By Yoram Yahav
Are you often concerned by the news, terrorism, your economic status, your career, your personal relationships with your family and friends, or the unknown future in general? Like many, your answer is most probably “yes.”
Recently I had a discussion on a study which examined the longevity of startups. Upon its findings, 12 years ago, 1 in 10 startup companies lasted beyond 6 years, and today the statistic accounts for 1 in 112 lasting beyond 6 years. Few of us are willing to cope with an uncertain reality, therefore not many of the global population actually do establish startups. Such a step demands courage, deep awareness, commitment and strong belief. Going against the odds and pursuing one’s passion, while acknowledging the possibility of failure, is a challenging step for anyone.
I am a CEO, not a psychologist. I have run nine companies over the last two and a half decades and have seen the world at its greatness as well as at its recession. However, if I were a psychologist, and I were interested in the study of courage, I would pose my clients and friends a few critical and personal questions:
1. Are you honestly happy with your life?
2. Are you satisfied and excited about your work?
3. Are you happily married or satisfied with your relationships?
4. Are you living your dreams?
5. Are you content with the economic, political and cultural states of your country?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above (and I suspect many of you did), then you are probably justifying the answer with excuses such as: this is life, I can’t afford to leave, I don’t have any control over things, my children need me, I gave up living my dreams because it is too late… For whatever it is worth, I sincerely invite you to consider the fact that it is never too late and you shouldNEVER give up on your dreams or on taking control of your life.
If you are a 20 or 70-year-old reading this article, then the combined years you have left on this earth is approximately a hundred. Beyond the essential discussions on the science of philosophy, you would agree that a hundred years do fly by faster than you can digest them (just ask my parents…). My question is, what do you have to lose dear friend? As it stands, you are experiencing fear, depression and concern over “something” in your life. Does it help you to feel this way? Can you mark any sort of accomplishment or development in life achieved by fear or worry? Anger is actually an expression of fear, and fear as I just mentioned, does not contribute anything to your well being. So why give in to anger at all? If you are unhappy – change it! If you are not living your dreams, start living them even if you start small. It sounds so trivial and simple but we all need to be courageous and decide to dream in color…
I am always amazed at people’s reactions to the career path I chose. I hear questions of all sorts, most of which in my opinion represent fear. “Why don’t you take over an existing company?”, I am asked. “Why do you need to pursue new methodologies and run around the world selling ideas instead of sailing a boat in the Caribbean?” Well, the most straightforward answer I can give to all these rhetoric questions is that I am pursuing my passion. My time on this planet is limited and it is definitely unpredictable. My ability to face my own dreams and to try to live them, is what gives me new vitality to live my life to the fullest. If I don’t embrace the moment and pursue my passion, the moments will run out…