I recently sat next to a man from New Foundland, Canada who was an avid New Orleans Saints football fan. This puzzled me. I asked him why: had he once lived in New Orleans? Dated someone from there? Nope. He had just decided one day that he wanted to be a Saints fan, and so became one.
I love his story. Usually in life, we choose what we believe and what we do based on what seems reasonable, likely, or based on what we have experienced before. For example:
- I live in New York, therefore I will be a New York Giants fan.
- I have a degree in biology, therefore I will look for jobs in biology.
- It’s risky to start a company, so I will continue to be an employee.
- I have never found “the one” love of my life, and so probably won’t.
Being a scientist and engineer, no one loves logic and practicality more than I do. However, I have found that the key to being truly happy in my life has come from my being able to choose what I do based on what feels exciting to me, as opposed to what seems logical. For example:
- I am trained in biology, but I really like helping people live great lives, so I will become a life coach.
- I am from the Midwest, but I want to live in Manhattan, so I will.
- My friends are all getting nice salaried jobs, but I want to design my own job, so I will become self-employed.
It can take a bit of courage and vision to live this way. My travel companion told me that he has to explain his football team choice on a regular basis to the puzzled people he meets. When I switched careers from science to life coaching, I had to be my own cheerleader first and foremost, because many people in my life were still doubtful that it would work. Even I was sometimes doubtful that it would work, but I couldn’t afford to spend much time there, because it really wouldn’t have worked. I had to keep my mind trained on one belief and one belief only: life coaching is the right career for me because I say so. Just like my travel companion believed that the Saints were the right team for him because he said so.
I love when I live this way. It may not always be the most convenient or logical choice, as anyone can attest who is in the throes of starting a company, or moving to a strange new city, or flying across the continent to attend a football game. But it certainly feels the most alive. Our lives are ours to design how we want, so we might as well go for what we truly want. In my experience, this seems to be the most joyful path.
Where are you being just a touch too practical? What do you want to go for instead? Write a note and share!
For you entrepreneurs out there, want to learn how to make the “impractical” work for you? Come join our More Mojo for the Self-Employed teleseminar on Oct. 9 at 12p EST.