As much as I try to avoid mainstream media, checking my email is often accompanied with the latest news about which celebrity is back in rehab or how many months probation another received. At the same time, I browse TEDx conference videos and find some of the most influential and inspiring stories from individuals who have gone through the worst physical, psychological, and emotional pain. If it ever comes up in conversations, I am just as liable to question how an individual with so many resources can fall victim to alcohol or drug use. Upon further inspection, it is obvious that resources mean little when it comes to success, happiness, and fulfillment.
Change the Rules and Make it Work
While I have never seen the show, one of the mentors of Project Runway, named Tim Gunn, wrote a book entitled “Gunn’s Golden Rules” where he emphasizes many of his own life lessons to “make it work.” In fact, throughout the portion of the book that I read, this motto was of paramount importance. It helped me to think of some of the stories in my own life when I felt fulfilled while lacking resources and simply making it work.
When I lived in Switzerland, a friend named James and I tried to drive from Lugano to Interlacken, one of the country’s most famous tourist destinations, in a single day. We had no maps and we ended up wandering far from our original destination. Instead of returning home discouraged, we decided to stop driving and climb a nearby mountain with absolutely no gear. In fact, James was wearing loafers. As he and I struggled up the mountain, we made it work and it turned out to be a fulfilling trip with a result well worth the effort.
Accomplish a Goal with Limited Resources
For most people reading this, there has probably been something within the past year that you haven’t accomplished even though you really wanted to. Take a moment to think about one of these things. What was the reason your goal was never accomplished? Most times we (myself included) claim a lack of time, money, knowledge, or technology are to blame for failing. While you might not have all of these resources, it is not the defining moment in your success or failure. In the end, it is about your creativity, determination, curiosity, passion, and resolve. My trip with James was in seek of fun and fulfillment, but we never reached our destination and we were not prepared to climb. Despite a lack of resources, we were curious, creative, and determined enough to make the trip fun and fulfilling anyway.
In your professional lives, this can be extremely useful to gain the freedom you need in order to be happier and more fulfilled. As a business owner myself, I’m a strong advocate for being self-employed and using your time more effectively to achieve your personal goals. What you lack in experience, in time, in energy, in money, or any combination of the above, can be compensated with creativity, passion, and determination.
When I started my business, I hadn’t the slightest clue what I was doing. My favorite subject of study was always history and that is what I studied in university. Yet, with some creative thinking, the determination to learn what had to be done, and the resolve to become self-sufficient, I made it work. I was lucky that I didn’t have the resources because it put my back against the wall.
You Can Make it Work
For your own fulfillment, happiness, or professional success, the same principles can hold true. While it may sometimes be truly impossible to accomplish something without the resources, there is always some form of resourcefulness that will put you on the right path. With creativity, determination, passion, and resolve you can make it work.