My friend, Kate, has a dream. Strike that. She was absolutely, positively born to do the thing she’s dreaming of. I’m sure of it – not just because it’s her dream, but also because her idea will better the world. It’s one of those things where you say, “That hasn’t been done yet? Why hasn’t that been done yet?! Are you still here talking to me? Get up and go do that!”
My friend, Dan, is the kind of guy you can’t help but root for. He’s a humble, salt of the earth-type who works and serves harder than most. Over the years, he’s become a master in his work and has carved out a comfortable niche at his company, where he’s well-respected and appreciated.
When the executive position over his division opened up, he was intrigued by the possibilities of what he could do in the role. But as quickly as he was dreaming about it, he began talking himself out of the idea. Sure, it was giant steps ahead of where he was, but he already had a job he liked. And at this point, he could do it easily.
The new position would be like starting over. He’d be out of his depth in many areas, regardless of what he’d have to offer in others. It would require a new skill set, one that wouldn’t be easily gained. He tried to push it from his mind, but couldn’t escape two thoughts.
Have you ever had one of those ‘perfect people’ in your life? You know the type. Charming and genuine – the kind of smart that makes you wish you’d paid better attention in science class - able to eat anything they want without it affecting their perfectly good looks… Ugh – disgusting, right? If they weren’t so dang likable, we’d hate those people for sure.
I’ve got a really good friend who’s one of them. I can’t prove it, but I’ll bet in high school, he won “Most Likely To Rescue A Baby On His Lunch Break (While Also Playing Guitar Just Because He Can)”. Of all the capable people in my life, he might have the most potential of any of them. But he’s got one fatal flaw.
For fifteen years, a friend of mine has worked for the same company. She had a parking space and an office. She frequented the same places for lunch, and went with the same friends. She honed her skills and contributed something unique that she alone could give. She made a home. She found her place. She belonged.
Last week, her position was eliminated, and she was let go.
I can only imagine what her final hours there were like – the last goodbyes, the elevator ride down, the walk to the car, the long drive home. And I suspect her mind has been flooded with questions like:
What do I do now?
Am I washed up – is it over for me?
I gave this the best years of my life – how am I supposed to start over again?
Where would I even begin?
How can I make it all on my own?