Bungee jumping out of my comfort zone

Basejumping

Me trying to escape the corporate world a few years ago… ;)

I remember why I did my first bungee jump; it was to overcome my fear of heights, but that’s a story for another day.  This blog has nothing to do with thrills, but about comfort zones at work and how I escaped the rat race.

  1. Walk to the edge

It is so difficult to say exactly when I decided (or when the seed was planted) I need to get out of my comfort zone.  But,  the other night I watched the making of the movie “Into the wild” (2007), directed by Sean Penn and based on the travels of Christopher McCandless across North America and his life spent in the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s and I know that this was one of the contributing factors.  Even though, I already made the decision to move on, before I saw the movie, I believe it inspired me to go through with what I was in the process of doing.

The plot of the story is as follows: After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

I remember that I went to see this movie with a mate of mine and although we didn’t agree with some of the motives and things he might have done, it was still awe-inspiring.  Here was a guy that didn’t want to follow the normal route – what the world expected him to do.  For those who don’t know me, I’m your normal type of guy, which does (mostly) what is expected of him and tries and follows the rules as far as possible.  [There are of course others that will disagree with this statement! But I really think I’m the normal next door type of guy]  The only thing that I can say for sure is that I don’t like being put in a box.

What I do recall is that I was not happy with my life.  Where I was and where I was going.  Others might have assessed me as having the perfect life, but there’s no one out there that thinks like me, acts like me and look like me (hopefully! otherwise I feel for the dude…)  Unfortunately, we sometimes need a kick in the butt to realise we need to take action.  I remember I was not happy with corporate life and wanted to get out and although I started the process of getting out, I might have easily been convinced otherwise, if it was not for the untimely death of Una.  Here, was a girl who was always living life and enjoying it to the fullest and the next moment she was taken away.  It was shortly after her death that I had my first breakaway for my “kop skoonmaak” (clearing my head).

What I got to realise while being there (at St Lucia/Cape Vidal – read my previous blog!), was that life is not a given.  It can be taken away at any moment and we only have this one chance to make the best of it.  If you are not happy with something, your life, your relationship, whatever; nobody else is to blame.  You are the master of your own life and only you can take responsibility for the decisions and choices you make.

If you are not happy, take action.  So many times people will come to me and say “yeah, but I have responsibilities.  I have a wife, kids, bond etc, I can’t just resign and leave” and I agree as I didn’t have most of those issues, but yet you can start by making small changes.  It might not happen at once, but each little step is a small step in the right direction.  If you’re not happy at work, look for something else.  Stop trying to live up to the Jones’s.  Cut back.  You are unique.  Do what you love; and I believe things will start to fall in place.  The only factor that you will need to take into consideration before you make the move is to ensure that you have enough funds available to survive a few months.  And if it really doesn’t work out, you can always go back to the rat race and maybe try again at a later stage.  Stop worrying about what others think of you.

[Oi, before I continue, I would just like to say that this blog is in no way trying to get all of you to resign and do what I did.  Some of you, I know for a fact, are happy with where you are.  And as long as you don’t stagnate in your current position, the world can still be your oyster.  And hopefully you will find this “mastery piece of literature” an enjoyable read. ;) ]

Next week: The Dive

Comments

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Comments

  1. That’s really one thing that I admire about you. You bravely follow your dreams and live with a real sense of freedom as a result. It’s inspiring!

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