Some people in life know exactly what they want to achieve.
This is an article for the rest of us.
When you’re in a period of transition, it’s easy to compare yourself to everyone else.
You see photos of happy couples, perfect homes, and round the world trips. And it stresses you out.
You fall into a “compare and despair” trap. If I don’t keep up, I’m going to lose out.
How can you thrive during this time of change and uncertainty?
The answer is to skip the generic advice, and risk forward instead.
To go your own way, you’ll want to turn inwards and listen to your intuition.
In her inspiring TED Talk, Victoria Labalme shared how she dealt with the rising social expectations to fit in.
Apparently, not having a husband or a child at age 40 stressed people out.
“I skipped my first divorce,” she joked back.
“I should have done that, too” many replied.
Lebalme learned to risk forward from the French mime artist Marchel Marceau.
For example, she turned down the opportunity to join a prestigious theatre company. (She caved in and said yes at first, but realised it wasn’t for her.)
Make no mistake: it takes courage to risk forward. To stand a little off balance, to lean forward with an open heart, and to trust your intuition, not knowing where you’ll end up.
Everyone has an inner current that lights up a path. Unfortunately, many of us dismiss this voice as nonsense since we can’t defend it with logic.
Sometimes, we believe we’re not good enough. That our ideas are stupid and worthless. But not letting ourselves have these ideas robs us from valuable learning opportunities.
I strongly encourage you to take 15 minutes and listen to the TED talk.
If you’re short on time, I discuss some of the key ideas below the video.
Find your through line
A through line is a theatre concept developed by Stanislavski to describe the driving force of a character’s behaviour.
To uncover your own driving force, Labalme suggests we answer the following question:
If you were on a desert island and you were dying, but there was a young person there, someone you cared deeply about, and you could only give one piece of advice to that person before you died, a piece of advice about life, what would that advice be?
Whatever just came up is right for you. Keep it to yourself for now. You can write it down in a journal later, if you want to.
The next step is to express that piece of advice in your day-to-day life.
To help with that, I suggest you choose three words to live by during the next year.
The rewards of not knowing
A place of not knowing is a place of great opportunity. It’s a place to embrace and respect, not fear.
To get unstuck, you can turn to this creative phrase to help you move forward:
Trust the idea that can lead to the idea.
What interests do you have right now? Which ideas come to you? Trust that voice, and take the first step on your journey.
You never know where you’ll end up.