Like Number 22, La Vie en France #23 is also for those readers who think about taking a crazy step off a cliff; and moving out into a new direction in their lives.
The previous blogpost described how momentum builds as one starts to take steps toward one’s dreams. At some point, one has to quit dreaming and take that great leap of faith. However, taking that step can be daunting. The Webmaster has worked in finance all his life; and the general thinking among most of his peers is this: “If I only had another $X thousand dollars, I could cover all risks and maintain my current lifestyle during retirement.” There is little thought of quitting a high-paying job in the middle of one’s peak earning years to pursue a passion. Especially not if one is anywhere close to or older than fifty years. Suze Ormann would likely have given his plans a C or C- for that simple reason. Yes, he had amassed a decent amount of assets; but he and his spouse may still live another 40+ years. Also, who will hire him at age 53?
Fear is an amazingly strong driver of human behavior; and people considering a move in a new direction have to recognize that. They also have to find a way to overcome that fear; lest they become paralyzed by it. In the Webmaster’s case it was his Christian faith that allowed him to take that step into the unknown. Not blind faith that God would shower millions of $$ on him if only he became a freelance tour guide of the American battlefields. But faith that allowed him to see that God had given him talents that he can use and market during and after this sabbatical.
His Christian faith (and tithing) also played a role; in that it taught him to emphasize the non-material over material things. Does one need to keep up with the Joneses to be truly happy? How many assets does one really need to live?
Finally, his faith taught him that failure is not the worst thing in the world. Consider the prodigal son parable. He was welcomed back by his father even after he squandered his share of the family’s money.
Those wanting to take their life in a new direction can dream all they want to; but ultimately they must step out in faith. Without it, the Webmaster would not have quit his professional to take a sabbatical as a freelance tour guide of the American battlefields.
He replied: Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20.)