Why write about something that makes me angry?
I’m taking the Start-A-Blog Challenge courtesy of Scott Dinsmore’s Live Your Legend. It’s only day 2 and this free and totally awesome course has already done more in under an hour to help get my ideas out into the real world than the past year I’ve spent contemplating how to get started. Each day I’m prompted with a different topic to write about and the topic today is: what makes me angry about the world.
What makes me angry? When we give up!
What makes me really angry is when people, including yours truly, give up and stop trying. Whatever the pursuit or situation, I consistently find myself angry at the thought and act of giving up. I’m not talking about the kind of quitting that Seth Godin talks about in his fantastic book “The Dip“. Quitting something because it’s not generating the results we want or because our heart is not in it so that we can focus our energy somewhere that matters to us, I call that prioritization. I’m a fan of prioritization.
The kind of giving up that makes me angry is when we give up on our dreams or quit listening to our hearts. For example, until recently I deferred my dream of being a teacher. I thought that I’d start teaching later in life as either a second career, in retirement, when I was rich enough, or after I had completed some synthetic obstacle like getting a masters degree. Basically anytime except right now. I learned to look at this as giving up with an acceptable excuse and I was angry with myself once I realized what I was doing. I was angry because I spent a good part of my life deferring my dream of being a teacher when there was absolutely no reason that I couldn’t do it right this instant.
What I decided to do about my own giving up
I stopped making excuses and I stopped waiting. Fair or unfair, safe or scary – I just said “whatever, screw it” and jumped in head first. With all my heart what I wanted was to teach others – so I found a way to do this in my current job. I made myself available to people who wanted to learn and I developed myself and my knowledge so that I was able to help them in useful and wonderful ways. No need to wait until retirement or until I had a Masters Degree – nope – I just went ahead and got started. I constantly ask the people I’m trying to help for feedback and I listen to and act on what they tell me. I never stop working to be the best teacher possible.
The result? I’m currently coaching 5 people at my company in addition to working much more closely with my team. To me, that means I’m a teacher now. There is also an interesting side effect to this story. I’m more valuable to my company now because I’m more helpful to those around me. It’s neat how things work out when you listen to your heart and take positive action to do something about it!