I have been down with a miserable cold the past few days, but despite feeling physically crappy, I’ve been overcome with a sense of optimism and positive energy.
A lot of this has to do with the work I’m doing and striving to do, my business goals and my personal goals. I’ve come into contact with really cool, motivated people who are chasing their dreams wholeheartedly. That’s so inspiring and expands my ideas of what shape my adult life can still take.
Growing up, my parents told me I could be and do whatever I want. The sky’s the limit! There’s something so wonderful and yet so overwhelming in that prospect. My overly cautious nature was always worried about disappointing them, making mistakes or choosing the “wrong” thing.
It’s taken me a long time to really understand that making mistakes is how we learn, grow stronger and make things happen.
And if I’m very honest, I know that I didn’t understand what I could do or be back then. There are the typical molds — “doctor,” “lawyer,” “investment banker,” “engineer” — but none of those ever felt quite right to me.
None of them adequately described the passions in my heart nor inspired fireworks in my mind.
It was easier to surrender to what others thought was right rather than explore what seemed like my more amorphous, mix-and-match ideas.
Today, though, people are inventing and reinventing themselves and their work. They are calculating risks, but also taking chances. And if there isn’t a label for what they’re creating, that doesn’t necessarily faze them. They’ll self-innovate. They’ll make it work. There’s real magic in that.
Right now, I’m reading “serial social entrepreneur” Miki Agrawal’s Do Cool Sh*t, and I find myself nodding enthusiastically to her ideas and stories. Here’s a woman who is living big and proud, creating a life and body of work that she clearly loves. She talks candidly and positively about her passions, about taking chances, about her missteps and how they lead to even greater opportunities.
Agrawal isn’t the only one. More and more people of all ages and backgrounds are being open about their unique experiences, and that in turn, makes us — readers, and movers ‘n’ shakers of our own lives — more receptive. It’s like a permission slip to dream big, focus on what drives us and make great things happen.
I wish that this spirit of possibility, invention and innovation — what I call the “millennial paradigm” — more openly existed when I was younger. It would have comforted me a great deal as I tried to figure out and design my own path.
But I am grateful that all this is happening now. I do believe that there’s a reason for everything, and I think that this current of possibility and innovation means so much more to me now because of my life so far.
This current flows strongly and has helped me find the courage and conviction to try something new, work harder than I ever have before, learn as much as possible and trust myself to make something that I can be truly proud of.
I’m ready for it.
Oh, the possibilities!