I like to create lists. Lists of things “to-do”, lists of books I want “to-read” and lists of all the things I want to accomplish in life. The first two lists are rather simple to create, but the third list, my list of wanna be accomplishments, is so intimidating. Even to the creator(me).
I’m intimidated, and even a little scared, by all of the choices I feel I need to make. I can indecisive sometimes. I’m one of those people who wants to try it all. So instead of trying one thing at a time, I sometimes neglect to make a concrete decision. I walk away from my list. Not quite content with how I am spending my time, but afraid to shake things up because I feel like I don’t know where to start.
I explained this sentiment recently to Jonathan Fields, author of the amazing book and blog, Career Renegade. I met him at a book signing for The Art of Non Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. I told him that I am interested in so many things that I just don’t know where to begin, or even end. He smiled at me and then he said: “Just do something”. I said, “Oh.”
It was a simple answer, and probably not the one I was originally looking for, but it was one piece of advice I have decided to take. For me, just do something has morphed into my new motto: “Just try something”.
This blog is one of things I decided to “just try”. When I get stuck, or when I feel like my schedule is overwhelming, I flash back to the night I officially launched this blog. I didn’t have the Internet at my house, so I stayed at work until 3 a.m. writing and planning. By the end of that session I was blurry-eyed, and nodding off at my desk, but I was so excited. I was thrilled to finally do something I said I wanted to do, and I was happy because it was the first time I’ve felt passionate about what I was writing in a long time.
I also remind myself of the “just try something” motto when I am feeling career angst-y. You know what I am talking about. Those moments when you get so frustrated with yourself because you just don’t know what you want to do.
I never aim to portray myself as an expert of anything but my own experience( and I’m still trying to figure that out), but I do know one thing: you will never wake up in the morning and suddenly know what you want to do with the rest of your life. I truly don’t believe it will happen that way. The best thing to hope for is to wake up with an idea for a new thing to try. And when you think about it, that is way more exciting. Who wants to do the same thing for the next thirty years or so? Even Oprah has gone through many revolutions.
The only way to know what you do, or don’t want to do, is to just try something. The best way to get unstuck is to move forward. Even if it is a baby step. Don’t be too afraid to make mistakes. You can always try something else. Who knows when you might stumble upon something that makes your heart soar, you mind leap, and your eyes large with wonder?
What are three things you would like to “just try?”