Leap OFTEN. Stick the Landing.

Almost EXACTLY five years ago, I happened into the dusty basement of Toronto’s Masonic Temple — the future home of MTV Canada.  It was a brand new start, a chance at reinvigorating my career and the opportunity to be a part of something big, shiny and new.

For five years, I worked hard, did some really cool things and racked up some cool stories.  Who else can say they’ve sat down to interview Ice-T, Ice Cube, Akon… Chuck D and Snoop Dogg?

Who else can say they pissed off Ludacris in an interview?

Who else has a clip on Youtube of them teaching Justin Bieber how to operate a live web chat?

I had fun telling people where I worked and for the most part it was great.  I worked with great people, it was high profile, I didn’t have to explain ‘where I worked’ after telling people where I worked.  People just knew.  After a while, something started tugging inside of me.

It’s hard to think back and isolate the exact moment when you realize that it’s time to move on. What was it that made you think “I need to do something else”?  Maybe we get bored.  Or don’t feel challenged.  Or worse yet, we’ve begun to hate our jobs and the people we work with.  Or for. Maybe we get on the wrong side of the office politics.  Maybe we can’t understand why the promotion train never seems to stop at our station.  Then again, maybe we’ve just lost our passion.

Maybe, it’s none of those things.  Maybe at some point… it’s just time.

Have you ever gotten to a point where you are so efficient at what you do that you yourself become invisible?  Taken for granted and assumed to always be there, never to leave?  You’re at the top of your game, delivering each and every day to the point that its no longer rewarded nor noticed.  They see you as ‘a lifer’.  “Oh, he’ll never leave.”  You feel undervalued, underpaid and under-appreciated.  The worse thing is, you’ve done it to yourself.  You’re a victim of your own success.  But, how do you fix things when the only thing that is wrong is that you’re too good at getting it right?

You leap.

You stand up.  Stand up outside of your comfort zone, swing your arms for momentum, throw your weight upward and forward… and you leap.  Leaps of faith don’t only have to come when you’ve been pushed to a cliff by circumstance.

Perhaps the platforms from which we leap are places that we have to look for with purpose.  It’s almost like identifying a mountain peak to conquer.  You point to it and decide to scale it.  It doesn’t “just happen”.  Opportunities in life are the same.  They don’t just happen cosmically.  We create the opportunity.  Like portals between dimensions, we have to look for the jump.  We jump into the unknown, because it is that feeling — the feeling of uncertainty, the weightlessness of chance and ultimately the power that comes at that split-second moment in the air when you convert falling into flying.  If you’re not scared, maybe you’re not truly living life.

Five years later, almost to the day… I’ll be walking, head held high — out of the place I walked into five years earlier, scared and uncertain if I made the right choice.  If there is one thing that life is teaching me, its that we need to leap and leap often.  We need to reach upwards and forwards — not once but many, many times.  We need to make it a habit.

Five years later, almost to the day… I’ll walk in to a new place.  I’ll be armed with five years of experience under my belt, ready to make ’em burn with regret at the last place because I’m just so excellent and they lost me.  Time to make em’ hurt and want me back.  Time to take pride in the fact that I made the choice of where I want to be, what I want to be doing and what I’m truly worth… all by taking my own leap.

The truth is, I’ll be just as scared as I was five years earlier, only this time it’s by design.  This is exactly how flying is supposed to feel.

I’m excited to be in the air again.  Time to stick that landing.

p.s. – Thank you Mr. Dressup and Friendly Giant.


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