Stop Digging for Toys
Have you ever watched a toddler search through their toy basket? They know each stuffed animal and doll like the back of their hand, yet they take the time to tell you about every single last one. They've considered all of the toys hundreds of times, each one full of memories and adventures, yet they continue to dig. Carefully, they pick one up, analyze it, and set it back in place. For toddlers, weighing the attractiveness of each toy can take hours, even if there is no consequence for which one they choose. They continue to dig and change their mind, sure that they haven't found the best thing that's waiting for them. I'm starting to think that searching for opportunities is like a toddler digging for toys. We each have our own basket, our own circle of influence. We make connections and foster relationships, and we go back time and time again to ideas that seem like they might be worth playing with. It can become endless: searching for the "best" opportunity out there, and always switching gears before we make any kind of permanent commitment.
Some would say that we constantly weigh opportunities because we are scared of commitment - life feels safer in the stage of choosing, rather than choice. However, I think that I personally continue to dig for opportunities when nothing feels right. It's not a very rational answer; I know that life isn't always about comfort, but I can't help but think that sometimes, the right toy isn't in the basket. Sometimes, when what you've got in front of you doesn't seem to match where you're going, all you can do is hold out your arms and hope the solution is somewhere else to be found.
I don't believe in being passive - constantly waiting on someone or something else to give you a hand out. But, I do believe that there are times when we aren't staring at the right answer. We don't know what lies ahead, and we need other people to fill in the gaps. If you've been running full speed ahead and keep hitting walls, it might be time to slow down and wait for a new path to be illuminated.
I believe in being a self-starter, but I also know that there is a time to stop.
If you've been digging for the right opportunity for a long time, the truth might be that you don't have the resources to complete the task in your own basket. Whether we want to believe it or not, we sometimes need other people, other baskets, and a little luck to find the right opportunity, path, or person.
If you've exhausted your search, be patient, hold out your arms, and ask for help. Life is better shared together.