You may look around sometimes and feel like everyone else is settled in a job they love or are on the career path of their dreams when you are stuck in a job you don’t enjoy or are still unsure of what you ‘want to be when you grow up’ (I’m 28 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up…).
Trust me when I say that there are a lot of people out there who have done just that: they’ve settled. They are uninspired, unmotivated and don’t throw themselves out of bed in the morning with the buzz to go after their big idea.
The likelihood is that wee Amanda in Boots got herself extremely stressed out and in debt for four years to get a first class degree in Accounting because her parents said it was ‘the best thing’ for her and guess what? That unassuming guy in a suit who you walk past every morning on his daily commute may just have initially chased his dreams and studied music but now finds himself answering nagging calls all day just to make ends meet. Chances are, he’s tired, bored and uninspired.
I’m not trying to lessen the value of education… I’ve more or less been a student since I left school. I think that free education is incredible and we should make the most of learning something about everything while the opportunity exists.
Whichever career path you choose though, I truly believe everyone can find a path to make it happen for themselves. You just have to possess the drive and desire to succeed in whatever you choose to do. If you want to become a Doctor, become a Doctor. If you want to paint, go paint! You’re not too old at 28, 30 or 40 to start again and find your fire. If you didn’t get the qualifications you need the first time around then go and get them. Take the night class, do the college course, get your university offer and put in the work. It’s as simple as that.
What I’m trying to stress is that, we place a heck of a lot of value on what a piece of paper says and sometimes forget to simply look inside ourselves, appreciate our existing talents and use those talents to create value to someone else.
In 2014, HSBC launched an international brand idea around ‘Supporting human ambition’. They unveiled their idea to the world in the form of a short film / advertising campaign called ‘The Museum of Procrastination’. I’ve always been a bit of an advertising geek. The power of an advertising campaign to engage human emotion and establish loyalty to a brand is incredible. ‘The Museum of Procrastination’ by HSBC was, on the surface, an advertising campaign. But it served a much deeper purpose too.
Watch it here:
I highly suggest you watch it although chances are you’ve been sent it or tagged in it because it’s just so powerful. To set the scene, the movie takes a small group of people on a tour of a museum. The museum showcases all of the ideas and intentions that never came to fruition. There are piles upon piles of things in there. Ideas that could have revolutionised the way we live. Ideas that could have inspired and shaped a generation. Ideas that could have saved lives. The pile of ideas, inventions and intentions is enormous and yet it’s been wasted. What if the cure for cancer is in the pile? Or the meaning of life?
And why were they never shared with anyone else? Why did those incredible life changing ideas and intentions end up in the museum of procrastination?
Fear. Excuses. Procrastination.
The human race have potentially missed out on life changing ideas all because someone was afraid or didn’t embrace their fear and chase what they believed in. They prioritised ‘normality’ and ‘why me?’ over dreams and ‘why not me?’.
Please don’t let this be you.
Whatever your career goals or ideas about life, it is too short to not be overwhelmingly motivated about the work you do. I get it. It may not be realistic to quit your job one day and pitch your business proposal to a panel of investors but if you do have a big idea, please don’t waste it.
Make a plan, get started and share it with the world. It took me a very long time to sit down and write because I didn’t think anyone would read it and thought to myself ‘who am I to give anyone advice?’. Truth is, we are all special and unique in our own way and we all have different ideas about the world and see the world through different eyes.
I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.
I have a diploma in Musical Theatre, lived in London for a bit, took a course in Advertising, got married, studied Marketing at University and I’m currently enrolled in a Fitness, Health and Exercise course and write on here whenever I can. With such a colourful path thus far, it’s pretty clear I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Totally winging it. But in finally setting up this project, It’s given me a little bit of focus. I called it a project for that reason. To create focus. I know that what I’m doing is with heart and fuelled by nothing but good intentions and the inherent ability to empathise because, let’s face it, I’ve probably been there.
Make a decision and create your path.
This post was inspired by Tracey who just completed her degree on her 50th birthday.
She lifts weights most days, studies hard and has a family to support. People like you demonstrate it’s never too late or too difficult to dream a new dream and create a new path.
Find your fire and fuel it. I promise that the rest will fall into place.