The elements of this story include: a lifelong love of scuba diving, a long-held desire to be an instructor, the pride of witnessing a daughter succeed, an idea that nagged for ten years, and a definitive decision. What a great example of how the unique experiences of each person’s life can come together to create meaning.
“Careers, like rockets, don’t always take off on schedule. The key is to keep working the engines.” Gary Sinise
We’ll wrap up this week’s theme of Change with some music from Mr. Bowie. Great song!
Entrepreneurship is sometimes a planned change and other times borne of necessity. This article presents five people who find themselves embarking on new endeavors and joining the nation’s fastest group of entrepreneurs: those age 55 and above.
“Only in growth, reform and change, paradoxically, is true security to be found.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Here Amy Bloom describes the natural ambivalence that is common when it comes to change and how we can “make room at the table” for it.
“What If You’re Scared of Change?” by: Amy Bloom
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” Dostoyevsky
We’ll wrap up the week with more thoughts from Chris Gardner. Listen to how he describes a way to see yourself differently and how responsibility and opportunity are connected.
This is going to sound weird, but roll with me here. Think of a raisin, some are dry and some are plump. I get that image in my mind because it reminds me of a brain. When the brain is healthy, the right synapses firing, a feeling of well-being seeps into the whole body—that’s the plump raisin. The dry one is your brain on negativity, anxiety and fear. Shriveled, non-pliable, resistant and tough.
Life is a game that begins in your head. Your worldview is shaped by your experiences and the reliving of these experiences in your mind or as they get replayed in patterns in your life only further cement that worldview. Your brain, metaphorically speaking, will become the plump and juicy raisin or the dry and wrinkled one depending on what it practices most. It is this that will then determine how you are currently handling your career or its reinvention.
I’ve never believed more deeply than I have in the last couple of years that the key to success is mental focus and expansion. As more and more people have suffered loss of work or a change in their economic status, the difference between those who recover quickly and those who don’t, gets down to how long the person can stay positive and flexible. Flexible in what they are willing to try, how far they are willing to go to find work and how much they are willing to listen to the wiser part of their mind that is not necessarily the most logical or safe.
Sheer mind power alone doesn’t always change our circumstances exactly as we’d like, but it is a crucial factor in this recovery. I’ve seen what fear and devastation looks and sounds like and I’ve seen what they can do to moving out of a bad state of affairs. They slow down the process and make you appear desperate which repels opportunity and causes your physiology to contract, drying up ideas, motivation and optimism.
What’s possible when your brain is ‘plump’, full of possibility, ideas, hope and gratitude (despite the lack of your desired outcome) is that every encounter, every idea and every opportunity gets looked at in a way where creativity can bloom and find a solution and a match. When we are numbed by our own pain, we can’t often recognize an opportunity unless it’s wrapped in a blue box with a white ribbon and handed to us on a silver platter.
What if you are at the end of your rope with seemingly no prospects in your search or reinvention? Get your endorphins flowing, take a crash course in meditation, breath ten times (deeply) before bed and upon waking—do anything you know will plump your raisin brain. From there, follow EVERY inkling that comes to you no matter how stupid, illogical or scary. This is how you shake the bushes to create opportunity. You will see traction take place. Be tireless and stay PLUMP!
[An Aside: If you are a raisin-lover, are you are a plump or chewy person? Give me plump—raisin bran muffin, raisins in hot oatmeal, great oatmeal raisin cookies—-.]
Based on concepts from Chapter Three of “Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction”, Most Limits Are Self-Imposed
“It’s your responsibility to pursue what matters.” Chris Gardner