Deciding your Destiny: Taking the Right Road Over the Easy One

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Today’s guest contributor is Farnoosh Brock. Farnoosh writes about smart habits for rich living with focus on smart communications, smart travel, smart living and smart entrepreneurship. She can be found at Prolific Living.

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You do not learn your own true tolerance for risk and your real appetite for courage until you put them to test.

I put mine to test on April 15th. It turns out I had highly underestimated myself on both fronts.

I had an easy job in a Fortune 500 company. Not only an easy one, but a lucrative one amounting to a nice 6-figure income, which I earned while working from home – often in my favorite yoga clothes and usually in between yoga poses and frequent tea breaks! A job with health benefits and stock options, bonuses and perks, paid travel expenses and tech gadgets; even if things were in worse shape in the recent years, relatively speaking, I had it “good”, as others never missed an opportunity to remind me.

So trust me when I tell you that even after I had lost my ridiculous desire to rise to the top as a next generation company leader, I had no real intention of giving it all up anytime soon.

Someone asked me recently how I was able to detach so easily from the corporate politics, the gossip and the stress of it all and my simple answer is that you just do when you are no longer vesting your future in your company. The day that you give up your aspirations to build that future there and start treating your career just as a job is the day that you free yourself from all the “noise” that goes on anywhere outside your main responsibility.

I did the job; I earned the paycheck. That was my story. There is no point denying it; during my last year at my job, I was there only for my beloved sweet paycheck.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, my work ethic has always been high and my performance at the time of my resignation was one of the best. So I do not advocate becoming one of those many “bums” in the organization who get a paycheck week after week and create no value and make no contribution. Please do not resort to that path; it is the path of cynics and quitters.

Do the job that you are asked to do and do it well or else stop doing it altogether by leaving.

In my case, I did my job and I did it well but oh was I never challenged.

No matter how many times I changed positions and moved around, after initial learning curve was gone, I was bored out of my mind. A job that would take someone else hours often took me minutes.

With a restless mind, a starving heart for knowledge and a desperate desire to do something meaningful with my life, I had way too much energy and room to grow, to explore, to learn, to dream and to build a plan for those dreams. That is why I turned a corner in the corporate world. That is how my blog came about over two years ago. That is how I seriously pursued world travel, photography, yoga, writing, reading, blogging, health habits, cycling, and explorations in social media and the blogosphere community.

Ah but why give up such a sweet deal if life was so good and if I seemed to have it all?

My parents and my in-laws have been wondering this question the most. Worry not, I shall explain (as I nearly pulled my hair explaining to them a dozen times but a different story there.)

First, what was brewing on the inside: Ever since the October 2010 Blogworld in Las Vegas, I had become unbearably anxious to focus exclusively on my passions – blogging being the main one but far from the only one. I wanted to create services and products around helping people build smart habits. I wanted to start a podcast – or several. I wanted to build a public speaking platform for my message. I wanted to write and write for hours on end, uninterrupted and undisturbed. I wanted to start my own business and do things my way.

Most of all, I wanted to own all my minutes and choose what to do with every single one of them.

And you know what? I came to believe that when your mind is preoccupied with stress-induced responsibilities and work that you neither like nor find satisfying, you simply cannot give your all and your very best shot to anything else in life.

When a critical component such as mindfulness is absent, you will struggle reaching your true potential. And your dreams and aspirations deserve nothing less than your true potential.

Yet, I loved my paycheck and it was terrifying to walk away from it all without having set my backup plans fully in motion. But sometimes destiny throws you an embrace – or a slap. Either way, it seems to work out just fine.

One day, through a quick turn of events, I was put in a difficult position at work and was asked to make a hard decision. My options did not look good. Integrity showed up and made it a very easy choice; I decided to walk away from it all. In one quick minute, I was done, I was finished, I had had enough and no force of nature – or parental and brotherly advice – was going to stop me from quitting right then and there.

I resigned on April 15th. No turning back. Not once. Not for a split second.

So I recounted the last leg of my corporate journey – it’s full of drama and it makes for a good story but in real perspective, I was in that world for nearly 12 years and I would be remiss if I did not share with you my honest thoughts especially if you are thinking of making these huge and scary transitions in your life.

First, please set aside what everyone else in your life thinks you should do – deep in your heart, you always – always – know the right decision. No one needs to reaffirm it for you.

