and the feeling of regret of having missed a chance is no fun. If any opportunity presents itself, then jump on it and do the best with it. An opportunity can be little things like reading this post and noticing that your life doesn’t have to be on pause and can be lived proactively.
4. You keep educating yourself, but never act on it.
I am guilty of this one a lot. I love to educate myself on all kinds of things and with the internet, there are so many resources to choose from. It’s never been as easy to learn more about a topic or an area of interest as it is today. Yet, with these new opportunities, there also comes a problem. The more resources you have, the less you tend to act. There’s not enough time in a lifetime to learn everything about every subject. But the reality is that you don’t have to know every minute detail to be an expert at something, or at least not right away. I wasn’t an expert on anorexia and recovery when I started writing about it, but I didn’t let this stop me from producing something. I also didn’t know everything about improving your body image when I wrote my guide, but I have learned as much as I could and I put out the best work I could possibly do at that point in time. This doesn’t say that it was perfect, but it’s definitely helped many people since. Don’t hide behind books and education, but use it to ship, as Seth Godin would say.
For me, this article could’ve been titled How to Achieve the Freedom You’ve Been Looking For. It’s not groundbreaking, but sometimes simple reminders have a way of showing up at the perfect time. I’ll continue to educate myself. Things will continue to fill my schedule. Obligations will continue to pop up. But the key is in knowing how much control I have on a day to day basis if I just act…even when I’m tired and don’t feel like doing anything at all. The conditions may never be right for my long term dreams. But with a bit more discipline, I may end up with the freedom I’ve been searching for sooner than expected. As I always say, it’s a work in progress.
Happy Friday and have a great weekend.