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what i would like to know before
how to buy a one way ticket

April 4, 2017

published April 3 on the Mann, Ivanov & Ferber blog

Facebook recalled a photo from six years ago. We are sitting on the windowsill at Sheremetyevo, our daughter is grimacing between us. An hour before the flight to Paris. Previously, before departure, we would have walked somewhere in duty free, but at that time, money   was no longer just money. With everything we had, we were going to buy ourselves time for a fresh start.

To imagine us then, you can take at random a couple of decent clerks from any decent office, who have everything like people who are already over 30 and who have children, parents, friends ... Years of earned stability. And here they are sitting on the windowsill and they just have to understand something important that you don’t know, until your plane with a one-way ticket carries you into the absolute unknown.

Over time, another life, tailored to our coordinate system, lined up out of absolute obscurity. “Live where you like and do only what you believe in”  —  the main rule of this system.

Anniversary  is a good reason to compare watches. 

We have succeeded. But there's something I'd like to know before we get started. These discoveries cost a lot of nerves. And that's why it's worth sharing.

It's okay not to know the answer to the question "what's next"

 “We are going to go to Paris, where Roma will study to be a chef, and Lena will think about who to be” - this is what we said to friends, acquaintances and colleagues before the start.

“We decided to go to Provence and make the project “Visiting the Chef in Provence” there,” we said a year later.

“Roma has an offer for a chef from Monaco (and not the fact that they will approve), and Lena is applying for career consulting” - this is another year later.

And everyone sounded a reasonable question: "What's next?". And we were terribly embarrassed that we never knew the answer to this question. And immediately everything began to look somehow frivolous, ill-conceived and without any guarantees.

Now I understand what to know why you're doing it - argument enough to get started. And then   - you'll figure it out along the way. And that's the best reason to go into the unknown and the best answer. And to myself too. Therefore, on the verge of big changes, it is better to compose an on-duty answer to the question “what next” and no longer bathe on this topic. The moment will come when the answer will be clear to everyone.

In the process, it rarely looks like a success story.

 When you read someone's success stories, you see a coherent and interesting story. But in the moment when everything happens, it never looks like a success story. On the contrary, it often looks like a failure story. As a set of decisions made in complete uncertainty and with a sense of a mistake being made. And yet such fog regularly occurs that you can see only one step.

 If a film was made based on success stories without missing moments of recession, the audience would not admire, but would be horrified, laugh, would be shocked and generally would have difficulty with the genre - this is comedy, drama or even a circus.

“Success stories don’t do that,” you think, hiding away from everyone to cry out in fear. “Smart people are not such weaklings” -  you understand when there is no strength at all for anything. “Successful people don’t make these kinds of mistakes,” you conclude when a big blunder happens in a new job.

And then   - checked! - you will see that if you do not retreat, and where you cleverly (and where stupidly) do what you decide, then the fog will gradually dissipate and the story will find a beginning, an end, and even the beauty of the plot.

Big goals are easier to reach

I remember once there was a pause in my career training. The composition of the participants was just right:   leading  specialists, business owners and top managers. That is, people who have already achieved a lot and who clearly have gunpowder in their flasks. There was a pause when I said about my big goal - that I want to break the stereotypes about finding myself, create a new simple system and help as many professionals as possible to realize themselves. And I also want to enter the top world experts in my topic.

“Wow, this is a very… big swing, it’s unusual to want something on such a large scale,” someone said in the end.

Remember, in childhood we easily said - I want to become an astronaut, an actress, a doctor, a princess, a scientist - it was clearly not about a mediocre life. By nature, we tend to want something bright and interesting. Then we start to feel embarrassed about it. After all, the system itself teaches us to fold our wings and not flap them, but even cut them for reliability.

We habitually cannot decide on a big goal, because someone taught us that the probability of achieving it is less. But there is something about a big and truly ambitious goal that sets it apart from a realistic, carefully set, average goal.

A big goal  is like a huge reservoir of energy.  You immediately feel this energy when you talk about what you really want. And energy is exactly what you will need on the path of change.

Therefore, when undertaking big changes, it is better not to be small with goals. Let them be ambitious to goosebumps. Let them seem unrealistic and a little crazy. Realism is not their job. The main thing is that they will help us to be in growth mode, and small careful goals often keep us in survival mode.

I realized this at times when something went wrong. When there is no money on the account to pay the rent,  it is very difficult to feel capable of changing the world.

In such situations, and there were many of them, the growth mode quietly switches to  survival mode. It's hard to get out of it. My recipe, which pulled me out in the toughest times, was: “Are you blown away? Call the ants! - that is, I just had to remember where I was going in general in order to feel a surge of energy again. And today's minus on the account immediately becomes just an episode regarding the big thing that you do in general.

But the main thing is that there is only one real change. And she's inside.

This change happens when you take responsibility for everything that will happen to you next. If it didn’t click inside –  soon you will feel like a lost person, give up at the first opportunity and swim to any shore, just to feel like “in the house”.

When you take responsibility and do not give up, you pump the most important thing - the feeling of "I can handle it" in any situation.  Calm readiness for everything is more important than any stability, stability - inside. External stability follows internal stability, although it seems to us that the opposite is true.

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