I'm in the process of reading Herminia Ibarra's excellent book, Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. Thus far, I highly recommend it. It's giving me a lot to chew on.
I'll give more of a review when I'm done. In the meantime, here's a great perspective she shares from a 44 year old man who had been grappling with the struggle between a desire for safety and security and a longing to follow his passion.
He ended up looking at things from the perspective of two questions, each posed to himself as a 75 year old looking back on his situation now.
"My first question, starting from the vantage point of the seventy-five-year-old looking back at the forty-four-year-old was, "If the forty-four-year-old identified something that he really wanted to do and it was really risky and he tried it and he failed - possibly fell on his face very publicly, with dire economic consequences - can the seventy-five-year-old cope with that?"
The answer was, Yes, as long as the forty-four-year-old gave it his best shot." And then I said, "OK, next question. Same vantage point, same younger guy. Let's assume the forty-four-year-old knew what he wanted to do, had identified it, but decided that the risk for social failure and economic failure was just too great and therefore never did it. How would the seventy-five-year-old feel about that?" And I thought that would be unforgivable. Next, a very weird thing happened to me: It was almost a physical sensation. At that instant, I lost the fear of failure, and it has never come back.
Thanks to Avi Solomon for turning me on to the book to begin with.
Passion Catalyst SM