Credit: catcubed
Reflection, Social Change

What’s Stopping You?

This post is inspired by Jenny’s recent post on being awesome in life. It’s funny that I can laugh at this now but if you have shown this to me last year, I would have given you a smirk, agreed with what you said and thought in my head, “easier said than done, amigo”.

I seem to be able to tell people you don’t need to wait for permission to be awesome, or to do the things that you want to do, but when it comes to it, I am constantly afraid of how people will judge me and if I will offend or make someone feel threatened. The latter is a definitely the primary reason stopping me from doing some of the things I really want to do. It took a lot of talking to myself, curating my social circle and reflections to be comfortable with taking calculated risks. Afterall, what is the worst case scenario?

“No one wants to die, even people who want to go to Heaven don’t want to die to get there.

And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.

And that is as it should be. Because death is very likely the single best invention of life.

It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

So, what’s stopping us from making that jump? What’s stopping us from being the best that we can be and do what we love doing? After Ryan’s death, I told myself that I won’t let anyone or anything stop me from being the best that I can be, but somehow, I might have lose a little bit of that courage – maybe its aging! But over the past month, it has been incredibly inspiring to be able to reflect on what is important to me and what isn’t – and what path I want to choose for myself so that I know I can have make a positive impact on the lives of the people around me. I’ve moved 4 different cities and 2 different countries all by myself within the last 10 years, and have done relatively well. In fact, I have exceeded my expectation of myself in every place that I have moved to.

My amazing mentor, Kerry Graham, once told me, if I ever not do anything awesome, I’m being selfish – because I have the capacity, connections and courage to. I tucked that advice at the back of my mind for almost 3 months, but she’s right. And John Wood gave me two great advice:
1. Don’t ask permission, apologise later.
2. Get Shit Done (GSD).

So, what have I learned these past few months?

1. Start small, let it evolve.
You might think you’re not the ideas person, but sometime just one simple statement and the willingness to listen can transform it into an idea that could change the world. Let it evolve. Keep your head firmly on your shoulder, heart warm and ears open.

2. Stop waiting for the permission
You have every reason and every capacity to take that leap, the more you wait, the more its not going to happen, and the more time you’ve wasted.

If there’s one thing I’ll ever regret, it’s to die tomorrow and didn’t at least do what I wanted to do.

3. Have a mentor
or a few mentors. These are people who are able to give you valuable advice both personally and professionally. Kerry and Aleem are two mentors I am forever honoured to have. There are also lots of mentors that have had a profound impact on my life, personally and professionally, whom I will never be able to thank enough like @StaceyMonk, @JackHeath, Mark Creyton, Adam Smith, amongst many, many others who I have had the pleasure to work with.

4. Find inspirations
Sometimes, people share with you some very personal stories – stories that they would have never told anyone before, or stories that only a few people get the honour of hearing. Don’t waste them, use this inspiration to guide you to use all that you have to affect someone else’s life for the better.

A wise man once said: It’s not everyday you get to save a life, but everyday is an opportunity to affect one.

5. Do epic shit. And get shit done.

What’s stopping you?

  • Stacey Monk

    i just love you. and i’m honored you count me among your mentors. oh, and i love this post too. how could i not? it ends with “do epic shit”. AMEN.

  • Alicia

    Loved Jenny’s post and love this one too. Great work Ehon – are you going to post this on Emergen?