“It’s insecurity that is always chasing you and standing in the way of your dreams.” – Vin Diesel
I heard the news last Tuesday night about Scott Dinsmore’s passing after I had published the last post. If you didn’t know who Scott was and what he was about, then you need to watch the above video just to get a glimpse into how he lead his life. Talk about passion.
There are many tribute pieces to him around the web from some of his closest friends.
So I’ll let them speak about what he personally meant to them:
- Leo Babauta @ Zen Habits
- Corbett Barr (and a podcast at Fizzle)
- Scott’s team at Live Your Legend
- and many, many more.
Personally, I didn’t know Scott too much. I’ve learned more about him after his passing than I did when he was still around. I feel it is extremely unfortunate. I feel as if I have lost a friend that I didn’t get to know because we had such a similar passion in helping others release their inner passions.
I was going through his posts to get more of a feel for the guy. And I have to admit that this recent one struck me in particular:
When it came to making big life decisions, he didn’t believe that you had to jump completely in. In fact, he believed that we should simply test the waters before we go all into big life decisions.
I couldn’t agree more.
Yet, some of us will find fault with even doing just that much. We might have chosen a path because that’s what we felt was ultimately the best choice based on personal bias and beliefs. Does that make it truly the best one for us?
The truth is while we want to choose the right path for us, we all have personal biases that will make it easier to stay on the path we are currently on. Many times that “auto-path” is dictated by external forces which don’t know or care about the life we’re trying to lead.
“If we don’t know what we’re looking for, we’re never going to find it.” – Scott Dinsmore
Seeing Life Decisions From Different Angles
We all know that sometimes we don’t feel like we’re free to just “do our own thing”. Especially when it comes to making decisions regarding our careers.
In fact, here are some thoughts you might be having which prohibit you from following your dreams:
- I’m sacrificing my dreams so my kids don’t have to.
- I’m doing this because it was what my parents always wanted to do, but didn’t get the chance to.
- I chose this career, and damn it, hell or high water, I’m going to make it work!
- I don’t want to waste MORE time getting ANOTHER degree!
Do any of these sound familiar? I know that I have several friends that subscribe to the first one. I know a few who claim the second. And I was definitely a candidate for the third and fourth reasons myself.
Are these actually true? Or are these self imposed restraints and beliefs that we’ve placed to protect ourselves from potential future “failures”? Where did we get these ideas? Were they from us or others?
To find out the best path in life for you, you need to be able to see the problem from multiple angles and even more specifically, how does it affect your overall life goals? Each one of the above statements could be reframed as a question in regards to your personal goals.
- If I want to be a good role model for my kids, how is not following my dreams being a good example?
- Is the world the same as it was when my parents wanted to have that role? Even so, why should I let them dictate what I do?
- Am I letting my pride and ego get the best of me? Why can’t I be the next great story of someone making a big transition?
- What if you’re wasting more time (and money) by not following your true gifts? Also, who said anything about getting another degree?
However, if you don’t know what you want out of life and your career, then you won’t ask yourself these types of questions.
With these questions asked, will you think differently about your situation? I’m sure you will. (In fact, these last two questions are what have helped set me free of my old path.)
It’s when you start asking questions like these and questioning the status quo on goals in life, whether or not your current path is working out for you or not. Don’t let your personal bias and your past dictate your future. Be open, present, and truthful with yourself when making big decisions.
The next time you feel yourself thinking about a big life decision and coming to a conclusion, ask yourself if you looked at it from every angle you could think of in regards to it affecting your life goals.
Was it a signing up for a mini-marathon? Was it about getting more serious with your current significant other? Was it about taking a job that paid more?
Naturally, without knowing specific goals, these all seem like they would be good things in your life to do if you have the opportunity.
But that might not be the case:
If you sign up for a mini-marathon too late and unprepared, your body isn’t going to appreciate it. You just can’t wing it.
If you want to get more serious with someone you have conflicts with regularly… is that the best person you could get serious with?
If a job is going to pay more but it makes you relocate AND makes you work more hours – is that really helping you towards your goals and aspirations?
Next time you have a great opportunity, think more about how it affects the dreams that you’ve set out to achieve, and less about the immediate impact of it.