Loosing Everything and Gaining Freedom?
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything” Chuck Palahniuk
Lately I’ve become obsessed with serendipity. I say ‘lately’ because until a ew weeks ago, I didn’t believe in it – or perhaps more correctly, understand it. After all, how can something that is meant to be positive and by chance possible come from a professional career falling apart through no other reason that wrong place, wrong time or ten years and the recession, mixed with continuous injury and mixed with a very long spell of really, really bad luck.
Something that’s also hit me is that you might as well try to follow your absolute wildest dreams and follow goals that are seemingly completely out there – because actually, ‘normal’ life per se isn’t much easier. Many of us are told that we aren’t goof enough to do so and so, what if we aren’t good enough for that, the competition is ridiculously epic and things like that just don’t happen to us.
Truth is, normal life can suck just as much as trying to follow your absolute wildest dreams and the inevitable set backs and disappointment that you meet on the way to trying to reach those goals – and where sometimes the best chances of success are being utterly stubborn and refusing to give up, time after time.
When Plan A goes out of the window – we’re told to revert to Plan B – which we may have a definite, vague idea of, or none at all. After scoliosis ended a professional dance career – my so-called Plan B was University and then using the discipline I had learn through dance to either go into the army, Police or a profession. However, I’m not sure any of those things were legitimately a Plan B – and in fact all I’ve done for the past 15 off years is just continue to add to Plan A – whilst I wiped away the idea of a Plan B because it sounded like the thing on the contingency list that we do when we can’t do the things that we really, really want to do.
I was excited to hear a few entrepreneurs same the same thing too – that there is no Plan B – instead, when things go wrong, then add to the Plan A and then keep reassessing he Plan A time and time again and building onto it like Lego.
They simply didn’t have a Plan B because that implied failure and also that they psychologically had a bak up and another thing that they would invest emotionally and time-wise into if Plan A didn’t work out. It doe appear however that Plan A takes rather a long time to work out – it’s a journey….often a really, really epically long journey.
By having the Plan B in our heads, some people do find this as something that’s all too easy to change into when Plan A TAKES LONGER THAN THEY EXPECTED. Only to find later on that Plan B wasn’t that great anyway.
Though somewhat conversely to these, though, is Chuck Pahlaniuks quote “it’s only after we’ve lost everything that we are free to do anything”. In essence this is the same thing – that it’s only when we realise the Plan B might be utterly crap and horrid and heartbreaking, that we feel we are allowed to bolster on other things to the original Plan A – safe in the knowledge that we’ve been through hell sometimes with Plan B so how can our most amazing goals and aspirations be any bloody harder than something that we don’t really want to od anyway.
Couldn’t agree more.
For me, it was only after being turned down for four promotions in three weeks, after eight years of nearly loosing my job three times through the recessions, teaching myself how to be a professional to really see that what I really cared about deeply was the startup.
Sure, I still have a full time job and will do for some time longer but I’m safe in the knowledge that a) that pays for bills which help me to expand the business bb) it pays for things such as concert tickets, courses and adventures that help to make the startup more creative and inspiring and c) I’m fully emotionally invested in the startup – the other stuff just helps pay for it whilst I work to make a sustainable business.
I agree with the man Chuck – we have to sometimes have everything cashing down, with all the hopes that we thought were the right ones to have falling apart – that we can sometimes feel O.K and deserving to actually do the things that we really want to do. Sometimes, the disappointment of other thing not working out, nay the utter heartbreak and desperation of constant failure, can sometimes make us realised that if life can be so harsh anyway, then we might as well truly follow the things that we really, really want to.
We also sometimes need to try a variety of things – sometimes jobs or activities in films look amazing…..but in reality they aren’t…then years later you realise that you just really liked watching and reading stories and building characters…..so you remember quotes from your most favourite authors who also wrote Fight Club and try and write as many blogs as possible whilst running what you hope to best the most inspiring startup you could possibly build – and incorporating all your most favourite activities into it.