Within this post I’ll describe the courage of moving somewhere as I understand it. Take some time to not only read this post, but to make up your own thoughts about it and use your findings to come up with some personal conclusions and maybe even actions.
Two years ago – the year I turned 20 years old – I already thought that I had seen pretty much everything and that I knew where my life will go to in the future. At this time I was part of a special studies program with IBM in Germany and had been travelling around in Germany and the U.S. as part of this program. It seemed to me that I had the big plan about what to do next and and what life will bring for me at least for the next twenty to thirty years. I was certain that I’ll take on a job at IBM – or another tech company -, focus on ‘Social Business’, digital activities or marketing and that I’ll be kind of successfull with this. It didn’t seem like there was the slightest chance something else could happen. In addition I knew that I wanted to ‘come forward’ in life. In retrospective I can say with threefold safety that I was trapped and that I had no idea what this phrase ‘coming forward’ even meant. Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t trapped in a physical way or in a situation in which other people had talked me into, but my mind was only capable of showing me a really predefined and therefore narrowed view on life and future.
As I already laid out in my last post, which dealt with the reasons why I started a second bachelor degree, I was lucky to overcome this self-assembled trap. I managed to challenge myself to do something else than normal and to broaden my horizon to a completely new field of interest. I’m still not entirely sure how I managed to do this, but at least I know today what I managed to do:
I gained the courage of moving somewhere!
You might ask yourself what differentiates ‘moving forward’ from ‘moving somewhere’ and why there’s a little bit of a negative sentiment when I talk about ‘moving forward’. Let me try to explain this more precisely to you:
Since I graduated from high school I’ve met various people. Everyone had a different vita, lifestyle, skills, interests and goals they wanted to achieve in life. But there was one thing most of the people had in common: They were waiting to ‘move forward’ in life. They waited for the perfect job or project, the perfect partner, the perfect gadget, … There was always this notion of having specific goals, that most of the time just happened to be there somehow. Since they were there by accident or by chance or because these were common goals in our western society, people started to think that they have to work towards this, that they have to get better and to do more. People got trapped in the thinking that they had to move forward to achieve this. The time of waiting until these goals could be achieved could take ages. However the sense of meaning never got questioned. Why waiting so long? Is this really what I want to do? Why not taking a step out of the comfort zone? Isn’t there another point of view from which to look at things? The term and meaning of forward is always relatively by the point of view, but today it’s seen as static and predefined. In this day and age society is focusing very much on achieving goals in the most efficient way and if something or someone hasn’t a specific goal the relevance and necessity gots questioned really quick by others and even the person itself. That’s the reason why a lot of people take on the path in the rat race from which they believe it’s the one they want to go. In reality it isn’t – it’s just the easiest way to go.
I’m sure that in most of the situations it’s better to move somewhere then to preserve and just wait for a chance which might never come. That’s what I call ‘The Courage of Moving Somewhere‘. It represents the mix of taking the courage and the possibility of stopping during this rat race of predefined and society verified goals, getting clear about what you really want do to and taking a branch-off that has always been there, but never been taken. I think that the concept of moving forward is suitable and good for some parts of our life, but for sure not for our whole life. I believe that we have to overcome this mindset of ‘moving forward’, of ‘more is better’ and of ‘efficiency rules’. That’s the reason why I encourage YOU to preserve as little as necessary, to open up your mind and always seek for something totally new that has never been done before and that you really want to do. Embrace the challenge and take the courage to go the alternative path, even if it doesn’t satisfy today’s society requirements. This way is for sure not easy, but I’m certain that it’s a better way. Saying all this I want to end with a quote by Stewart Brand used by Steve Jobs in his famous commencement address at Stanford University in 2005:
“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
… and take on the courage of moving somewhere!