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We’re surrounded by zombies.
They’re all around us.
They meander through life aimlessly with a glazed look in their eyes.
They stumble from job to job, not really knowing where they are headed.
They may not eat brains, but they certainly aren’t feeding them, fixated on their screens and completely oblivious to the world around them.
Have you ever seen a plastic bag blowing in the wind?
They are pulled and pushed in every direction, completely out of control and at the mercy of the elements.
They float up, they they’re pulled down again and are jerked left and right.
Then they land in a body of water and the process continues as the poor plastic bag floats in the direction of the tide or the flow of the stream.
Their direction, their altitude and their final destination are decided by external factors.
Every day, when I’m driving the kids home from school, we pass a small pond that has a bird incubating its eggs on a tiny island in the middle of the water.
Eventually, after a few weeks, the little chicks will start breaking through their shells.
We’re not that different, as humans, we have a tendency to incubate thing that eventually emerge.
If you spend too much time thinking about all the times you’ve been hurt or abused, a bitter twisted person emerges.
Some people have very low expectations of life.
They’re happy if they have a job. Any job.
They consider it a good day if they get through unscathed without any major dramas.
They’re OK with being just like everyone else around them.
Small cogs in a large machine.
Being swept along by the tide.
They keep their head down and their nose clean, hoping not to be noticed.
Are you sure that you’re living the life that you’re meant to be living?
What if you got it wrong?
Are you sure that you’re on the right path?
There are so many to choose from?
Are you sure that the action you’re about to take is correct, morally sound and will get you closer to your goals?
How can you be certain?
I can’t surf.
I can’t play the clarinet.
I can’t operate a bulldozer.
I can’t speak Cantonese.
I can’t skipper a yacht.
From a young age, we feel this strange compulsion to get a job.
It makes sense. We have to find a way to make money, to buy food and keep a roof over our heads.
There are certain expectations of us. From our parents, our friends, society.
Get a job.
While you’re at it, make it a good one. One with a fancy title and good pay.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time at work, so you may as well get well paid for it.
But is that all there is?
There was a time when LeBron James didn’t know how to play basketball.
There was a time when Warren Buffett knew nothing about investing.
There was a time when J.K. Rowling had never been published.
There was a time when Eric Clapton had never picked up a guitar.
There was a time when Bill Gates didn’t have a clue about computers.
I stumbled upon a great quote this week:
“Victory or defeat is not determined at the moment of crisis, but rather in the long and unspectacular period of preparation.” Anonymous
I had a client this week who was the principal dancer for an international ballet company. He described the years of hard work and practice behind closed doors that it took to hone his skills to an elite, world class standard.
I don’t know what you want to do with your life, but I suspect that there’s a long road ahead.
Give them confidence in their abilities.
Give them the self-belief required to take risks.
Lift them off the canvas when they fall.
Build them up.