I see this image of a fireball, an explosion on a highway in the dessert under the late afternoon sun. The angry, rushing orange flames. Charred metal hurled high into the air. Black, roiling plumes of smoke.
It’s a goner, man. Whatever was in that beast of a bang is utterly destroyed.
But then from among that charcoal haze of ashen smoke, a dame emerges. Singed hair, scorched eyebrows, smeared lipstick (Chanel red, of course) and bare footed; she walks out from among the destruction. Rubble is strewn at her feet, and she looks fried, but girlfriend is walking. Shocking, but there she is.
“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” – Tom Stoppard
When I left behind the safe, and dangerously comfortable, corporate job to search for a better place of employment, I had no idea really what I wanted. Or rather, what I wanted to do with my life. At that point, my outlook was pretty bleak and, sad to say, I believed the propaganda that we, as members of society, had to contribute to said society by getting jobs, most likely jobs that we could perform but dislike (and by dislike I mean strong dislike which eventually leads to hate and self-loathing). That was the only path. We had to conform ourselves and our abilities to what the corporation wants. I thought I mattered to the company I spent my life working for seven years. I thought I was irreplaceable. How quickly I learned that I was wrong–oh the horror! I was just a cog. What mattered was my production, not me as an individual that came packaged with kindness, smarts and easy-going personality.
When I transitioned to a non-profit organization I thought surely–without a doubt–this has to be way better than corporate America. Bazinga. Wrong again. Only this time it was worse, this time my soul was crushed. Naively I had placed this non-profit upon a pedestal. People will be people, and the old way of doing business like clocking in and out, and being strapped to your desk for hours on end will continue to suck.
Now I find myself seven months into my self-employment. Why did it take me so long to get here? This is not utopia, but it is freedom. At times it is scary as hell, but when that moment passes, it is exhilarating. I can be me, and I can put my passion into my craft which I love. I can work from home, or I can be mobile and work from anywhere that has wifi. I get to design the identity business owners want for their company, consult on web layout and development, photograph memorable moments. In a sense, I get to help make a dream come true for my clients.
I am here at this stage of my life because someone believed in me and helped me to believe in myself.
Courage is always there. It is not going to grab you by the seat of your jeans and fling you into the great unknown. Nope. You’ve got to buckle up courage and fling yourself into the great unknown. Listen, if it was “known” you wouldn’t need courage for it. I am here to tell you that you can do it; you can achieve your dream. When you believe that, you’ve already crossed a big hurdle. The parts that follow are just the doing, and trust me there are others who have gone before you and have done it themselves.
Can you image a better time than this to take your life and live it the way you want to live it?
We’ve long since passed the Industrial Age, where our economy was based on production.
And now, we’ve even passed the Information Age, whether we know it or not.
The future of the economy is no longer reliant on how much information we have at our fingertips, and how fast.
The future of the economy will be defined by what we, human beings, DO with that information.
This is a time for creation. For meaning. For fulfillment.
This is the age of the human being, where, for once, our value does not depend on how many widgets we produce, or how efficiently we can transfer information.
Our value now depends on US. On our ability to lead and connect–our ability to deviate from the flock, to stand for something worth standing for, and to bask in our humanity, and what it means to really live.
But of course, that’s easier said than done–especially for those still stuck on the idea that success will come if you do what you’re told.
That’s merely an illusion.
Rather, success will come only to those who are willing to have a little blind faith–in themselves, in their art, and in their ability to stand tall and take the world by storm.
Ashley Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project
Set fire to the doubts and fears holding you hostage. Walk away from that mess, and live the life you want to live.