In the first few moments of the movie Collateral, the taxi driver, played by Jamie Foxx, tells Tom Cruise’s character: “I’m not in this for the long haul. This is just filling in—I’m putting some things together—I’m going to open my own limo service.” Cruise asks him, “How long you been doing this?” To which the taxi driver replies, “Twelve years.”
This is a classic example of how life happens. I once saw a client who had taken a temporary job at a bank. He knew that wasn’t where he wanted to be; it was just a fill-in job while he did his real job search. That was fourteen years ago. Life just happened; he got used to where he was and didn’t take enough initiative to move on to a higher level of success.
Here is a step-by-step process for change (with example clarifications):
1. Clarify your current situation.
- I have been in the same job for twelve years with no change in sight.
- I detest the monotony of my job.
2. Seek the advice and opinions of other people.
- I will ask four or five trusted friends or professionals what they would do if they were in my situation.
- I will ask the members of my Sunday School class what they would advise.
3. Identify the alternatives.
- I could go back to school and get a degree in education.
- I could create a clear focus and do a job search with a company with some advancement potential.
- I could start my own chauffeuring service.
- I could request a manager’s position with my current company.
4. Choose the best alternative.
- I will start my own chauffeuring service.
- I will create my business plan in the next thirty days, give my two weeks’ notice fifteen days after that, aggressively plan to purchase my own vehicle by that time, and be open for business sixty days from now.
Whether it’s choosing a new school, a new place to live, a new car, or a retirement center for a parent, you must keep a clear deadline in view. Otherwise, procrastination will lead to indecision.
The point is this: Don’t wait on perfect conditions for success to happen; just go ahead and do something.
Okay the Ferrari limo — that may be just my dream, but anything’s possible