During a recent interview, one of my favorite writers made a genius insight about the arc of a career.
It’s a short life, and if you keep repeating your success, you’re going to make it even shorter. Because you’ll be living your life in years, not sections.
His words are a dark and powerful reminder that if we want to make the most of our limited time on this earth, we have to experiment. We have to try new projects that make us feel engaged and tested and stretched.
The scary part is, that process requires a supreme effort of open mindedness. A willingness to bristle up against some of our beliefs, and possibly even abandon the ones that no longer serve us.
Over a period of about five years, I made the transition from freelance entrepreneur, to full time employee, back to freelancer, and then back to full time again. The path was as terrifying as it was enlightening. Panic attacks came and went like bad weather systems. Emotional highs and lows felt like thrill rides.
But looking back, that priceless period of experimentation cracked open my mind in new and interesting ways. The wrap and weft of that unexpected journey challenged my most cherished beliefs about ideas like identity and career and jobs and work and art, allowing me to find new answers about myself that I could not have found otherwise.
Yet another piece of empirical proof, that humans are horrible predictors of just about everything. That big plans for the future have become archaic curiosities. And that in the modern landscape, even our grandest career plans can be undone in less than a minute.
Flexibility is the only way out. To open our minds and hearts to the complete possibility of what might be. And to have gratitude for the unlikely trajectory our lives may have taken along the way.
Lefsetz said it best in his popular blog about the music industry.
Keep your eye on the ultimate prize, but also know that you’ll probably never get there and might end up somewhere else much more satisfying.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you ready to begin stretching other muscles?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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