“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.” —Red, The Shawshank Redemption
Last week, I helped facilitate a career change workshop on the topic of identity.
Identity is a hairy topic in career change largely because who we are in society is so tightly tied to what we do.
Lately, I feel like my career is a little schizophrenic. A peek into my most recent “workweek” helps illustrates what I mean. (The first oddity: my workweek began on a Saturday.)
Air Force flight instructor Commander John Boyd could beat anybody in an aerial battle using a simple strategy: make the first move, lightning fast.
Often that first move was an erroneous one. Nevermind. Speedy Boyd would change directions and reposition into a better position – before his opponent moved at all.
“I don’t need time. What I need is a deadline.”
— Duke Ellington
I woke up at 3:15am on a Saturday morning, stumbled into clothing and biked 30 minutes across town from East to South London. Zombie-like and bloodshot, dodging broken glass and other remnants of a Friday night, I cursed myself.
Feedback can be hard. First, drumming up the courage to ask for it. Then actually listening to it without taking it personally. And perhaps hardest of all: sifting through conflicting feedback to know what to listen to, and what to ignore.
Here’s a song I wrote and performed over the weekend for Escape The City’s London Career Change program, about the troubles of wanting to change your career but not knowing where or how to start.
I typically only play guitar in the comfort of my own room, so this was a comfort challenge for me. But I wanted to role model acting with discomfort to the brave group of people in the room embarking on a career change.
Last Friday I facilitated a team building workshop with a small team in London. Usually I help individuals find more fulfilment at work – which occasionally involves them quitting a job or a team. Friday’s task was different: help strengthen a current team.
I loved it. I learned a lot. Including the realization that I’d like to do more of this kind of work. (Which might influence the rankings in my geeky project decision spreadsheet.) So wanted to share a few of these lessons with you.
This is a follow up post to Vision Quests & The Power of Intention.
“Now I certainly see the value in having goals and improving yourself. But I’m avoiding making a list of declarations to internally grade and beat myself up over.” — Kevin Rose in his January 2017 newsletter, The Journal
Goals are golden. New years resolutions intend well. They can serve as powerful propellers, mobilizing us toward grand achievements and new experiences.
Around this time last year I was preparing for something called a vision quest. The core element of the vision quest being a three night solo fast in the wild. My wild would be aspen forests and mountain meadows at 10,000 feet amongst the rugged San Juans of southwestern Colorado.
“You’re doing what?”
I can still hear my mother’s voice ringing inside my head.
I know, it sounds wacky. No food. No humans. No tent. Just water, some kit to sleep in, and your lonely self for three days in the wild world.