Driving forward…who is driving?

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I have had many conversations through out my days and over the years. So many young people are lost, afraid to make mistakes or committed to something they are not enjoying. Whether they are in high school, post-secondary or a young professional, they are going down a path that society, parents or others are influencing. In these situations, you are letting others drive for you and they are taking you somewhere that might not be where you want to go. Are you comfortable with that?

Others drive a path that is familiar to them. They know the road well and you are there for their ride…even if it is your life. Now people do not do this maliciously, they do it because it is familiar, safe and sure. Unfortunately, you are on a very crowded freeway with everyone else and so many people driving for the sake of driving.

Years ago, I made a decision to walk down my own path…to drive my own road. Any time I start feeling that others are influencing my decision, it is time for me to move on to a new adventure. There are few questions that I have asked my students over the years…”what would you do if money was not a factor in your decisions?”, “are you really doing what you want to be doing?”, “if it is not something you enjoy, why are you there?”

The conversation usually starts with what my alumni is doing and at first they tell me how it is going and that they might like parts of their job or not. So I then ask them the questions above. They might be in a company but when you ask what they would really like to do, they tell me about painting, starting their own business, traveling and it goes on and on. Well, why aren’t you doing what you want to be doing? I always hear that they would but there is no money in their dream or that is just that….a dream. They have shelved their dream and it will never be realized. That is one of the biggest tragedies because there are paintings that will never be seen, books that will never be written, poems that will never be heard, all because you can’t make a living at it. YES YOU CAN! You pursue your passion by being in the driver’s seat and find those who believe in you…and they are out there, and you will eventually realize the dream and be doing what you want in life. When you hit this point you live an extraordinary life and the world is open for you to do what you desire. Now I also appreciate that you can’t just hand in a resignation notice today and then try to figure out the rest. You need to vision, build and decide how you will go down a path that is what you want to be doing.

As for me, “if money was not a factor in my decisions, what would I do?” Write a book (check), travel (check), spend time with others in their journey (check), be a speaker and share my stories (check)…wait, I am doing what I want to be doing if money was not a factor and now at the point where people will actually pay me for what I can do well.

Alan Watts has a wonderful video and narration, ‘What would you do if money were no object?’ and it is worth hearing because what he says is what I have been on a crusade to tell people over the last many years. I encourage you to see it: If this post and video makes you realize that you need to pursue a dream, drop me a note and let’s talk. I am your champion and enabler and I will sit in the passenger seat as you get in the driver’s seat and start driving your life and career.

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