I had a gorgeous friend during my college years, and she even had a colorful name – Hester. She was a woman of bold and impetuous action, the one of our crew who proposed the wildest adventures, and then proceeded to launch herself into them. I was in awe of how Hester purposefully reached for what she really wanted. She seemed at home on the planet, willing to just decide and go.
In contrast, I was more cautious and sometimes a non-starter. Always an information-gatherer by nature, I would research and gather, wanting to be certain of outcomes. And I was also addicted to approval, needing to feel sure I would be successful before beginning something new, gauging when circumstances were just right. When Hester came into my life, she changed all that for me, and I could suddenly see how I could begin, shift, take action.
Waiting for the perfect time. Why do we sometimes do this?
The basic need to manage risk and keep ourselves safe is a good thing! And especially during the past two years, it has seemed prudent in many aspects of our lives to shift into neutral and defer taking action or even making plans, to “hunker down.” But something really interesting has been happening in the last few months, with millions of people making bold changes in their work, their jobs, their art, their careers, and how they choose to make meaning.
As Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and I plan our Oct. 20-22 Big Picture Retreat -- a replenishing immersion into the work you love and how to take the next step -- we landed on this phrase: Start from where you are. From the input of this group and from our own recent conversations with people in various life stages, we can see many vantage points from which people are grappling with the issue of timing.
Consider whether you find yourself in one of these situations, asking “Is now really the right time?”
My day job is creeping into all the rest of my life and I want to make space for meaningful work of my own.
I’m ready to shift from what I’ve been doing into something new that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I realize if I wait until conditions are perfect, I will never do it.
I’ve been doing my ‘traditional’ career but I really see myself as an artist (writer, musician, creator, healer) and would take a leap if I could see the path.
I have so many ideas of work I want to pursue, but I don’t know how to create a structure to get started and put it all together to make a livelihood.
I’m completely ready to leave my current work (or retire) but hesitate because I’m not entirely sure what I want to do next.
It seems if we’re learning anything from the last two years, it’s that we can’t rely on external factors to pave a perfect road for us – and that we can seize the day, and start from where we are, for at least some of our own direction. I’m so grateful to be co-leading Your Right Livelihood with Caryn, guiding a cohort of committed and passionate people through part of their journey to creating or launching into their right work.
If you would like to explore the Big Picture Retreat Oct. 20-22 or talk with either one of us, you can schedule with me here or reach out to Caryn by email. We both love talking with people about their passions and pursuits, and where they intersect with finding their right work.