This is a guest submission from Bud Hennekes from aboundlessworld.com
The statistics don’t lie. A recent study showed over 70 percent of Americans are unfulfilled in their career. Are you part of the 70 percent? I know I was.
Maybe you don’t like your boss. Or perhaps you know you can do more.
Different story, same excuses.
In my relatively young career, I’ve worked for companies and people I’ve loved and I’ve also been in places where “work” consisted of me day dreaming of a better life.
It wasn’t until failure after failure that I realized that nothing was going to change until I did. This is my story. Perhaps you can relate.
In And Out Of The Big Apple
When I packed up all my belongs to move to NYC — I was enthusiastic. This is the start of it all I thought. But as each day went by I found myself growing increasingly frustrated and unhappy.
I lost sight of who I really was.
Those closest around me knew I wasn’t enjoying NYC, but my family and friends kept telling me to tough it out. To push through. But deep down I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be. Staying in NYC would kill me.
Luck would have it that some of my mutual friends through Twitter were doing some awesome things in Chile. And after countless sleepless nights debating, I decided that I was going to take the leap.
An Opportunity To Move Across The World
I’ve always wanted to be successful and to make a difference. But time and time again, I just wasn’t happy. Instead of realizing who held the reigns, I blamed everyone. It was easy.
Finally, after multiple setbacks, I looked in the mirror and I decided I needed to change.
After nearly a year of just getting by, I finally mustered up the courage and admitted to myself I needed a change. I packed up all my belongs after less than a year in NYC and moved to Chile with an earnest desire to turn my life around and to participate in an entrepreneurial program called Exosphere.
Breaking Through My Comfort Zone
I firmly believe that life is all about taking chances. Sometimes, things just don’t go according to plan, but complaining and doing nothing to change your current reality hurts no one but yourself.
Deciding to move to Chile was a big risk. What if I couldn’t find the answers I was seeking? What if I had to move back in with my parents? Would I get lonely by moving across the world?
I felt fear, but I acted anyways.
When I arrived in Chile, I was far beyond my comfort zone. A new country, a new language. I struggled at first. I missed home. But as I began to really give it my all, Exosphere began opening doors.
I met dozens of ambitious people from all around the globe. Late night conversations time and time again showed I wasn’t alone in my desire to make a difference. I wasn’t alone in feeling frustrated and lost. I wasn’t alone in the experiencing the ups and downs of this thing we call life.
Over the next three months, I began to really put my best foot forward. I remained open to all the wonderful possibilities and relationships that were at my fingertips.
And slowly, I began to start to enjoy life again.
The Courage To Fail
No one wants to fail or to admit they are unhappy. No one wants to be seen as someone who is lost. And for the longest time I was one of those people.
But the truth is, regardless of where you find yourself now you can take the steps needed to slowly improve your life. Escaping the 9-5 grind isn’t about finding the perfect job or having the perfect relationship.
It’s about the mindset you choose to have when life doesn’t go your way.
We all have our own shortcomings and things we want to improve. But we must not forget that taking action is the only way to solve our problems. Lying to ourselves and ignoring our reality only kicks the bucket down the road.
Having the courage to face your fears will set you free.
The World Is Your Playground
When you’re so caught up in your own unhappiness you often forget what really matters. Friends, family, and doing work that matters.
For years I was so afraid of coming up and short and not making a difference I just coasted. I didn’t take any risks. It wasn’t until I stepped out my comfort zone that I realized life isn’t so bad.
Sure things won’t always go as planned. You’ll stumble. You’ll feel like giving up. But when you make the commitment to push through, things begin to change.
In just three short months in Chile, I was able rediscover the fire that burns inside me. I met life long friends from all over the world. I started working on projects that excited me. I started dating a wonderful woman. I challenged myself. It was uncomfortable at times, but the person I was three months ago is a sliver of who I am today.
This summer I’ll be spending a few weeks back home seeing family and friends in the United States, then I’ll board yet another plane back to Chile to be part of the Exosphere experience once again.
Three months ago I was down. I was depressed. These days I couldn’t be happier and excited for the things to come. When life is tough and you’re feeling stuck, take a risk. Be bold. Don’t settle.
For as a wise man once said – “Fortune favors the brave.”
Will you take a leap?