Then answer these 8 questions if you are on the fence and have doubts about what to do. They can help uncover the best course and the right timing for you.

What is your …

  1. … real and uncensored reason for needing a change? Why do you want to leave your current situation? Being miserable is a good answer but not nearly enough reason. Do you have a compelling desire to do something on your own? Is there another industry that is calling your name? Can you articulate on all the exact reasons you are unhappy and take an educated guess as to where you may find some semblance of happiness? You must come clear on your reasons before even staring your exit strategy.
  2. … internal state of unrest? Do you even have an internal state of unrest and turmoil? Are you losing sleep and peace of mind day in and day out? Can you accurately attribute this feeling to your work and are you sure it is based on real issues, not transitory ones, or based on circumstances that are outside of your control?  Try to measure your internal sense of urgency.
  3. … financial comfort zone? What are your current financial obligations and responsibilities? Do you have a lot of savings and little debt? Are you in the habit of spending money on a lot of stuff? Most of all, if need be, can you easily shift your current comfort zone and are you willing to make the life changes that require this shift?  Be really clear about what you are willing to forgo and realistic how that may impact your current state of happiness.
  4. … tolerance for the unknown? If you do not have a solid plan, you will face a certain level of unknown on the road. Are you comfortable with not knowing what may happen for the foreseeable future? Can you hone into a mindset that will push through and thrive, no matter how unpredictable the road may be? Or do you need more information and certainty before taking the leap?  It takes knowing yourself to correctly answer these questions.
  5. … appetite for risk? Do you need a position in another organization or are you made for entrepreneurship? Can you feel empowered by the idea of working by yourself for days and weeks if need be? Are you a starter or a follower? Do you enjoy creating your own new process, products, and services? Do you enjoy taking ideas from inception to reality? Entrepreneurship may or may not be right for you. You need to figure this out for yourself.
  6. … self-discipline on working for yourself? Do you like being in charge of your own days? Can you muster enough discipline and structure to do the work that needs to be done, to delegate when need be, and to make room for creativity as needed? Can you decide what is a distraction and what is real work and how to distribute your limited time amongst them? Think about how you have worked in the past and when you were most productive – was it on self-driven projects or were you a part of a group project?
  7. … depth of patience around cash flow and income? If you were to earn enough to cover two meals a month for 6 months, would you be ok? If your first product sold 7 copies instead of 700, would you despair? If your first book did not fly, would you lose heart? How deep is your patience and how tightly do you define success with income? Knowing your relationship and attachment to money and owning up to the reality of it is the key here.
  8. … truth? Yes, I mean your truth? What matters the most to you in your work – and your life? Is it the money? Is it the excitement from a position of authority and power in a firm or corporation? Is it the comfort and the security provided by an established entity? Is it the feeling of contribution to a bigger cause and mission? Is it the sense of belonging to a community? Or is it a compelling desire to do something entirely your own, regardless of the cost and the results? It takes knowing yourself to know your truth and it comes down to you and only you to discover this before you pave the right path for you.

Whatever you end up doing, be true to yourself. The rest will fall into place.

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Farnoosh Brock left a 12-year career at a Fortune 500 in IT and engineering for her pursuits in writing, public speaking, coaching, podcasting, blogging and social media. She talks about smart habits for rich living with focus on smart communications, smart travel, smart living and smart entrepreneurship. She can be found at Prolific Living.

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51 responses

51 responses to “Deciding your Destiny: Taking the Right Road Over the Easy One”

  1. Farnoosh says:

    Jonathan, thank you so much for graciously featuring my story here. I am so honored!
    It was wonderful to meet you briefly in New York and then hear you speak at World Domination Summit. I walked away inspired enough for a whole year. Thank you for everything you are doing for the community.

  2. Farnoosh, these are 8 steps that I feel are so necessary to ask oneself when restless and you articulated them perfectly. I’ve walked away from two positions in my lifetime (one of 7 1/2 years and the last one of 10 years) and both times were a “level up” in my eyes when others saw me as crazy and stepping down and into the unknown.

