Pt. III – I Quit
In the previous posts on my series (Pt 1 and 2) called “The Risk Hangover” I talked about how many Millennials have never had to risk much in their lives. We have been given everything and yet now that most Millennials are now “twenty-somethings” we feel like we have nothing. Most would say they are overqualified in a job that they do not enjoy. Many Millennials are not married. I looked at all my high school friends and counted how many were married verses single, and the singles won the majority by a landslide. Marketers are having a ball with our age-group because it just seems like our generation is just scrambling for something to hold on to, something with meaning and purpose. They are trying to full our void. But what if I told you I did something that Millennials wished they could do? What if I quit a job that many would die for because I needed to experience more risk? Careless? Baby Boomers may think so. Exciting? Yes! Big risk? Oh yeah.
I work for a non-profit Christian organization called BigStuf. BigStuf has been spending the past 25 years investing in Millennials by teaching them Christian life principles to live and grow by. Many of the students who have attended BigStuf have gone on to do great things. Why? Because BigStuf gave them permission to do so. So when I told my staff that I was literally quitting my job to become a full-time missionary, they did not balk or question, they gave me permission to go. When they heard that I was going to spend a year traveling all over Europe, Africa and Asia they were all wishing they too could do The World Race as well. I hope to spend more time in the future talking about them, but for now I want to talk about the consequences of quitting.
I have always been a thrill-seeker. I love going skydiving, riding roller-coasters, cliff jumping, and so on. I love to explore, go on adventures and just be a man. So the hard part was not quitting my job, the hard part was the realization that I just quit my job. I took a risk and I got the adrenaline rush that I normally only get when I am zooming down a hill on a roller-coaster at 50 miles per hour. After I told those who needed to know at work, I recall driving home a little in shock. There might have been a few nervous laughs and mild explicatives said as I realized that I was actually pursing my heart and passion. It was a huge risk, but it was not a careless one by any means. What made it different from any other decision? It was by something that my school education didn’t teach me. It was by surrounding myself with wise people. Andy Stanley, lead pastor of North Point Community Church, said in his book, The Best Question Ever, that “wise people surround themselves by wise people“. Where my education and society failed me, my mentors and youth leaders did not. They have always encouraged me to take risks, challenge myself, make mistakes and pursue my passion.
I have never relied on just my self to get places in life, I have always looked to the opinions of others before making a decision. I always question and research possible outcomes and consequences of my actions before making them. So when spending a few weeks weighing the pros and cons of taking the risk of leaving the “American Dream” job, the pros out-weighed the cons. My leadership abilities would be sharpened. I would spend 11 months living in 11 different countries soaking up all sorts of cultures and religions. My American bubble would implode and no longer would Facebook, Netflix, Apple and Starbucks tell me how to be fulfilled. I needed to break of the chains of these corporations and live like Wiz Khalifa says, “young, wild and free.” This is not running away, or me “sticking it to the man”, this is me being who I was created to be; living fully alive and paving a path for future generations to have permission to live a life of freedom, creativity and passion. This was the risk that overwhelmed me. This is where it seemed like Inception; that the walls were caving in and I was slowly falling from dream to dream back to reality. I had not felt this selfless and alive in a long time.
In Pt. IV of the Risk Hangover series I will conclude on what the future holds for risk takers in America and how you too can become fully alive.
Check this awesome video out to understand more about why I am quitting my job. In fact, make sure to watch ALL of the videos this guy has made. You won’t regret it.
Stanley, Andy. The Best Question Ever.
Stanley, Andy. Visioneering.
Furtick, Steven. Forward.