When We Reach Out, We Open Up Our World

Photo by Tomohiko Nogi

Photo by Tomohiko Nogi

It’s so inspiring to know there are people like you in this world.
 
Ever since Business Insider published my piece about how about why I took a sabbatical at age 34, dozens of people have contacted me to tell me how much my story resonated with them.
 
And not because they necessarily want to take a sabbatical too.

What we really have in common is our determination to push forward with the brave changes in our life that we feel called to make.

Stunning.
 
You’ve written and phoned from points all across the globe: in North America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
 
You’ve described your inspiring personal and professional work – in science and technology, business, the arts, community activism, and education, to name just a few.
 
You’ve shared how you’ve overcome – or are still facing – challenges with time, money, your environment, the expectations of others, and your own self-doubt, among many others.  
 
All the while, your courage, determination and work ethic have been in great evidence.
 
It has been such a rare privilege to find myself at the center of this convergence of like-minded people. From that vantage, I saw something wonderful I wanted to share with you:
 
There are so many of us. 
 
We are scattered across the globe, from so many cultures and backgrounds, and yet we are all working on the same great Project: 

  • To live life to the fullest
  • To be happy
  • To truly be ourselves (at our best)
  • To have meaningful work
  • To make a contribution

I wanted to let you know you are in good company, because I know this Project can sometimes feel lonely.
 
We go after a big vision, an idea, an ambition and then – for many reasons – we can end up feeling like we’ve worked ourselves into a corner. Trapped. Alone.
 
But we are not really.  

 
These last two weeks have been a powerful reminder of that. Our world is so big and full of possibility. Don’t ever lose sight of that.
 
We are many people working everyday to fill our world with a little more love, opportunity, beauty, and understanding.
 
What’s more, we are connected with each other more today than at any other point in history, thanks to technology. We can support and inspire each other over great distances. We can find one another and partner together in this work in unprecedented ways.
 
If you’ve felt stuck or isolated lately, I want to encourage you to reach out to others this week, whether they are near or far.

Here's just a few ideas to get you going:

  • Join and participate in an online group of like-minded people.
  • Find someone who could mentor or coach you in the area where you need help.
  • Write an email to someone you admire – anywhere in the world. 
  • Be an extraordinary listener.
  • Enlist a friend to be your accountability partner.
  • Directly ask someone for advice.
  • Show others curiosity and attentiveness in what they’re really thinking and feeling.
  • Let a friend know that you need help – and tell them exactly what you need.
  • Seek mutually-beneficial partnerships.
  • Be a little more vulnerable and open than usual in conversations, and see what happens.  

When we reach out to others, we open up our world.
 
There is so much possibility for us.
 
Thank you to the great many of you who reminded me of this so recently. You inspire me!