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Anything Can Happen

“The point of departure is not to return”


Today is really weird. Monday morning and no work. I made a tough decision to leave, to change, to take a risk. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring. But let’s be honest, we really don’t ever know exactly what tomorrow will bring. There’s something scary about that. There’s something exciting about that.


My favorite role in my career was leading a large, technical, heavily regulated business unit. Someone once asked me what I liked most about that role and I didn’t have to think long for an answer. Leading a team where we never knew what the day would bring. Unknown volumes, unknown markets, unknown technology interruptions, and, for those of you who lived through Hurricane Sandy, even unknown impacts of weather. We were often stressed, tired, and frustrated. And we often came through, figured it out, and were ultimately satisfied and fulfilled. I loved it.


I wanted that feeling again so I decided it was time to seek it out. Not sure where or when it will be, but I know it’s out there. Fulfillment. Shouldn’t we all be seeking fulfillment in our lives?


But why don’t we? Why do we stay in roles, relationships and situations, when we know we shouldn’t? Or at least change a little. I know, stupid question. It’s easier, safer, more comfortable, more certain, avoids conflict, avoids gossip.


But oh, to be satisfied. Excited. Invigorated. Empowered. Fulfilled.


So here I am with my words of wisdom. Just say “screw it”, pick up and leave. Yeah right. Let’s be real. Of course, it’s not that easy and that’s not what I’m saying. But it might be time for you to depart.


“Wait Joe, I thought you weren’t saying we should just pick up and leave.”


I’m not saying that. What I’m asking is for you to create your own definition of “depart”.


Look up the definition of “depart”. Go ahead I’ll wait. Got it? The #1 result is……. that’s right, “To leave”. But scroll down a little more. What comes next....... “To deviate”. Hmmmm.


How was your commute today? Some of you probably breezed in to work. But some of you might have dealt with yet another parking lot of traffic. (and if you are reading this while in traffic, put the phone down and read it later). I say you have three very viable options while you are cursing the traffic gods. (1) Just sit there and deal with it, (2) Leave the mess, turn around and go home or (3) Deviate. Take a different route and find a better way.


Have you thought about a deviation? You know you have. An adjustment to your routine? An alteration to your approach? That’s not as extreme as a hard stop or “pack your bags and go” but it’s something. Even the smallest deviation could have significant and meaningful results for you.


We all have to define for ourselves what it means to depart. And we all know it would make a difference. The key is to take that first step on the journey and to not look back. You are in control now and that in and of itself is an awesome feeling. But remember one thing!


“The point of the journey is not to arrive”


What?


Yes, your destination was to get to work today but we are not talking about commuting anymore, we are talking about life.


I know it’s kind of cliché-ish but our lives are journeys. We really never do get to a final destination. (ok, I know we will all die but play along for a bit).


We start out with one family and through the years that family changes so our role in the family changes. Child, sister/brother, mom/dad, aunt/uncle, grandma/grandpa. We never have one role.


We go to school. Then we grow up and go to other schools. Then we graduate and take our first great job. Then we get more experience and take new jobs, sometimes with new companies. It’s all one big journey with important destinations along the way.


I’m not sure we acknowledge the journey as much as we should. Yes, some points along the way are hard. Very hard. But there are also great points. It’s just so damn easy to notice and remember the hard ones. I believe the potential pain of a hard point prevents us from beginning parts of our journey in the first place. That’s why the personal definition of deviate is so important. Taking a comfortable step is always better than taking no step. I chose a pretty uncomfortable step. And there will probably be some hard points. And there will probably be some good points!!! And if I’m aware enough to take notice of and appreciate those good points!!! Yup, I’m taking my shot!!


By now have you thought of a way you might depart (deviate) so you can begin another part of your journey? I know you have.


So now, what are you going to do?


Remember….... Anything Can Happen.


Until next time.......


Oh yeah. Extra credit if you hit me up with the name of the song that was the inspiration for this post.

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