Jim Carrey: comedy genius, star of multi-million dollar blockbuster movies, Golden Globe winner. But did you check out the graduation speech he gave at the Maharishi University of Management?!
He talked about his father, who desperately wanted to work in comedy, but took the safe route and became an accountant instead…only to fail at that anyway. He told the young souls on the doorstep of their careers to choose love over fear because, sadly, “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality”.
Fear disguised as practicality. BOOM. That…from the lips of the guy who played Ace Ventura.
The dude is wise.
Do you use scare tactics on yourself to force yourself down a path you don’t really want to be on? Maybe you work hard to convince yourself that it’s really the only choice. It may not be what you want, but it’s the safe and practical thing to do. That’s exactly what Jim Carrey was talking about – fear disguised as practicality.
I call this fear-based motivation the Chicken Little approach to career building – working yourself into a fearful frenzy, convinced that the sky is falling. Or it will fall if you don’t suck it up and make the safe and practical choice.
The Chicken Little approach to career building is the most surefire way to guarantee that you have a career identity crisis later in life, when you feel searing regret for not going after what you wanted in the first place. And you don’t want to be that guy (or gal).
Assuming you don’t want to live a life filled with regret, your only option is to be honest with yourself, as frightening as that might seem. Keep it real. Are you rationalizing about what you think you should be doing just because you’re afraid of what you actually want? You wouldn’t be the first. But stop it.
Enough with the sad rationalizations. Admit what you want. Then work up the guts to go after it.
Published at Entrepreneur.