Maybe you’ve seen this question bouncing around social media before; what would you tell your 20-year-old self? I suppose the natural response would be to tell your 20-year-old self to not make all of the mistakes you have made. Don’t marry her/him, don’t move there, don’t take that job, etc. Those are the easy ones. I think maybe I’d tell the 20 version of myself to follow his passion. Do the things that make you happy and make a living out of doing that! Given the opportunity for a first-hole mulligan, everything would work out perfectly…right?
But what if your 20-year-old self could somehow call you out of the blue in order to check up on your progress? Maybe he wanted to get an update on what exactly happened once you delivered that sage advice. What would I say to the younger me after telling him to follow his dreams?
I’ve had a few opportunities to follow my dreams over the last several years. Following a long career in the pharmaceutical industry, which most certainly wasn’t my passion, I wanted to spread my wings and explore my creative side. I wanted to produce and host a comedy-based variety show, which I have done. It has been a lot of fun bringing people together, providing some high-quality entertainment at a reasonable price and making a few bucks in the process. Has this venture maximized its potential? Not even close, as I see it.
I also wanted to use my corporate training and serve as an independent consultant. I wanted to make good use of the training I have benefitted from over the years and pass those skills along, primarily in the area of communications skills, to those who might never get that same opportunity. Have I been able to do that? Yes. Have I been able to maximize that venture to its full potential? Not even close.
So, my 20-year-old self might just ask the question; what’s been holding you back? I mean, I did tell him to follow his passion, but at the same time, I’ve been side-tracked far too many times and I haven’t realized my dreams. Too often, I’ve taken the easy way out. I’ve started my ventures, then, at the allure of a steady paycheck combined with some insurance benefits with some seemingly viable company or organization, I’ve put those passions on the back burner.
I think there comes a time in our lives when we need to commit to our passions and make our mark (leave a legacy?) while at the same time, saying no to the easy-way-out opportunities with companies / organizations who often have a difficult time making decisions. When they finally do make decisions, they’re usually wrong. We reach an age where experience and wisdom tells us that these companies really don’t have much more wisdom than that 20-year-old self of ours. They just have a few more dollars to play with. What’s worse, we see them making some pretty serious mistakes and we can do little to stop it.
Ok, so Happy New Year, time to lose a few pounds (again) and get this ship righted. Enough taking directions from people who can’t seem to tie their own shoes…it’s time to lace up our (my) own shoes and tie them a bit tighter this year.
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