Most people go through life making decisions based on just a fraction of their available options. They hold themselves back because they allow circumstances or other people’s opinions limit their perceived choices.
My grandmother grew up in a very small town in Argentina where everyone thought they had only two career options: working at the dairy bottling factory, or working at the farm raising milk cows. Grandma was more adventurous. Rather than stay in her native town, Grandma took a chance, moved to a big city, married a restaurateur, and lived a much more interesting life than the rest of her family and friends who stayed in the dairy town all their life.
My dad was a chemical engineer in a small oil town. In 1968, when economic conditions started to worsen in Argentina, rather than stay there, he took a chance and moved with my mom, my brother, and I to the U.S. Leaving his friends and family in search for more opportunity was a risky and scary move, especially since he didn’t speak much English back then, but in the long run it really paid off.
The Jamaican bobsledders did the same thing. When they didn’t qualify for the Summer Olympics in track and field, they got creative. Deciding to take up the bobsled was sheer genius. They didn’t just take the road less traveled. They paved a new road where there had been no road before. Everyone who makes fun of them has no clue about what it really takes to succeed in life.
I’m amazed when people ask me how someone from hot and humid Houston can compete in the luge. It’s really pretty simple. I came to the realization that what city I live in has NOTHING to do with what sport I can compete in. When the first cold front hits Houston, I fly out to the luge tracks. The luge tracks have never come or will never come to me.
Start looking outside your immediate surroundings for ways to realize your dream. Don’t limit your options to what’s obvious. Get a little creative, take a chance, and do something different. Chase your dream. Your dream will not land on your lap. You have to go out and get it. When you start getting bold and unconventional, your life will become an adventure and you’ll be a lot more successful.