Every day I go to work and sit at my desk for at least 10 hours. I sit down at 9am and leave when the last person in the office starts locking up. I’m trying to prove something — to whom? I’m not exactly sure. During those hours of getting things done, I’m not alone. Sure, I’ve got coworkers, but I’ve also got something more important: a picture of a surfer riding an incredible wave.
The water in the picture is dark and the sky is cloudy, but the surfer stands in place focused and determined, grateful for the challenge.
As I knock on the door of 30, I look back and dissect a little bit and it seems throughout my life I’ve been up for a challenge. As soon as I feel comfortable somewhere, I decide it’s time to leave. Yet the minute I leave, I’m confused as to what the hell I was thinking. But I never quit. I can tell you that I hated high school, but that I’m proud of the school I attended. I’d always wanted to go there and I got in. Would I have been happier someplace else? Maybe. But I was challenged and I struggled and I learned. And I survived. So when those quarterly donation requests come through the mail, I do something I swore I’d never do — I write a check to the school.
I’m not sure if I set myself up to fail or to get disappointed or if I truly believe I can do just about anything I want to. Three years ago, I left a secure job for another challenge (what we in business call a “better opportunity”). I was discontent at the status quo and it was time to shake things up. And boy did things get shaken. I lost my new job, I went back to freelancing and found myself at a place in my career I thought I’d never return — knocking on doors to get back in. But I kept going back out there.
Putting yourself out there is not unlike a surfer paddling beyond the shore to hunt for waves. The way I look at it, I got another new job (another challenge) and I’m going to ride this new wave whether I think I can make it or not. My 10+ hours per day is the equivalent of standing in place, focused and determined to ride it out.