The first time I heard about Live Your Legend was in the summer of 2013 watching a video of the TEDx talk that Scott Dinsmore gave. I don’t remember exactly how I came across it, but I do remember that it really resonated with me. From the three main steps Scott talked about during his talk, “Surrounding yourself with passionate people” was the one that got stuck in my mind. That’s when I came to the realization that although I am by nature a passionate person, I was not surrounded by passion in my life, being in my work or friendships (at least passion for the things I care for).
The message from the talk left me feeling that I needed to do something about my life. Although I felt that I needed to take some action, I never did anything to following that philosophy or pursuing the things I have passion for. I was paralyzed by fear. Fear of change; fear of leaving a comfort zone; fear of getting into something I had no idea what it was or where it would lead me to. So I retracted and went back to my "regular" life.
Taking Some Action - First Try
It took me over a year to finally decide to do something about my inaction. In the fall of 2014 I signed up for the How to Connect With Anyone course, offered by Live Your Legend at that time. I think the reason it took me so long to start taking some action is because I do like what I do at work. I enjoy the “freedom” and laid back nature of my job, but I know it is not my passion; I know that if money was not an issue, I would be doing something else. I work as a web developer and systems analyst. I develop web applications and web pages for internal use by the company I work for. In addition I provide support for the business problems related to IT for the Human Resources department.
There is one area of my job that I am passionate about, web accessibility. Having had the opportunity to work with a blind colleague in my previous job, I learned the importance of producing content that is available to all. Web accessibility became a subject dear to my heart and I strive to make sure everything I do is accessible to all, including those with disabilities.
My job gives a sense of security and stability to a point that I could easily stay there until retirement. Some people would probably do that, but I don't think it's going to happen with me. I realized that I feel too comfortable and settled at my current job and this has been slowly draining my passion. That false sense of security and stability was actually making me feel uncomfortable.
After watching Scott’s talk, I realized that my surroundings and the environment I have been working in were stifling my career. At work, I feel I am lacking skills, following behind as things change in a very fast pace in the field I work. So fast that I feel overwhelmed when trying to keep up with the changes, and as a result I get paralyzed.
I work in an environment that does not motivate me, bring the best out of me, nor challenge me. I don't think it is contributing to make me feel I am achieving MY goals and purpose in life. I feel trapped despite all the freedom I have at work. I know I am the only one who could set me free from this trap. The fear however, keep me paralyzed.
Discovering New Passion
Parallel to all this, over the last 4 years I discovered that I have a passion for health and nutrition. Everything started after I watched a documentary called “Forks Over Knives.” I started to read books, do a lot of research, watch other documentaries about the importance of nutrition and the role it plays in a healthy life style. I found myself being drawn to all the things I was discovering. I was getting really interested and excited about them. That made me realize how these issues were part of my core values.
Having access to all this information I became aware of the impact that it was having on me as I started to use it and apply it to my own life. I slowly started to change my life style in regards to the things I eat.
Then I saw people whom I love in my own family, especially my mother, having all these health issues that could have been prevented or be addressed by using the same information and knowledge I was getting from all the material I was reading and researching. That’s when I realized the power in all of that and how life changing it could be. I felt that I needed to do something about it. The "we are what we eat" was no longer a simple expression but a reality that was unfolding in front of my eyes and I could feel it in my own body.
We have a natural resistance to change, and that resistance is even greater when it comes to our food habits. Food has a very strong emotional connotation due to how it is tied to social events and situations from early in life. However, I felt that although I might not be able to make my family and friends change their life style, I could at least do my part and pass along all I have learned.
If I somehow was able to communicate that, they would have the information they need to have a healthier life and reverse some of the health issues that they may be facing. Whether they were going to use that information or not it was up to them.
I decided to organize an event back home and invited my family. While I was putting together and preparing all the materials for the event, I saw how that really made me feel alive. I was getting excited about it. That’s when I discovered that my main purpose in life was to help people to have a healthy life.
Was I doing this at my current job? No. I know I was helping people but not the way I wanted to and not in a significant way.
Because of this realization, I started to have an internal battle whether I should switch careers or not. The conflict between continuing doing a job I sort of like and a change to start doing something where I could make a difference and help people in a more significant way. I just don’t know what this something would be.
I know I cannot just quit my current job and start working in a whole different field; a field that I have no credibility or expertise on, just passion for it.
I finished the How to Connect With Anyone course, but for some reason, I felt lost and unable to take immediate action.
What is Next?
I started to think about finding another job in my current field, but in an environment where I could be surrounded by people who motivate and inspire me. Or do something completely different.
At the present moment I am going through a period of discovering and trying to decide what my next step would be.
So my quest begins to start writing the next chapter of my life. Until then I will start working on the draft of what I hope be a good chapter.