You wanna “change the world.” Really?

So one of my brothers will probably hate me for saying this – but I’ll ask his  forgiveness later.

He’s been talking about writing a book I think South Africa desperately needs.

It’s a simple, quite obvious, form of marketing which is why I think he’ll do so well with it.

Problem – he’s still just talking about it.

Yeah he’s been real busy working killer hours, taking exams – and the list goes on… but when you’ve got a dream – something’s gotta give. It’s just gotta.

I’ve a really smart friend (let’s call her Mercy) (ok so that is her real name) anyway – I remember a conversation we had a while ago. In it I told her of all the things I wanted to do with my life and my career but just didn’t have the time or the energy for.

“Excuses,” she said.

I told her I was not making excuses I really was – and I proceeded to give her a whole list of reasons I couldn’t pursue what I really wanted to.

Her response was this: “Every time you say you don’t have time or you don’t have the energy to pursue what you really love – you are saying you don’t think you’re worth it. You’re saying whatever it is that you say you love so much is not worth your time or your energy.”

And then I didn’t have much else to say. She was right.

I’ve often heard that the things that are really worth doing are terrifying.

Sometimes the reason it scares the crap out of you is because what you see yourself achieving seems so much bigger than you. It should be. Otherwise where would greatness come from if we all did only what we could?

Sometimes the reason pursuing what you really want to paralyses you with fear: it demands that you claw your way out of your comfort zone. And that can REALLY SUCK sometimes.

Ask any successful person (who had to work for it from scratch) if they had a clear plan of what they wanted to do to get to where they are.

Ask them if it was easy sailing.

Ask them how many times they didn’t cry or wanted to call it quits because it was way harder than they ever thought it would be.

Ask them about how scary it was being broke and/or being ridiculed.

We look at the great – smiling their successful “I’ve arrived” smiles and we envy their stature.

What we don’t see (so often) are all the scars that thickened their skin while they were getting to the “arrival” point.

Working hard and reaping the rewards may sound fantastic, but it’s not that great when what you’re working hard at is not really what you want to do with your life.

I’d like to leave you with an illustration:

Most of us have more than one field in our lives.

Each field requires work and most times it’s not easy to ensure that each field receives as much care as it should.

When we drive (or walk) by our fields we can say: “I’m working hard on this – oops I’m kinda of letting that slip – and on that field over there, I’m really lazy on that one.”

If the one you’re really lazy on has the potential to define your life’s work – it may be worth tending to. The world is waiting.


Hannah Viviers is a financial journalist and founder of HV Public Speaking

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