Throughout my life I have searched for someone to emulate. In every book I’ve read, class I’ve sat in or job I’ve had I’ve observed everyone and tried to determine who my ideal role model is. I just assumed that people find what they want to do in life based on what somebody else is already doing with theirs. I haven’t found anyone that fits this mold. I recently read the book Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields and the last chapter really stood out to me. It was titled ‘Be Your Own Guru’ and is based on this blog post. (I highly recommend you take two minutes to read it before you continue on with what I’m about to say about it.) As I read the chapter I came to understand, just like he did, that:
“The person I was looking for was the one I would need to become.” – Jonathon Fields
The Ah-Ha Moment
The veil had been lifted from my eyes and I now knew how I had to live my life. Instead of looking for someone to follow I needed to create my own path. I could take pieces of what I had learned from others, but no one was going to be exactly who I wanted to be. No one else is going to do the work for me, walk in my footsteps or be me. I have to lead myself.
Once I started to look at myself and my future in this way I knew that my life needed a change. Anytime I wasted not following my dreams and passions was precious time lost and valuable energy squandered. On that very day I set out a timeline of when I would make the big changes in my life that I have been waiting to do for so long and just exactly what they would be.
Is it Worth the Effort?
Most of my life I have taken the easy route:
- I never studied more than I needed to for tests.
- I quit sports teams when I didn’t fit in with people on them.
- I took a comfortable corporate job after college.
- I rarely exercised because I got bored easily.
- I ate whatever was most convenient.
- I spent a lot of time playing video games.
While I don’t necessarily regret the things I mentioned above because they have made me who I am today, I do wish that I would have been better. Better by being stronger in social situations and not giving up. Better by standing up for what I believed in. Better by going against the grain and not just getting a job based on the salary and benefits.
“It’s not about whether it’s hard or easy, it’s about whether it’s WORTH the effort.” – Jonathan Fields
When I used to decide whether or not to do something I would think about how much work it would be, how hard I’d have to work and whether I could do it quickly. I don’t use that frame of mind anymore. I focus on whether what I am doing is worth the effort I am putting into it, no matter how much effort it takes.
Running this website is not easy and takes more than minimal effort. I pour hours into it each day and I can say without hesitation that it is worth every minute I’ve spent. Every comment, email, tweet and Facebook message helps me to know that I am helping someone and that all my work is worth it.
Be Your Own Guru
So instead of following in someone else’s footsteps or doing what other people tell you to do, create your own path for the future. Look within yourself to find the best expert to help guide you. You might find out that the person that you’ve been looking for is actually you.