    Like you did, you have to follow your heart and your gut instinct. I acknowledge you and I’m so glad you’re sharing your story with others so that it may have them reflect on their own journey and inspire them to do what their hearts tell them. 🙂

    • Farnoosh says:

      Tony, my friend, we have exchanged stories a few times in the past and you know far too wel how it all felt and why the decision had to be what it is. In fact, I find myself saying that I’d love to get “understanding” more so than “love” these days. It is so hard to understand that when we stop doing what we love, over the course of the years, it can really start to eat away at your soul. And this comes to you from a very technical, engineer, geeky, analytical woman – not a softie poet or artist. There is a soul and it is meant to do what we love to do! Thank you for the kind words on my writing. Always nice to see you!

      • Ivan Walsh says:

        a suggestion regarding understanding?

        If one accepts that others will mis-understand you, then you’re released from the expectation that you will – and must – be understood.

        • Farnoosh says:

          Dear Ivan,
          Hmmm. I guess I could think of it that way.

          “If one accepts that others will mis-understand you, then you’re released from the expectation that you will – and must – be understood.”

          But I’d like to *BELIEVE* and HOPE and perhaps come to see that it is possible to be understood, at least by those closest and dearest to us, you know? Sigh. Perhaps I need to be more patient.

          Thanks so much, Ivan.
          Farnoosh

  3. What an inspiring story! Your eight steps are well put and extremely on point. I will no doubt keep these in mind the next time I catch myself looking for a change (soon, I’m sure).

    Always follow your heart!

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dear Krista,
      I am sorry I skipped over your name in replying here earlier. I am SO happy this story was useful and I hope that the 8 questions help you find your timing and define your exit strategy. BEST OF LUCK!!!

  4. Adam King says:

    So great to read your story here, Farnoosh. If I haven’t said it enough, congrats and welcome to the gang!

    • Farnoosh says:

      Adam, I cannot hear that welcome too many times so say it again :)!
      THANK YOU for your support in the journey and for our friendship, thanks to the beloved Twitter. And for your comment here, of course.

  5. Congratulations on the fantastic guest post here, Farnoosh!

    I enjoyed reading it very much and feel like you have expressed your story with clarity and conviction, as you do as a regular thing on your own fine blog.

    I couldn’t help but notice this part though:

    “If you were to earn enough to cover two meals a month for 6 months, would you be ok?”

    Surely, that is a typo? Because I fear that we wouldn’t last too long on two meals a month. Anyway, just making sure.

    Once again, brava!

    Peter

    • Farnoosh says:

      Hi dear Peter, last thing first: No typo – I usually check my work a half dozen times.

      What I meant is that if you DO NOT earn enough to earn a living, will you be ok? Can you survive? Can you wait until the cash flow starts to come in? Do you have enough savings to get by?

      So yes, I meant if you earn just $20 or $40 a month, but do what you dream, can you see it through and believe that you will grow the income tremendously over time as long as you are true to yourself and your plans.

      Thanks so so much for taking time to comment AND making sure I meant what I said, Peter :)!

      • Oh OK now I get it. That makes sense! I failed to factor in the savings. Of course! Radical perspective shift in an instant.

        • Farnoosh says:

          Yeah, I was radical but honestly, that’s where I started so in my world, realistic too. I’d do this for free and live off my savings – that’s how badly I know I need to do what I love to do right now. Thanks for checking back in, Peter!

  6. Emily says:

    The Chinese believe that the number 8 is a lucky number and it is good to incorporate the number in various aspects of your life such as your phone number, building number, street address etc and people pay big money to be able to do this. Since Mandarin is a tonal language, the number 8 also sounds similar to the words for “wealth” or “fortune.” All of my life the number 8 has always been my favorite and then you go and list 8 questions to ask yourself when considering a transition. I believe in the power of numbers (along with the power for many things)and know that if people really reflect on the questions you posed Farnoosh that they will find “what their hearts tell them” in the words of Tony in the comment above and have true wealth in the fulfillment of their dreams.

    The best decisions are made when they are final and there is no going back. You had prepared for your April 15th moment for some time and that is probably why the choice was so easy to make when the time was right to make it. As I re-read through your questions, I answered each one in my heart before I also made the choice to transition to start building what I love. You have articulated so well the conversations I had with myself and the trusted people in my life in order to verify that yes I was making the right decision. Now I am in the building phase of my new venture and could not be happier!

    Johnathan – The third post on the DWS by Prolific Living had quotes from your talk and I loved the part copied below. You spoke to my heart and it is something I will keep in my beloved list of quotations.

