By Sunny Simon
While driving me to the airport the enthusiastic cabbie entertained me by explaining his passion for soccer. Over the course of a twenty minute ride, I learned a good deal about the sport most countries, with the exception the USA, refer to as football. Martin, my driver, who originally hails from Kenya, offered up at least seventeen reasons why soccer is the world’s most popular sport. When I inquired how often he plays the game, he looked at me sheepishly. Meeting my puzzled expression young Martin wistfully replied maybe someday he’ll get on the field again to boot the ball into the net.
While my plane departed from the gate I pondered the reasons people fail to pursue their passions. During each 24-hour period we are given an opportunity to push ourselves beyond the norm. Moving forward toward goals brings us joy and immense personal satisfaction. So what stops us? Sure, we can feed ourselves the line that we are beyond busy, but we know that is just a lame excuse. Growing up, whenever I complained I was too busy to tackle a job, my mother stopped me in my tracks by reminding me that if I wanted something badly enough I could make the time to do it. Yes, dismissing my excuses with a little tough love worked wonders.
As a career coach, I find fear of failure is often a stumbling block preventing individuals from pursuing their heart’s desire. Sometimes looking at the big picture of a total career makeover is scary. My advice to anyone faced with a challenge appearing insurmountable is: Think small. That’s right, small as in baby steps. Whether it’s a career change, a move across the country or tackling a remodel on your home, the magic begins when you break it down into actionable steps.
Another common lament is not knowing where to begin. Professional tennis player Arthur Ashe put it best when he said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Getting started need not be complicated. Take some time to brainstorm a path then commit it to writing. You can always make course corrections along the way. Just begin.
As I said good-bye to Martin at the airport I offered up two tips. The first, a monetary thank you for his safe driving and soccer tutorial. My second tip, which I also offer anyone reading this column is, take one of your “maybe someday dreams” and turn it into a reality. Start today. I know you can do it!
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog, www.lifeonthesunnyside.net