After successfully marketing MINI for nearly seven years, it's time to explore ideas for my next adventure. For many, not knowing what's next, or being in the grey, can be disconcerting. But, even when we are in a seemingly secure situation, do we really "know" what is around the bend?
This part of my career path reminds me of a particularly challenging moment during my month-long expedition to Mt. Everest Base Camp in 2012. We were at 12,600 feet and had been trekking up a steep dirt path for hours on our way to the Tengboche Monastery. Each time I thought that we were about to reach our destination for the day, there was another switch-back leading to yet another ascent. I was frustrated because I didn't know how much further we had to climb. Not knowing caused my anxiety.
I took a moment to collect myself, sip some water and ask Phurwa Sherpa (pictured below) when we were going to arrive. He answered that it depended on our pace and encouraged me to focus instead on the journey. The Sherpas reminded me that Tengboche would be there whenever we arrived. I smiled.
By shifting my focus to the present, I awakened my awareness and found new energy. My backpack felt lighter, the mountain peaks glistened, the Sherpa's chanting became music and the smell of the yak dung being baked in the sun (to be burned later for heat, as there is no wood above the tree line) became more pungent. By changing my perspective, the process went from arduous to enjoyable (except the dung smell). When we reached Tengboche, I more fully appreciated the historic Buddhist Gompa, as it became a continuation of the journey, during which my senses were previously heightened.
Focusing on the process instead of the destination and ETA provides us more moments to reflect, time to reconnect and opportunities to explore. I am currently enjoying reconnecting with industry friends, exploring new business models and reflecting on how to utilize my expertise to reshape the dramatically shifting media/marketing landscapes.
Many of us will go through transitions in the New Year. Recognize the situation and realize that it's OK to be in the grey. Take it all in, step by step, so you can enjoy the journey, be open to new perspectives and be even more appreciative whenever you reach your next destination.
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