I was working in journalism for three or four years, that’s probably the longest I’ve ever tried at one particular job. And I just didn’t feel right. I felt like I was writing articles and I liked writing but people would read it for a week and then it disappeared. And the impermanence of it bugged me. I wanted to write something that people would read for weeks or months or years. And that feeling meant I had to look to the future and say can I do this for the next five or ten years? That’s the kind of process we have to go through. Can you imagine yourself working at this very narrow position all the way up till the future? You want to have possibilities. Possibilities are the greatest thing in life.
So by the time a man – I met a man who offered me the idea of the possibility of writing a book – I now had all of this experience that I could create something interesting. You want to have that possibility if an opportunity comes to you in this direction over here that you can take it and you have skills to exploit it. If you stay at that one little funnel job for three, four, five, six years you’re not going to have that richness of possibilities as you get older. You’re not going to be 25 or 26 your whole life so you’re going to be 40 at some point.
There are people out there who are just restless and nothing satisfies them. So every six months they feel compelled to try something new. That’s a problem, that’s a psychological problem. I’m not talking about changing jobs just for the sake of it. It has to come from somewhere deep where you know that you’re meant to do something interesting and this isn’t it. As opposed to I’m bored; let’s try something new. So there’s a difference there.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.
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