It feels like there are four certainties in modern life. Whatsapp messages, taxes, e-mails and death. Everything else is up for grabs.
We’re not great with uncertainty. Why? Because from an early age, the world paints us a ‘picture’. It looks a little like this:
Work. Career. Money. Steady. Marriage. House. Kids. Secure. Black. White. Yes. No.
As a result of years of being exposed to this ‘picture’, everything that we experience outside of it can feel uncertain.
Have no doubt. Living inside the parameters of the ‘picture’ certainly feels safer.
One of the greatest sources of uncertainty comes from within. In us all are ambitions and desires. We’re born with them. They never leave us. However, these ambitions and desires do not always conform to the ‘picture’. When this is the case and when we’re presented with an opportunity to make them a reality, we feel a deeply unsettling uncertainty.
We first experience these desires and ambitions as kids. They are in their purest form then, as we’ve had little exposure to the ‘picture’. Growing up I wanted to be Ireland’s Diego Maradona (my vintage’s Lionel Messi). I wanted to make crowds roar. To inspire teammates. To be a leader.
I write today, aged 36, to officially recognise that dream is over.
But only in its original form.
Why? Because with Inspo, I’m getting to represent my country as a small Irish business working across Ireland and the UK. And hopefully beyond. I’m getting to motivate people. Not Irish football teammates. But great teams across a range of businesses. I’m stirring crowds. Ok, not 40,000 people in the Aviva Stadium. But the hundreds who have attended one of Inspo’s talks. And the thousands that have been tuning into the Inspo blog.
And I love it.
If I ever meet my five-year-old self, I shall have to break it to him that the dream of playing for Ireland has not come true. However, I can say to him, with pride, that I’m doing my best to simulate the experience – in a way that I can.
Like anything else, the current journey comes with real uncertainty. Should I have really left a steady job? Is this going to work? How am I looking to pay the next set of bills? However, the freedom, the authenticity, the pure childlike moments of happiness that come from work right now is unreal.
We will pay taxes right up until our last year. We may well get e-mails and Whatsapp messages right up until our last day. But as a kid were your dreams centred around receiving e-mails and Whatsapp messages? What did your five-year-old self dream of? How much is that dream, in any form, a part of your own ‘picture’ today?
There’s always room for improvement. Do one thing this week that brings that dream even more to life for you. You decide the action. Your five-year-old self will thank you for it.
For more information on Inspo, contact John Slattery at firstname.lastname@example.org.