By R. A. Nadesan
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
The above is a quote from Steve Jobs, during his Commencement Address at Stanford University in 2005. The speech went viral and received a huge number of hits, however there was nothing new in what he said. Follow your passion or chase your dreams is something people have been advocating for years, but most people prefer to remain within their comfort zones and “settle down”.
We could all be much more than what we are, or what we settle down for, only if we are prepared to take that leap of faith and jump into the unknown or uncharted territory. There are many brilliant writers, musicians or entrepreneurs trapped in, living mediocre lives, because they failed to take a shot at their dreams for fear of failing.
Steve Jobs has another brilliant observation in the same speech, where he says: “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
So trust is key – if something excites us and we are reasonably good at it; in addition, if it can add value to other people’s lives then we should take the plunge.
So let’s convert this passion business into a doable formula. Let’s look at a few pointers that could convert a mediocre life to into something really remarkable.
Competence – If you want to see positive results emerge out of your passion, then you must be good at what you do. If you lack some skills in that area, you can always skill up, learn how to do it better and faster.
Team effort – Join up with like-minded people, preferably with complementary skills. Don’t shoot down ideas, write it down for future use and constantly brain storm.
Network – Meet as many people as possible; you can never know who can help you translate your dream into reality. Talk about your ideas and dreams, don’t be ashamed of them.
Improve your presentation skills – Work on your communication skills; if you can make killer presentations to potential funders then half your battle is won.
Competitive advantage – How can you be better than your competitor; strive to improve the value chain so that your product or service is always superior.
A wonderful poem by Erin Hanson seems so apt to conclude this. “There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask What if I fall? Oh but, my darling What if you fly.”
-R. A. Nadesan is a Business coach who focuses on EQ, strengths based coaching and innovation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org