“Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” — Goethe
The future is uncertain. It’s even a lot more frightening when you think about everything machines can take away from you. One of the most important ingredients to success in life and business is the ability to adapt as technology changes and new trends emerge in a fast-paced digital world.
The rise of smart machines and apps, our computational world, new media ecology, superstructured organizations and the globally connected world are driving change like never before. People are afraid of losing their jobs.
There is always the risk of getting fired. Nobody is safe. But you can change that. You can start preparing yourself for the future of work by investing in yourself and what matters to you. Building a reputation as an expert in your field is the ultimate form of career insurance.
You need to start spending time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. If you want to transform your passion into your job, start spending time doing what matters to you.
If you find yourself trapped for the foreseeable future because you are stuck in a soul-crushing job, remember, you always have two obvious options: settle or plan for a career change.
You can settle, stay stuck and spend the rest of your life doing something you don’t like or make a trade-off. Millions of people do this. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this. Millions of people can’t support themselves with what earn from doing what they love, so they accept the sacrifice for what they receive in return. But for how long can you put yourself through this?
The other option is to disengage from your current work, and try to find meaning and purpose and focus on the one thing that matters to you. Finding the work you were meant to do is not a lineal journey. It’s a process of exploring many twists and turns that lead us to a place we ultimately belong.
Give yourself something to pursue
When you bet on yourself, you’re choosing yourself. You’re believing in your potential. You’re believing in your dreams. And when you bet on yourself, you give yourself the chance to win big. You’re allowing yourself to live in a world where you don’t have to constantly hedge your bets. You give yourself permission to chase after your dreams. You may not always catch them, but at least you can take off your boots at the end of the day knowing you gave it your best.
Don’t be afraid of the unknown if you decide to bet on yourself because everything is unknown. And when you finally start doing work that matters to you don’t stop because nobody’s buying it, sponsoring it or sharing it yet. Show up everyday and work on your most important life work.
Whether the outcome is magnificent or eternal, whether it changes people’s lives, changes the world, changes you or groundbreaking, it matters that you show up. If you pursue your dreams long long enough, compounding takes effect. Momentum will surge.
The opportunities to create, to become a part of a global conversation and transformation are now more than you can ever imagine. There are now more free online resources to help you start and pursue your life’s work.
You can take your idea, business, or career, and turn it into something truly successful and amazing. It’s easier to transform your passion into your job than finding a job that matches your what you love to do.
What will you do with that?
What will your place be in this new, interesting world? Will you have a voice? Will you be a creator, or just a consumer?
You can do something.
Do something interesting, meaningful, different, amazing and truly remarkable. You have a choice. Choose to show your most amazing work to the world.
Inappropriate attention to detail is the reason why you have not launched your work. By all means, get it right but don’t aim for perfection.
Constantly push to evolve your ideas, even if you are not ready to launch your life’s work yet. Don’t get stuck!
Be a part of the conversation, and say something remarkable. Create something unique, new, beautiful. Build upon the works of others and transform it into your own.
Don’t be subject to the tyranny of “how things have always been done”. Find your true north and push past the default.
Build a life. Don’t invest in a career!
Start a blog, write at least a little each day. Write a book. Or an ebook. Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook. Write poetry and publish it on the web. Create interesting, lovely or funny videos, put them on YouTube.
Create an app that will solve a problem in people’s lives. Become a watchdog to replace the faltering newspapers. Explore the world, and blog about it.
Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly. Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well.
Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks. Put your heart into something.
Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do. Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better.
Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create. Inspire others by being inspiring. Teach young people to do amazing things. Write a play, get others to act in it, record it. Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.
Read, and read, and then write. Love, and love, and then help others to love. Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound. Find focus in a world without it.
Become minimalist in a world of dizzying complexity. Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach.
Meet new people, become fast friends. Dare to be wrong. Take lots and lots of pictures. Explore new cultures. Be different. Paint a huge mural. Create a web comic. Be a dork, but do it boldly.
Interview people. Observe people. Create new clothes. Take old stuff and make new stuff from it. Read weird stuff. Study the greats, and emulate them.
Be interested in others. Surprise people. Cook great food, and share it. Be open-minded. Help someone else start a small business. Focus on less but do it better.
Give people a ride in your car. Use Uber to your advantage. Start an online shop on Shopify. Create and sell stuff on Etsy.
Help others achieve their dreams. Put a smile on someone’s face, every day. Start an open-source project. Make a podcast. Start a movement. Be brave. Be honest. Be hilarious. Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot. Start now. Try.
If you’re willing to take the risk of sharing yourself and your ideas with the world, you can create value you will be proud of.
Show up everyday and work on your most important life work. Whether the outcome is magnificent or eternal, whether it changes people’s lives, changes the world, changes you or groundbreaking, it matters that you show up.
By focusing on doing the one thing that excites you, you not only give yourself a shot at putting in the effort to become amazingly great at something, but you also make it easier for potential customers or employers to see you as “the guy who’s really great at that thing.”
If you pursue your dreams long enough, compounding takes effect. Momentum will surge. Don’t give up just yet. Action begets outcome. Outcome begets action. Rinse, lather and repeat and you have momentum. You’ll become unstoppable. Take your dreams seriously.
This post is my challenge to you to take your own risks, stretch your limits and step outside your comfort zone to do work that matters to you. Courage doesn’t come from absence of fear; it comes from being afraid and moving forward anyway. Bet on yourself. You are the best investment there is.
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