    “How can you give up so much?” People would ask me.
    I would say to them they are asking the wrong question.
    “How can I not do this and limit the next 30 to 40 years of my life because of what happened in the last 7 years?”

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dearest Emily,
      The number 8 was no coincidence, my dear. I know well the power and the traditional belief associated with the #8 and also with the 108. In fact, in Las Vegas where Asian clientele tops any other, they have focused on magnifying the lucky numbers and removing the unlucky ones. In the Encore hotel, there are no 4, 14, 24, 34 and all 40–49 floors because they are considered so unlucky – as you must well know with your knowledge of Chinese culture – and some of these numbers are even associated with “death”. Superstition runs strong in some cultures no doubt.

      Anyway, I also love 8 because when put in horizontal position, it is the symbol of infinity (math) and it reminds me of infinite possibilities. 🙂

      So, so glad these questions resonated and that when you asked them, you were able to feel good about the answers and therefore, about your choices.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here, Emily.

  7. Hi Farnoosh,
    I so resonated with your article. Especially when you wrote this:
    I came to believe that when your mind is preoccupied with stress-induced responsibilities and work that you neither like nor find satisfying, you simply cannot give your all and your very best shot to anything else in life.

    This is the truth. We all need to find the right path in life that uses our skills and abilities to the fullest. When we work somewhere just for the paycheck, even if we are pursuing our passions in the evening, the stress takes its toll on both our job and passion.

    To keep a job just for the paycheck and then focus on your passions can only be juggled for so long. Eventually what happens is you no longer make the progress you desire on the thing your passionate for because you’re still putting in so much time on the job – just for the paycheck. You have to make a decision about who you are and what you really want in life and then forge ahead on that one path.

    I salute your brave decision and have no doubt you’ve chosen the right path! Much success to you.

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dear Angela,
      Thank you SO much for understanding SO precisely what I was writing here – and what I tried to explain to my beloved family and brothers and in-law and everyone. It is very hard to convey something so big coming from someone so fiscally conservative – me. Maybe next time they ask, Angela, I’ll just give them your number. :)! Just kidding. They are supportive now but the only person that truly got it was and continues to be my husband. As long as we have at least one pillar of support, I think we can make it BUT even without it, I think we will be fine. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts, dear Angela.

  8. What an inspiring story! I applaud your courage and determination. And I love the 8 questions –however, if I’d seen these — and answered them honestly — before I started on my own journey to doing what I *really* love 3 years ago, I likely never would have made the leap!

    I’m still in the process of creating the life I want, with the work I want, but I am completely happy to be on this path, as challenging as it can sometimes be.

    I think one of the most difficult things is trying to explain to family and friends what it is you’re doing. In my case, I know my family and friends have often wondered, “Why did she leave a steady job with a steady salary, to work two crappy part-time jobs that barely pay the bills? Why does someone with an advanced degree and lots of great ‘real’ work experience want to be a lowly worker bee, barely getting by?” It’s too much work to explain my “five year plan” to them, so I mostly just let them think I am just being flaky Kimberly. ; )

    Meanwhile over here in the background, I’m writing and creating and recipe testing and drinking great wine, and doing all the things I love. And sharing those interests with others with similar interests, and soaking up the experience of it all, and loving my life.

    Thanks for the great article!

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dear “Flaky” Kimberly,
      I *KNOW* how you feel and I am SO proud of you for listening to that calling, for making the difficult shifts and walking away from the “easy” way of living to do what is right. A few years ago, there is no way that the person I used to be would have said something like this but now that I went through the process, I identify with you and you with me. I do hope that you thrive so much in your passion that you can let go of those part-time jobs – which I presume you are doing to make ends meet while you grow your business? – and I wish you the very, VERY best – and for what it’s worth, with your attitude and approach, I totally believe in your eventual massive success.

      • Thanks for the kind and encouraging words, Farnoosh — gosh it just thrills me when someone “gets” it! And your kind words mean so, so much, so really, thanks very much. : )

        And yes, the part-time jobs are merely a way to make ends meet until my business and other passion projects take off and create an income stream I can rely on!

        Again, thanks very much for your kind words. : )

        • Farnoosh says:

          Dear Kimberly,
          You are welcome, welcome! You would have loved WDS in Portland then if you want to meet people who “get” it. There was no lifestyle or dream or life plan that was questioned or seemed awkward for a minute because everyone “got” the whole point of living and pursuing happiness.
          So lovely to meet you here and keep it at it and keep your momentum going strong.

