“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do!" ~ Steve Jobs. Though he was referring to products and companies I think it als applies to people. By now we’ve learned that multitasking only diminishes productivity and that it is better to limit distractions. Last week I experienced the power of shifting focus first hand. It almost had me believing in the the Law of Attraction… Almost…
A few weeks ago I saw a fetching vacancy from travel agency looking for a brand ambassador and video producer to send on a 6-month exploration trip to experience their services firsthand whilst sharing on social media with photos and videos. I was tempted and daydreamed shortly of possible activities on the road, in the club, musea, and the beach; before I caught myself. Tempting as it is, I am more of a corporate girl myself. So I did the responsible thing, and closed the screen. But not before I shared it with a friend who is a marketing and communications expert that enjoys blogging and vlogging het (travel) adventures and other subjects she is passionate about.
As expected she is very enthusiastic and starts working on her application. And then she has a genius thought, ‘why not apply as a team’? Last summer we did a fun project together vlogging for local television, where we explored the Amsterdam festivals for local television. Her enthusiasm was captivating and I conceded. How could I not? If it was tempting to explore Europe on my own, imagine doing it with a friend. So we plan a few filming sessions. Our first session is at De Hallen in Amsterdam. De Hallen is a centre for media, culture, fashion, food and crafts that instantly became an Amsterdam hotspot at its opening, attracting both locals and tourists since. We thought it to be a great location to film our introduction. We sit down to go through the application requirements. The travel agency choose a social application procedure, where applicants had to create a youtube video and a Instagram post with tags and hashtags as part of their application. A smart move that will already generate extra exposure for the company in preparation of the new travelling duo. This way they can also test the applicants’ social talent and reach as well as their production and storytelling. We create a script and start filming. We are not as lucky with the weather as we hoped. Though it started out as a spring-day, the weather turned to a typical Dutch grey outlook. We do a nice time-lapse video of the of the Hallen and find a nice spot to record our introductions. As there is not enough time and we want to ad some extra locations, we decide to finish it the next Wednesday.
On Wednesday I arrive at the location and text my friend to see if she’s near. She is not. Apparently the appointment slipped her mind. She is busy working on her individual application. After a short consideration she says that she can join me in an hour to film, but that she has no time to help me finish editing. Which is ok, as I enjoy the storytelling that comes with it. But, whilst walking in the rain, considering the situation and my day planning, a different thought entered my mind: “Is this really what I want?” My day was packed as it was. And though I could fit it in, and adjust my schedule for the day, I had to be sure that of my incentive. Even though the chance of getting it was relatively small, I have to be prepared to go for it 100%. Not just in making the video, but (especially) in the actual travelling, for 6 whole months.
I remembered my initial reaction. And how quick I had been to put it aside before my friend asked me to do it jointly. And how I had thought that I’d rather go corporate than travel for such a long time. Though I have been busy with multiple fun projects, lately I noticed I missed the corporate world, the suits, the etiquette and the teamwork. I miss having to adjust to a dresscode, I am sure to hate soon again. November and December, when thinking about my plans for this year, I decided to refocus on working in research, and event thought of shifting to data science. I have been looking at opportunities and even started applying selectively (2 or 3 letter until this date). So to be true to myself, I have to really listen, recognise what I really want and choose wisely where to aim my focus. I do not mind to work hard to reach my goals. As long as they truly are my goals, or part of the bigger picture to reach my goals. And I realise that this does not fit my current plans and would only derail me. Though it helps knowing that my decision will not effect my friends plans as she also does an individual application, it did not influence my choice. I call my friend and tell her that she does not have to come and should focus on her individual application. Because even though I would have enjoyed travelling together, this is not for me. Luckily she understands. We talk a bit more before I leave her to it. I hang up feeling good. And tough it’s still pouring heavily, it feels as if the sun breaks through and shines upon me.
Uplifted I continue my day, which goes on rather uneventful. Until early in the evening my phone rings. It is an invitation to visit a company I admire. And I cannot stop smiling. Though totally unrelated, it seems a funny coincidence that this call came on the exact same day I choose to focus. A new thought occurred in my head: “choosing what not to do, apparently is just as important as choosing what to do”. I wonder if choosing did something more than just clearing up my head. Could it have guided the universe into fulfilling my wishes? And I think of the quote I came across when starting this blog:
"If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time."
And I almost, just barely, start believing in the law of attraction…