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Hamdi Ulukaya, the billionaire founder of Chobani Yogurt , speaks passionately about the value of stock. In a world where planning and strategy are promoted as superior values, simple movement, at the hand of anyone, offers unlimited, almost magical power to create things where there are none. He himself quotes the poet Rumi: ” As you start to walk along the path, the path appears.”
Then he continues: “When I started Chobani, I had never run a business before and didn’t have a plan, but one thing I saw that could be easily fixed was the old factory walls: they needed new paint. So I bought paint, and our first five employees and I got to work . It was the first and best decision I made. There is something magical in movement, in action, something that allows you to think, discover new ideas and feel that you are progressing. So don’t sit around and wait, act ” .
He who waits, despairs
I recently chatted with the nephew of a good friend of mine, who was looking for advice: a smart, prepared and driven young man who had somehow been stuck for a few months. “I’ve sent dozens of resumes and gone to five or six interviews … but I can’t find a job!”
I myself have been there, in that kind of terrible limbo where we discover that the world does not have prepared for us the work shelter that they promised us when we studied at this or that university. There are many reasons why we cannot find work. Sometimes it’s our fault and sometimes it’s not . It is worth looking for work, of course, but … and in the meantime?
- And what are you doing right now? asked-.
- Well … I’m looking for a job. answered me-.
- Are you looking for work 12 hours a day?
- Well, no.
- And then?
“Cows don’t give milk,” I once heard in a talk at my university. “Cows have milk, but they do n’t give milk. You have to go and milk them ”. This idea has been spinning around my ear for many years and I feel like it comes back to my lips every time I sit down and wait for things to happen.
Indeed, life is full of opportunities, business and wealth. But the opportunities don’t come by magic. Sometimes they come if we look for them or if we ask for them… but most of the time they reveal themselves to us when we walk , when we move. Sitting around waiting… is simply not an option.
Move, okay, but … where to?
Each person is in a particular and unique situation. It is difficult to establish a universal rule. Some can wait a little longer (because they live with their parents, for example) and others cannot wait two days (because perhaps they have a family to support). Each person has a unique path, which cannot and should not be judged.
However, it is also true that, just as there are, on the one hand, millions of unemployed people … there are as many millions who do have a job … who hate, and whose professional future is a gray wall in a dead end. I do not wish you either of the two things.
I believe in the value of talent, passion and movement . If you are waiting for a better opportunity or are stuck in a job you don’t love, then it’s time to set your course and start moving to where you want to be. Not in a week, but in twenty or thirty years. Not the job that this fortnight will get you out of, but the space where you, personally, believe your success is to be found. That place is unique for each person.
Let’s say, for example, that your dream is to work on television. While you are waiting to be hired, don’t you think it would be useful to set up your own YouTube channel at home, at night or on weekends? Start writing, editing and publishing your videos, no matter how homemade. See where that path takes you, regardless of whether you are hired or not. That is: do what you want to do and know what you want to be, even if you don’t get paid for it. I don’t mean just that you have a hobby, but that you defend in your soul the illusion that you can be immensely happy and successful. It doesn’t matter if you’re broke today or if you have to get a job delivering pizza: that doesn’t mean you give up who you are.
That terrible word: freedom
There are no downtimes in your life: every minute is a gift that you must use with a purpose. It is worth working and it is worth resting. What is not worth is wasting time.
One of the best kept secrets in this life is this. You can do whatever you want. It is the secret of human freedom. It is also a terrifying invitation for most people.
“What can I do?”, They ask me, and I tell them: “do what you want”.
Most don’t like my answer. Most expect me to tell them: “do this or that, go to this person, send your resume here and your problems will disappear.” They don’t want freedom: they want someone to tell them what to do… and do it. But that is a trap. Instead, I tell them “do what you want.” And then, I finish. “So tell me … what do you want?” It is not a simple question at all. “Money, success, fame, happiness” are vague and imprecise answers. They are responses from a five-year-old boy. I want you to search your soul and tell me: I want to travel, I want to dance, I want to paint, I want to help others, I want my life to have a purpose. I want you to find the place where your talents and passions intersect and decide in that momentous moment what you want to be and do.
I insist, it is not an easy question. If you do not know what you want yourself, there is no power or human advice to get you out of your misery. You will walk around the world as a traveler without a map, without a car, without gasoline. On the other hand, if you know where you want to go, no matter how slow you go: it is better than not going anywhere.
In the end my advice has these three steps.
- Do what you want!
- But think seriously … what do you want?
- Now move!
Do what you want, be what you want
In the biblical parable of the talents, the owner of the farm gives different talents to different people. In the end, the only question he asks them is “what did you do with the talents I gave you?” Your talents are unique, and I guarantee that there is business in all of them . There are rich and famous poets and philosophers just as there are bankers or businessmen.
When you move, don’t move looking for money. I know it sounds like romantic, absurd, and impractical advice, but it’s the opposite. Move looking to get closer to the place you want to go, putting your talents at stake to generate value. Once you find value in your talents and learn to develop it with vision and strategy, there will be a market willing to pay for them.
And then wealth and success will come, but on your own terms. I promise you, it’s the best possible deal for you.
So it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a job, stuck in it, or just craving more out of life. The only possible answer is this: do what you want, move, grow and keep walking