Thursday, January 7, 2010

Step 7: Nothing Left to Lose

A friend of mine is making his final pitch tomorrow. In a job that he's grown tired of, and quite frankly is far too talented for, he's going to the powers-that-be (and I use the word powers very lightly) to see if he can get funding for a project that interests him. The chance to work on this project is the only reason he would stay at the job. Otherwise, he's leaving to get his own business going. His bravery inspires me.

My friend has been looking to make this move for a while, though like so many he wanted to do the reasonable, responsible thing in a difficult economy. At a time when so many are out of work, he was nervous about voluntarily leaving his job. As much as some economists will tout that the recession is over, there are many dissenting voices who say it will be a long, slow climb out of this hole. So what changed for my friend? How did he make a change within his own mind when little around him has changed? Where did his boldness come from?

"Well, Christa, I have nothing left to lose now," he told me today. "This is the only project on the table that interests me and if I can't work on it, then I've got to make myself useful somewhere else. I just can't stay where I am anymore."

On the phone today, I was bursting with pride for my friend. He flipped that switch, recognized and embraced his own talents, and recognized how they could be used in his current situation. More importantly, he realized that if his gifts couldn't be utilized where he is then he has to make use of them somewhere else. Leaving them unused is no longer an option in his own heart.

To be sure, in the last few weeks leading up to this decision he has at times felt completely terrified. I'd argue that this means he's really on to something here. It's amazing what we can accomplish when we realize that the direction of our lives really is up to us.


stephanie Baffone said...

Hi and happy new year! You are a rock star sister!
You tell that friend of yours I love that he is living w/ reckless abandon and go boy!
Love ya,

Christa said...

Thanks, Steph!! I will make sure to give him your good wishes :)

Archan Mehta said...

I wish your friend success and happiness, Christa. It is sad to see some people stuck in jobs they would rather not do. Such a waste of human potential, don't you think? The harsh realities of life sometimes compel people to become enslaved by the 9 to 5 rut, put up with office politics, deal with abusive bosses and co-workers who are mean gossips..
I hope your friend finds interesting and meaningful work that pays the bills. It is really tough in this economy to find a decent job. Maybe it is much better to go into business for yourself: it makes sense, especially in an era where there is no job security. It's not like before, where you worked for one company all your life and retired at the end of 30 years with a gold watch and a pat on the back. Sounds to me like your friend also needs your moral support. Lend your ear; take him/her out for dinner or even a movie. Listen.
Maybe the two of you can get together and figure out the next move. Figure out a way to get back in the game without wasting too much time in the jobless line.

Christa said...

Hi Archan,
It is such a waste of potential to stay somewhere that doesn't utilize our gifts.

And I just got an email from another friend who has given notice at her job to look for a better match to her dreams, too. Seems like a theme is happening here that I should pay attention, too.

And I will absolutely be there to listen to them and help them figure out what's next.

Now is certainly an excellent time for entrepreneurship. Do you work for yourself?

Sharnanigans said...

I totally agree with your friend's philosophy. I think far too many people cling onto things that don't satisfy their 'soul' out of fear. But I think if we let go and strive only to do things that are soul rewarding, and act with courage - it always pays off. I think we are meant to do certain things - and serendipity starts to happen when we are brave enough to realise that and go out on a limb. I wish your friend , I was going to say luck, but I will change it to serendipity.

Christa said...

Thans, Sharni. I will make sure to share your good wishes with him. I agree that it seems like now is the time to go out on a limb for something we believe in. Despite the economy, despite the political turmoil we're in, I can't help but feel optimistic about our abilities to build a life we love. I can't wait to see where his new adventures take him, and I thinking I'll be joining him on that path soon!