  9. Chris Ciolli says:

    I really enjoyed this piece, but would really like to see something ( a success story, advice, whatever) aimed at an audience that doesn’t have a corporate background and is trying to make an idea or passion into a business while maintaining an income. Because while I agree, you can hone your skills better when its the only thing you’re focusing on, some of us have to continue making a living while developing our passions.

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dear Chris, thanks so much for your request. So I totally understand because I was there – which is why it took me so long. For two years, I was maintaining my job and doing the blog and building all of my skills on the side. I think it just took a lot of discipline, a lot of weekends and evenings, a lot of early mornings, and giving up on some social life and some favorite hobbies and doubling duty to be honest with you to build those skills and relationships while still fulfilling obligations. My suggestion – for whatever it’s worth – is patience, knowing that even when you build it slowly, as long as you do it consistently, it WILL add up and having a plan with small promises and commitments that you hold yourself accountable to so that even within your limited time, it will help keep you motivated. I sincerely hope this helps a little? And I wish you the very, very best. Thank you for your comment.

  10. Great article Farnoosh!

    I too left a very responsible – and challenging in my case – career a few years ago advising senior politicians, leaders and international organisations so I can totally understand your journey.

    For me I think your question about dealing with the unknown really strikes home. I love that part. Sometimes frustrating yes but when I actually take that deep breath and go with the flow magic happens.

    Cathy

    • Farnoosh says:

      Hi dear Cathy,
      The political world sounds so stress-induced. I don’t know how you did it and I am truly grateful that there are people who do the tough jobs. I am sure you excelled at it when you were there and then it was time to take a different path.
      Deep breaths do help. Do you do any yoga? Our friend Jonathan here used to be a yoga teacher and I am crazy about yoga but even I still have to remind myself the simplest of all things: breathe, just breathe.
      Thank you *so much* for taking time to share your thoughts and so glad you enjoyed the article.

  11. Sue says:

    Hi Farnoosh,

    What a great set of questions. With respect to the first question, I think there are some situations where being miserable is and should be more than enough reason to make a move. If the situation has become intolerable and it’s negatively affecting your health, exit as soon as possible! No career is worth ruining your health and well-being.

    Having said that, one still needs to be organized and have a plan in place for how to cope with changes in income and a vision of one’s new “destination”.

    • Farnoosh says:

      Hi Sue,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write your thoughts.
      Oh gosh, you are right in that a move – or rather, a change of some sort – needs to happen long before our health is affected – NOTHING is worth that, I know that from making mistakes sacrificing my health. I think what I meant is that just being miserable is not enough to jump ship because the grass is not always greener …. right? It is enough to know that the current situation is not working – no question there – but it’s just good to think through all the options and leave the current job for the right reasons and those reasons vary greatly from one person to another. In other words, I think we agree strongly :)! Thanks for clarifying my point though.

  12. Great wisdom – “I came to believe that when your mind is preoccupied with stress-induced responsibilities and work that you neither like nor find satisfying, you simply cannot give your all and your very best shot to anything else in life.”

    It’s amazing what can happen once we give our all. It can be scary and their can be some real complications – but it is possible to find ones own way.

    🙂

    • Farnoosh says:

      Hi Aileen, it took me such a long time to believe it because it meant making the tough decision but it’s so true. I think you have enough experience in your career to know that it rings true on so many levels. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your lovely thoughts.

  13. Erin says:

    “I wanted to own all my minutes…” — fabulous takeaway.

  14. Evelyn Lim says:

    Congratulations, Farnoosh, for taking the bold step! Our journeys have been similar. I put in my resignation letter 10 years ago, despite having a cushy job and amazing perks. I have not felt more motivated ever since starting my blog.

    I like that you have laid out 8 questions to consider for anyone who’s sitting on the fence. It’s not an easy decision to make. Very likely, there’ll be risks, challenges and uncertainties that one should be prepared to take.

    • Farnoosh says:

      Hi Evelyn, we have talked about this before, I know, and I am still very proud of you for making that huge jump. It is a different world on the outside and it’s such a scary transition. A lot of my colleagues in my old job are thinking about the option because they are not happy but it takes a lot to break that bond, as you well know. Glad that you think these 8 questions may just help people think through the decision. Thank you so much for stopping here. It’s lovely to see you.

