Two owls fly off south. One flies off north and finds her favourite tree looking over the prairie. “Wait, where are the others? I was facing south too.”
Oh, dear. Such a common scenario. There you are, part of the group, all lined up with the team. The problem is, your mind says “I’m with you, guys.” Your feet say “no way am I going with them.” You want to take the road less travelled.
A friend of mine did all the right things. His eye was always on the prize, and he ended up with a perfect upper middle-class life. One morning he woke up and just sat on the edge of his bed, staring into space. His life was so perfect why did it feel dry and dull?
He called a counsellor and fearfully, dragged himself to the appointment. After a few preliminaries the counsellor leaned in and asked: “What brings you joy?”
I’m a successful lawyer. I have a loving family, great friends, membership in a golf club. My life is perfect.”
There was a long silence. Tears welled up in his eyes. “What does joy have to do with anything?” he murmured.
This man was facing the same way as all of the other “owls” of his acquaintance. Problem was, his feet were pointing another way. It was time for him to follow his feet in the direction they led – maybe he would stumble on joy.
And he did. He left his firm, went off on his own and found a career that focused his professional skills in an area that excited him. His family did not suffer. He had more time to do what he loved. What’s more, he experienced moments of joy that renewed him.
Change careers if your current one doesn’t excite you anymore. Leave the party when you feel it is time to leave. Stay on shore when the boat sails away. Go to the movie you want to see even when your significant other assures you it is boring. Maybe even move with your family to a new country.
If Joseph Campbell is to be believed it will turn out just fine because: “If you do what you love, the money will follow.” I would say:
Throw yourself passionately into what you love and joy will follow.