June 24, 2019

Where Change Begins: Impossible Mission, Unlikely Hero (Part 3)

Editor’s Note: This is the final article in a three-part series of job search and career transition articles. Part one and part two are also online.

Why does its seem like our grandest visions bother to come to us when they could’ve found someone a whole lot better qualified?

Inspiration does that to you. It surprises you, lays the whole glorious vision out there in high def, then drops the impossible mission on you, knowing full well there’s no possible way you could ever do it. And then it asks whether you’ll accept your mission anyway.

A few years back, I launched out to pursue a big dream of producing a stage spectacle. People were encouraging – they told me it wasn’t completely outlandish to think I could do it. I was a lawyer with a creative streak. So what? There are lots of those around. Surely the combination of right-brained aptitude and left-brained education and experience would help me out. Right?

I appreciated their support, but knew better. A career of advising small business owners wasn’t going to help with a multi-million dollar business plan or its capital requirements. Running a law firm of five lawyers and support staff hadn’t done anything to prepare me for managing a cast and crew and other independent service providers and product vendors totaling over 70. Diddling around in theater hadn’t taught me the artistic and technical intricacies of putting on a multimedia stage spectacle. And on it went. There was no way I could justify to myself that I was the man for the job.

How did I deal with my lack of qualification? In the end, I didn’t. I didn’t pursue my Big Idea because I could, I did it because I was called – because when no one else wanted the job, it was up to me or I was going to have to let the whole crazy idea go. And I couldn’t, I just couldn’t. It had its hooks in me too deeply. So I accepted the impossible mission.

That’s what we do when inspiration gets its hooks in us. There will be all sorts of sound and well-educated reasons for doing the thing we feel inspired to do – or not – but in the end none of them can explain that initial moment of inspiration when we see and hear and feel that thing that moves our hearts so much we just have to give it a try.

If that’s not a calling, it’ll do until the real thing comes along.

Kevin Rhodes left a successful 20+ years career in private practice to pursue a creative dream. He has led two workshops for the CBA’s Job Search and Career Transitions Support Group. His next one, scheduled for January 10, 2012, is called Work With Passion: Find Your Fire and Fuel It! Click here for registration information.
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