  15. Munazza says:

    Hi Farnoosh,

    Congrats brave woman! You really did the right thing :). And how wonderfully it turned out was the best part.

    Unlike all the other people here who have either already took the path they meant to seek or are in process, I am still suffering the ordeals of my current career. Its heavy on my head, bad for my health ( 🙂 too much work) and something is not working either.

    I was a poet, wrote my first piece when i was 10 …. wrote tons after that but now … life, business, kids … I am out of it and I hate it. I have loads of books waiting to be opened …. I buy them and stack them in my study. All my school life, i won awards for best writing … and i can’t write now. Thanks to my business and life … yeah its my own but it doesn’t let me do what i love to do. You can’t imagine how unhappy I am for this. It wouldn’t bring me the bucks I know! So I can’t quit my business ….
    WHAT TO DO!

    Just the other day, i thought to atleast read something online, while I am on my seat, saw Jonathan’s blog and its so nice. Thanks Jonathan and thanks Fartroos for putting together the best of best words.

    Luv

    • Munazza says:

      Wrote your name wrong in a hurry Farnoosh … deep apology … has to run to attend some calls – LOL

      • Farnoosh says:

        Dear Munazza,
        Don’t worry at all – it happens (regarding misspelling).
        Gosh, believe me it took some serious guts. It really did. I was married to my income like no other ever has been. And funny how life really turns out, because I do not miss it one bit even though my hubby now has me on a budget ;)!
        You know, I know the cycle you talk about and things just keep piling on top of one another in life and before we know it, we are so far off the path we wanted to take or the one that is calling our name that it is just an enormous effort to even CONSIDER the possibility that we could change. I think today’s society puts so much pressure on us in every aspect and it’s for stuff that is so appealing and attractive and darn nice that it’s hard to reject them so we kill ourselves in something that we don’t love in order to have the things that we probably don’t need and end up with a life that may probably not be the best for us. I *know* the cycle but the good – or the awesome – news is that we can look at all of it as an experience, a great experience, AND change. If you are unhappy, the first step is to just agree with yourself about the facts, acknowledge them, be aware of it instead of denying it or hiding it. Then take tiny baby steps in the direction that will give you some fulfillment. You can start with reading one book before the end of June. I can’t tell you how empowering a small step like that can be. Then you read another book. Then maybe by August, you write your next poem. Start to do something that you love to do everyday. It doesn’t have to immediately support your lifestyle and your family but it can bring some happiness to your soul. Then you just don’t know where it may take you. Hope this helps, Munazza! 🙂

  16. Brava, Farnoosh. I know this was a decision long in the making, but thankfully short in the doing. It really is such a relief when we make the decision and go with it. I am convinced that much of the agony is the decision making “process” we put ourselves through when deep down, we already know the answer.

    I LOVED your 8 questions. Beautifully done. I may have to borrow those from you. 🙂

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dearest Jen, you have known my story for a while and I think you knew when I made my decision even before execution. Yes, yes, we already know the answer and yet the doing just takes so much courage.
      You can borrow, steal and take those 8 questions and do with them as you please. As long as they bring you or someone else some good, I am smiling.
      Thanks for saying hi and giving me even more encouragement here. So lovely of you as always!

  17. So true – Being true to self is the most important of all – for that is when we will find the sweetness of life!

    In gratitude,
    Nancy

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dear Nancy, “the sweetness of life” – I love those words and they matter more and more – AND MORE – every day that we grow older and hopefully wiser 😉
      Thank you so much for your thoughts.

  18. Dearest Farnoosh,
    Thank you so much for this story and your insight. I admire your strength and courage in making such bold choices. Your questions so beautifully touch on the things that are important to think about as we make this type of change.
    I too am in the process of walking away from a very successful career and 6-figure income to focus on my passions. It’s frightening, but like you, I want to own all of my minutes and make the choice of what I do with every single one of them!
    Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dear Peggy, oh I am so excited for you but I know – I *know* – how terrifying it feels. I think for the weeks building up to the resignation, I was a total mess – emotional, upset, happy, excited, scared, nervous – oh you name it BUT deep down, despite all the emotions and all the influences and opinions I sought, I can tell you one thing was a strong driving force: I KNEW it was the RIGHT thing to do and it was TIME. If you feel those strongly, I am thrilled for you and you will never ever look back. Best of luck and I am delighted to have inspired you. Good luck and here’s to your real passions, Peggy.

