One year ago, I made the most selfish decision of my life...
Selfish - adjective - (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
After reading that definition, selfish is not a word you would really want to be associated with! Yet, here I am talking about how I got selfish with MY life. We’re going back in time to the end of May / early June 2018 when I made a decision to get uncomfortable - I veered off the paved path, took a literal leap of faith into the unknown to blaze my own trail…and I haven’t looked back since.
It’s hard to pinpoint that moment of time where a switch was flipped, and I knew it was time to take control of my life. Instead, I think it was more like a dimmer switch, slowly seeing a light get brighter and brighter until BOOM, I can fully see what I need to do next. And once you see, you can’t un-see it. The challenge is deciding what you are going to do about it.
Simply put, I was comfortable. I was thinking big but I wasn’t acting big. I knew I had passions and visions for what my life could and should be, but my comfort was making me want to just hit the snooze button and sink back into my pillow. What I needed to do was do what I’ve done my entire life - bust out of my comfort zone! It’s why I went to college at Penn State, 1500 miles away from home, not knowing a soul. To bust out of your comfort zone means losing some control. It’s a tough thing to wrap your head around gaining control of your life by basically letting go of the controls at the same time, but I knew it had to be done.
So, I left my job. Call it what it is, I quit. My life was set, a clear path with a clear destination, and I’m sure all of you can relate to that. The question you have to ask yourself is: Who set the destination? Who is driving? And when that trip is over, is that the destination you want? I realized the direction I was going may have been the right path, but I didn’t see a journey along the way that hit the challenges, the growth, the speed, the discomfort that I was looking for. Some people, scratch that, MOST people can thrive on that paved road. They want a speed limit sign with clear markings when to turn, and there is a good chance they’ll end up where they want to go. I’ll be clear, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, more times than not, that is exactly where people should be and should stay. And I’ll also be clear it doesn’t mean my destination was wrong, but it just wasn’t the one I wanted for me when I crossed that finish line. I’m selfish, remember?!
Now, I’m officially on the road less traveled – actually, it’s not really a road at all. The “journey” starts off heavily forested and lonely at times. Not only lonely, but confusing and can be just downright scary. Money is an issue again. Balancing life with work is never-ending. Should I go this way, or should I go that way? Constantly looking to define and justify the path that was so clearly laid out just a few months ago.
But eventually, if you can get through the thick, find your bearings, take one step and one day at a time, you will come across tribes of people that are thriving…that are surviving. I’m discovering a whole new world (yes, just like in Aladdin), where the possibilities are endless, the freedom is real, the discipline is high, the risk is real, there are winners and losers, there are survivors, the game is what these people make of it. It’s a selfish culture, full of selfish people who wanted what was best for themselves, and who knew that the only way to truly understand what was best for them was to take that leap of faith and jerk the 4x4 off the road into the unknown. But here’s the most surprising part, those “selfish” people who all put their life’s direction into their own hands…aren’t selfish at all.
The most successful people I’ve come across are some of the least selfish people I think I’ve ever met! They THRIVE on relationships, on building people more than building businesses, and they become obsessed with adding value to others. They are quick to share their lessons-learned, their networks of resources, their techniques and unique abilities are available at a rate of enthusiasm I’ve never seen before. I’m meeting selfish people like me, who have found true happiness actually comes from helping others – quite literally, the opposite of selfishness. These are my people. This is where I’ll now thrive, which means my ability and talents and desire to help others thrive is only enhanced. My mission: To become a greater version of myself every day, so I can continue to be of more value to others.
Sure, I was selfish when I left the comfort of my job. Not just any job, but a job that was for a family business that had my name on the door. A company that was full of family and life-long friends with life-long memories that gave me immense life satisfaction on a daily basis, so much so it’s hard to even put into words. I loved the people I worked with; whole-heartedly some of the greatest humans I’ve ever come across. But did I really leave them? Maybe I left FOR them? Maybe, just maybe, I can be more value to them as a friend and a resource now versus when I was their colleague. There is no “maybe” about it…quitting a job doesn’t sever those relationships – I’ll even argue some of them are stronger than ever. The message here is that you may have a thousand reasons you feel held back, but I challenge you to try and see those anchors in a different light. Adding another perspective to your situation is one of the most powerful things you can do. Add dimensions to your perspective. We will talk more about how to realize the power of perspective in the future.
On that note, there is so much more to talk about. Things are happening at lightning speed, on a daily basis. So, I invite you to subscribe, to reach out anytime you have anything you’d like to talk about, and let’s have a conversation. Whether it be a personal story about a situation you have at work, or it’s about your business as a whole, to maybe a new business idea you’re considering - I have resources that I’d love to put you in contact with. I know they’d love to help build a better you so you can be on your way to the best you.
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