Week 31 – What would you do if you knew you would not fail? A question from Chris Guillebeau

I feel that most of the 30-Something are looking for a sense in their lives. As if people do not want to just pass by and earning enough money to pursue their hobbies, living in a nice place , going regularly on holidays and having a family was not enough anymore. Until last year, until a need for change got into me, I never realized that a standard life was not enough. I always had big dreams for myself, not because I wanted to do anything in particular, I just thought that big things would come to me.

Today they haven’t. I have a standard job, good friends and family, I travel a lot and have enough money to get what I want (not that I have luxurious taste, so having enough money for shopping and eating out whenever I want is good enough for me). It could be a good life, but it is a common human characteristic to always wanting more, no matter where you stand.

This past year I have been trying so much, to do, think and explore more, until I could find THE SOLUTION to my relentlessness, until I would be proud of what I am doing. When people ask about my current job (aka engineer in a big railway company) I just say that it doesn’t matter, because it is not me anyways. Problem is, I do not know what IS me. Not yet. The 52 Weeks Challenge is about finding an answer, or at least find some peace. I am doing a lot of things, but after 30 weeks of new activities I do not feel I have done any step forward regarding what REALLY MATTERS. I am not changing my life, I am doing superficial things, traveling for fun, knitting, reading a lot, going out more and discovering new places to drink. But the important things I should be doing, like learning how to use my graphic tablet to finally start numeric drawing and start my projects (writing children book for instance), THAT I am not doing, that is hard. When I read the comments below Chris Guillebeau post, some were rightfully pointing out that it is not because they are not doing the things they want that they are not working on them. They are being cautious and waiting for the right moment while paving the way for change.

” I think the same can sometimes be said of a boring job. Perhaps you would like to go travel the world, but if you have to provide for your family – who depend on you, then that is a good limit and sacrifice is important, even if the every day seems boring. It is not always fear that keeps us back.”

I guess that is what I have been telling myself these past month while telling everyone who would hear it that I was a future entrepreneur. Which is still far from the truth. I don’t particularly have a fear of failure, but as an engineer, I measure risks every time I do something, and so far no idea has struck me as a good one.

The only thing which is going well is that thanks to this blog I know I can push myself when I commit to something (pride is my biggest motivator) and it also helped me identify what I like and do not like on a long-term basis. And it has also made me realize that in a way I want to go out of the regular path and at the same time I am not ready yet to invest myself properly (I haven’t managed to get interested in financial optimisation, I haven’t finished my nutrition diploma not have I finished learned how to But it is ok, change takes time but when it is necessary it always happens, eventually.

nirvana projects listSometimes I start thinking that the only thing I want is a peaceful, small hours job that would give me enough time and money to do whatever I want outside of it. And that maybe I should stop this race to changing my life. And then I am stuck in a 4 hours sterile meeting on a Monday morning when I could be having breakfast in bed or painting in my living room and I realize that even if I don’t have big ambitions, I value my time and attention more than anything. I also realized that I should put less pressure on myself for not being there yet. I only thought about changing my life a year ago and set the engine in motion 9 months ago.

Today I feel better about myself without having a clear view of what I want to achieve in the future and how. But Chris post was a reminder that I am on the right track. doing what i’m doing, doing the best that i can, trying new things, liking or hating them, regardless of the success or failure. I have never been more MYSELF as in these past 9 months, but my journey is far from finished.

Because I am an Engineer nonetheless, I wrote down in the Nirvana app (see Week 26 – On the Power of Small habits and on Getting Things Done) the 12 major PROJECTS I want to theoretically pursue on a short and longer-term basis to feel good about myself. Each project is divided in smaller tasks that need to be completed to move forward. And to earn the money I need while doing things I really like. But this doesn’t really answer the real question. I would do anything to be HAPPY, and once I know how to do it precisely, I will put all my heart and efforts in it.

And right now the answer seems to involve being FREE: free to work on my own business with the time schedule I want (sleep in and work until midnight if I care without being stuck in endless inefficient meetings), free to travel more and visit my loved ones as much as possible without counting the days off I have left, free to live wherever I wish, possibly in a warm country (hence have a job that can be remotely managed), free to organize my days however I see fit (Zumba in the morning followed by breakfast with my best friend, reading a book at 3PM if I want a break from work and never miss an important event ever again). If I knew I could not fail, what I would wish for myself is as simple as that.


1 Comment

  1. Hi Vivien,
    I actually felt interested to read your post after seeing Chris Guillebeau on the title, and then I read your post and felt like “wow this is great” 😀

    It seems you have done many things in this year and that’s really awesome. Can’t wait to read another post of yours.


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