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Wherever I go on my travels I keep meeting people who pulled the plug sometime in their life. Who decided to break out from their routines, change their job and do their own thing. Here’s why we should admire these people, not pity them.
The agency boss who moves to a lonely hut in the mountains. The fastfood restaurant manager who is working for an American startup now. The IT specialist who emigrated to New Zealand with his family. They all quit their secure jobs in order to explore new shores, geographically speaking as well as mentally.
We often wonder why they do it. Why would anybody throw away their career? Burn-out? Boredom? Frustration? Whatever it is that makes them hit their Reset button – for me these people are heroes. Heroes, because they had the guts to take their lives into their own hands. Because they are not satisfied with a life determined by others.
Even if none of them could tell today if they will ever find what they are looking for, for me these people have already won, because at least they tried.
Whether it’s Bezos, Jobs or Zuckerberg – what distinguishes successful personalities from others is that they believe in an idea, and they pursue that idea, and they keep at it until it hurts, and then some.
I know what you will say now: “What about all those who never make it? Nobody ever talks about them!”
Over the years I have met people who failed with their ideas. In one case the investor dropped them, in another there were conflicts among the partners, or the timing was just off.
Failure is hard to bear. But it is even harder when you lose knowing that you didn’t give it your everything. Luck, timing, coincidence – these factors are beyond our control. And yet in my experience coincidence has always been good to people who are willing to give everything.
I am not saying that you can’t strike gold along a classic career ladder. My only fear is that if the digitization of our world will continue at the pace of the last few years, it won’t be long before these seemingly secure jobs no longer exist.