One of my friends works at a company going through major layoffs.
They're offering voluntary redundancies to almost half their workforce.
It’s a pretty big deal; there’s a big payout for people who are eligible and want to leave.
And it got me thinking about the past, as I knew a girl who went through something similar.
I had a friend a while back - let’s call her Jess - who worked for a financial company and earned a pretty good salary.
One day she got let go from the company, but they offered her a generous severance package.
Very generous, in fact – it worked out to be about a year’s salary.
Not bad, hey!
Of course, Jess was excited about this.
We talked about what she would do with the money.
At the time, we were in our late twenties and had no ties.
Her dream (like many people) was to travel round the world.
So she was very tempted to use the money to have a wonderful trip around the world.
She thought she could go for at least 9 or 10 months before she’d have to come back and start looking for a job.
I was super excited for her.
What an opportunity!
Her dream, almost handed to her on a plate!
What happened next…
I met up with Jess a month or so after she heard the news.
I couldn’t wait to hear her travel plans… where would she go first?!
“Ah no,” she said.
“I’ve decided not to go travelling. I’ve decided to save the money to buy a house. I start a new job at a finance company next week. I’ll go travelling in the future, when the timing is better.”
I have to admit that - although it was her decision - something in me died a little bit hearing her say this.
Now I know it was her decision… but it still made me feel sad.
And it reminded me that the “perfect” opportunity will never present itself.
So hear me on this…
You’ll never be perfectly ready.
There will never be a moment when you say, “This is it! Everything has worked out, and now I’m ready to go off and pursue my dream!”
It doesn’t work like that.
We actually have to pursue our dreams before we are ready.
For anyone wanting to travel, being given a year’s salary with no strings attached might seem like a perfect opportunity to book a one-way flight without a glance backwards.
But, as my friend showed, that’s not always the case.
We don’t always act like we think we will.
We think: “When the opportunity arises, I’ll take it!
I’ll just wait for that moment!”
But here’s what I’ve learned:
That golden opportunity might never come up.
You’ll never have all your ducks lined up in a row.
You have to go for it anyway.
When the conditions aren’t 100% right.
When you’re not totally ready.
If your dream is important to you, go after it now.
For sure, start slow if you want… but START.
Put your money where your mouth is ;)
What do I mean?
If you’ve always wanted to write a book… get to work on those first few pages.
If you’ve always wanted to travel the world… plan a small trip.
If you’ve always wanted to quit your job and go freelance… get going on that side-hustle.
If you’ve always wanted to speak a foreign language… take the plunge and sign yourself up for a class.
If you’ve always wanted to be a rock star (hey – who’s judging?!)… plan your first concert.
Even if your first performance is to your mom and her two cats (one of whom leaves the room half way through...)
Write your first song or melody.
Because the opportunity won’t always fall in your lap.
And even if it does, you might not take it.
So go out and create it for yourself.
You don’t have to go hell-for-leather and drop everything.
Just introduce your dream into your life.
So what should you do?
Make your dream one of your biggest priorities.
Of course, you may have to give up other (less important) things.
But I bet it’s worth it.
Don’t be like my friend Jess, always waiting for a “better” opportunity.
Decide that today is your opportunity.
You don’t have to move mountains.
Just take the decision – today – to move a little bit closer to your dream.
To take that step towards the things you’ve always wanted to do.
(And if you’re going travelling, send me a postcard, eh?!)
What is YOUR dream - and how will you add it into your life? I'd love to know in the comments!