I love documentaries! I would be content to watch a program or read a book on nothing but real stories of reaching impossible goals, discovering new forms of life, both past and present, or learn of the struggles and triumphs of extraordinary people that have achieved amazing feats of engineering, academia or science.
Unfortunately, my wife does not share in my enthusiasm for space exploration, or the discovery of a 65 million year old dinosaur bone never unearthed before, so I usually end up watching these programs later at night after taking in an episode of the Bachelor, or Hawaii Five O!
Where does your inspiration come from…
The problem with this is that I tend to get inspired after watching one of these amazing stories – the documentaries I mean…not The Bachelor – and I find myself, as I am right now, 11:30 at night writing a blog post on James Cameron’s submarine and how it relates back to our own career goals and the lengths we’ll go to achieve them.
The documentary I am referring too, and I highly recommend you check it out, is Voyage to the Bottom of the Earth, which chronicles Cameron’s historic one-man dive in March of 2012 to the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, the deepest point in the earth’s oceans.
The documentary follows the expedition from conception of the idea, highlighting Cameron as a child dreaming of such adventures, to the final triumphant realization of his goal of reaching the most isolated place on the planet.
How do we learn from the success of others…
So what exactly does this have to do with advancing your career? In one word…Everything!
The most interesting aspect of this documentary, in my opinion, was in chronicling the trials and roadblocks faced by Cameron and the project team during the construction and testing of the customized, one-of-a-kind submersible designed to withstand 16,000 pounds per square inch of pressure (the equivalent of putting the weight of three SUV’s on top of a human toe), within an almost impossible time frame.
Cameron and his team pushed themselves to the limits in order to overcome some major adversity that would likely put an end to most projects. Even moving forwards after the sudden and tragic deaths of two key members of the team.
Why having goals are not enough…
Having a goal is great, whether it be in the form of a project, career or personal nature, but having the drive and determination to push through with the individual steps required to reach that final goal regardless of the adversity you face and overcoming issues that at the time appear to be insurmountable is a trait that not all people possess.
But this is exactly what you must strive for when planning and executing your career aspirations. This is what will set you apart from the rest of the 9 to 5’rs that toil away at a job they hate, have no clear game plan to make things better, or just never seem to follow through with those lunchroom career plans.
It is easy to say I do not have time to take that online course, or attend an evening class at the local college, which will help you increase your knowledge and diversify your skills, or it’s just too much work or too risky to try something new at this point in your life and move out of your professional comfort zone.
Believe me, I know that feeling, I still fight with many of those invisible scripts that can be completely debilitating if you let them take over. If I didn’t push myself, I would never write these articles in the first place for fear of criticism, or I am too tired at the end of the day to organize my thoughts, type out 700 plus words, and then try to get someone to read them. Why bother when I could be watching Netflix!
If we want to achieve something and evolve our careers in order to improve our overall standard of living, which I think it is safe to assume is everyone’s ultimate goal, we have to make change and take risk. We have to improve our skill set and do things that are difficult or inconvenient at the time.
We are not all building yellow submarines like James Cameron, that can take us to the bottom of the ocean, but we do have to construct our own vehicles that will help us realize our visions of where we see ourselves in the near future when it comes to career success. We all have challenges and internal struggles to overcome to make those visions a reality.
So what are your career goals and what obstacles have you overcome to get you closer to achieving them?
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