Fight Your Fears, Live Your Dreams

… is what a friend once told me in high school (yes, in English!), and I’ve been trying to live with this motto in mind ever since. I always thought those to be the words of a famous wise person, but to this day I couldn’t identify their rightful owner. Maybe it’s just one of those fortune cookie wisdoms 🙂

A month ago, I was at a lecture in Global leadership, organized by Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business, where Anne Stenbom from Global Business Leaders asked the audience ”What would you do right now, if you weren’t afraid?” Answers such as ”Start my own company!” and ”Move to Japan!” popped up.

Venn win
The career ideal.

But I would asked it differently, for fear is an elusive concept. For example: ”What would you do right now, if you knew you would succeed?” Now that could be a difficult one. My own answer is maybe something I’m actually afraid of, because it has little to do with what I have been doing with my life so far.

Recently, I started a project with a consultancy group called YourCareerLink (mentioned in my previous post) which focuses on the value of a PhD degree in Sweden. Call it market research, if you will. We have been investigating the power of a PhD degree in the Swedish job market, by surveying PhDs and PhD students in Sweden. The data collection is still ongoing (if you wish to contribute with your opinion, please click here), and I am doing a summary simultaneously as I am writing this (impossible! :D). But something else strikes me as impossible – to reveal a small peace of preliminary information, I will only share this amazing fact: 70% of PhD students and PhDs in Sweden answered that they had no clear career path planned when they started their PhD. Amazing? Or normal?

career path
… according to PhDs and PhD students in Sweden.

Honestly, I expected at least 50%, so I’d say the number is totally fine, if not only a tiny bit higher than expected. So let me just say this:

” Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life… the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.”

… as this awesome song contemplates.

But, if you’re uncertain, and don’t know how and where to move towards, a useful tip would be to think about what really moves you. The first TED talk I ever saw, given by Tony Robbins, addresses exactly this (and the aspect ratio of the video tells its age!). TED talks are actually a wonderful motivating and learning tools. My favorites include the one about marrying yourself, the one about the secrets of orgasm, and the one about the death of creativity.

So, there you go. Get inspired and you’ll get where you need to be! And remember:

”The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

… and this one was actually said by a famous wise person, Mark Twain.

Good luck, and think&plan ahead!

To be continued…

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2 thoughts on “Fight Your Fears, Live Your Dreams

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