  19. […] more on making big changes, read this piece over on Jonathan Fields’ blog. Image by: DrChumley1978 If you liked what you just read, get […]

  20. Mart says:

    Peggy, this post has been a true inspiration to me. I stumbled upon it at such a difficult time in my life…

    I am 17 years old and I just finished high school. There is constant pressure from my family on my shoulders to “pick a university degree” and it seems the clock is ticking faster and louder each day. It’s confusing, upsetting, depressing, and all these thoughts and calculations are overclouding my mind – not letting me find something I -truly- want to do.

    I know I am still young, but frankly I need to learn how to act my age again and to realize that there is so much I can do now and should! Why am I worrying endlessly about an uncertain future.

    I wrote down my answers to all your questions and came to conclusion that the truth is I want to do something that I love with all my heart, I wish to make a difference for the better and to be acknowledged. I do need to feel secure doing it, even financially, though I only ask for “enough”. Now finding -that- something is really the hardest part for me.

    My change is being forced upon me, I know, but I also reckon I need it from within though for different reasons. It’s time to stop following the herd without even looking out to know where I am going. It’s time to step up for myself and row my own boat.

    What you did… Was amazing. You are a true example for me and should be for everyone! I truly hope you are happy now.

    Thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring my day, I am now a step closer to finding out the path I want to walk.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Mart says:

      Haha I just now realized I wrote Peggy instead of Farnoosh! I was reading the comments and when I started writing mine, it slipped 🙂 Sorry!

    • Farnoosh says:

      Dear Mart, hi! Oh so young, so young, how wonderful! And to be able to read blogs and have the power of technology that is here today here at your age. I think the world is at your finger tips. Honestly, I’d not recommend college for everyone and certainly not for someone who feels compelled to do something they want to do because once you settle on it, you will go out there and learn it and with the internet and the resources out there, if you are really serious and really disciplined, you can teach yourself anything. I don’t regret my education per se but I’d not do it again. So don’t freak out about not knowing what exactly – that is the beautiful part – you are figuring it out and hopefully figuring it out without letting the pressure of your parents get to you. They just want the best for you. Mine are still begging for grandchildren. They just love you and want you to know the kind of happiness they know or they have an ideal life for you in mind that will lead to that happiness. As you go through your decision making process, engage them, especially if you have a good relationship with them. Try not to shun them because once you get them on your “side”, you are golden and you will figure it all out. Just keep researching and exploring and know that you can be successful even if you don’t go to college but if there is a trait that you want to learn, there may be other institutions or organizations that would benefit you. So excited for you, dear Mart. Lovely to read your comment today and yes, I am so happy I have to pinch myself.

      • Mart says:

        Dear Farnoosh,

        Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! I understand perfectly what you are saying and I am so thankful and happy that you took time to read my comment… it’s been very very hard lately, hard enough to give me trouble sleeping and it’s little things like stumbling across this post and your kind reply that make a big difference to me and help my spirits back up.
        This weekend I am with my father (they are divorced) and since he saw me after a while of being apart, he could tell right away that I wasn’t okay (I can’t even hide it anymore…shame!). So I told him my concerns regarding this subject and he showed up to be very attentive and supporting. We will be listing and studying all the possibilities for the weekend, and who knows I might find a couple more things I may be interested in.

        I also need to remind myself that I can always turn back and start again if I chose the wrong path. I may not be certain of anything right now… But I will eventually get there.

        Again, thank you so much, Farnoosh. You are truly inspiring.

        • Farnoosh says:

          Mart, I am so happy this helped and happier still that your dad is being supportive. You have a lot of time to figure everything out and a misstep here and there will not be the end of the world – or the end of your world. Trust me. Try new things and enjoy the life you have awaiting you with so many possibilities!

  21. Syndee says:

    Farnoosh, I couldn’t help but cheer you on as I read this. Integrity. Yup. I get that integrity is your compass. It’s awesome meeting other women and men who have decided to take the risk to live a life that feels like life, instead of just getting by. I’m a new blogger + you have successfully inspired me. Thanks!

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