The opportunities you turn down are just as important as the ones you seize

‘The opportunities you turn down are just as important as the ones you seize’ – President Bill Clinton

I spend a lot of time contemplating how making different decisions at cross roads in my life could have taken me down a dramatically different path. There are decisions that I have made that I have come to regret but it would be impossible to say that things would have turned out for the better.

Jim Carrey starred in a movie called the ‘Yes Man’ which was about a man who is unable to say no to anything that is asked of him. He ends up having to yes to things like giving people money and working the weekend at work, which in turn leads to a promotion for his perceived commitment to the job. I often wonder how life would be if you just said yes to everything and what experiences you would actually have. The closest that I have ever got to this is leaving the house without a plan and doing things on a whim. One Saturday we ended up seeing a lunchtime concert, adding drawings (not a skill of mine) to a big piece of art that was being created in a church and walking around parts of the City Centre that I had never been before.

I think we all self-censor our lives, set ourselves too many boundaries and in someways can stop living. It is very possible to be alive and breathing but just going from day to day without doing anything you enjoy. Working full time is massively draining and it takes so much mental and physical effort. I remember accepting a job where the pay was good but it was basically putting an end to my dream of working in the arts. In the end I had to leave because I just knew there was so much more out there for me. The biggest lesson that I ever learnt from working was how everyone is replaceable. My mentor in the job left and the company was never the same and a much worse place without them, but everything just keeps moving on. I was told never to put work first in my life and to enjoy it for everything it was worth but find what makes me happy. I believe you judge your achievements in a job not on your day to day activities but on what you did to personally make the company or guest experience better.

Pursue your dreams and never ever let someone tell you that you are not good enough. So many negative comments come from people’s own demons, own insecurities and own jealously. Be the person that you want to be and start today because tomorrow you could be just that much further down the line. It is never too late.


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