This is how I've managed to achieve all that I have. I've followed my intuition and passion.
A lot of people who I work with are initially interested in doing so after they see mad eclectic background and career. As one of my friends recently put it you’ve tried all the careers associates with a Caucasian, 55 year-old man.
Add on top of that the fact I studied Physiological Sciences, Law and Politics, started a Diploma in Financial Crime during this time - it starts to look a little strange.
Then add in the Etsy shop, the copy job, the weekend teaching job, the internship at Google and volunteer in Ecuador as well as all the travel, the research project in Sri Lanka and living in Tunisia, Afghanistan, Dubai, London and Lisbon and yes, I guess it’s perhaps a bit unusual but so what?
You see, my decisions could either be based on what other people think and based on fear. E.g. I need a linear CV, I need to climb the corporate ladder, I need to look “normal”.
Or I could base my decisions on the fact that I have one life. 80,000 hours. A few thousand weekends and zero control over time.
It passes whether I want it to or not so I might as well spend it in a way that is meaningful to me.
So, how do you find what is meaningful to you?
Notice when you’re automatically telling yourself you can’t do something
Tune-in to you. When you spot yourself saying “I can’t do that” tune-in.
Who is saying you can’t and what is encouraging you to trust them?
Where are there comments coming from?
If people are expressing telling me “not to do something” or “telling me I can’t do something” I try and unpick the nugget of wisdom that is their comment people usually have some logic in their advice but I don’t let it automatically stop me. I remember they know very little about me really – even the people who I’ve known for decades. They haven’t spent 100% of their time with me, they don’t know me.
Ultimately, they’re not in my shoes and I’m not in theirs.
Secondly, trust that inner voice
The voice which is unrelenting and perhaps has popped-up with the same idea more than once.
That! Go with that!
It will probably feel quite scary to listen too.
Equally, ask what you have got to lose if you don’t listen to it. There’s a cost whether you stay in your current situation or whether you change it.
What would you rather regret more?
There is a cost to change, there is a cost to adaptation. There is a cost for going after your dreams. Of course, there is. It may be both exciting and challenging.
Equally, there is also a cost to not doing it. There is a cost to staying as you are and never really knowing if you could do it.
Think about a ten-year older version of you, looking back on your decision point now. What is it that they want you to do?
Recognise the power of the human mind in everything around you
Another way I like to think about things is to remember that it’s all made up.
Yes, I know that sounds a little woo but think about it. Look around your environment today. You’re looking at a screen that will allow you to at a press of a button allow you to order anything you want more or less to be delivered to your door. Thousands of years ago there were most likely trees where you’re currently sitting. Trees. All of what is around you right now has been created by minds just like yours.
The mind is more capable of creating, adapting and building than you perhaps realise. This applies to my mind but yours too.