“My dad…had the most beautiful, simple checklist for what you should do in life: Do something you really love that you would do it anyway. Do it in the most adventurous place you can do it. And make sure that it helps other people. And if you feel there’s a genuine need for it, and that through that need you can help other people, you’re home.”— Diane Sawyer
I heard these wise words 9 months into a doctoral program in public health that I didn’t love. As people around me were orienting their lives towards publications, grants and tenure, I was asking, “Is this the best way for me to make a meaningful impact on the world? If a PhD promises a world of opportunities then why am I feeling so caged?”
At the same time, I picked up Chris Guillebeau’s book, “The Art of Non-Conformity.” In it, he describes why he stepped off the academic track: only three people read his master’s thesis, where over 100,000 people have downloaded his personal manifesto, “A Brief Guide to World Domination.” He now measures his life around freedom: freedom to pursue his passions and interests.
This resonated with me deeply.
Now, three years later, I’m writing this from a café in Portland, Oregon. I’m about to attend Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit, a gathering of entrepreneurs and non-conformists who share the belief that you can live your life the way that you want, and you don’t have to live it the way that other people expect you to.
My journey has led me to this:
“Traveling and having conversations with women about healing and empowerment.”
So that’s what I’m going to do. For a year.
I don’t exactly know what this adventure will look like, but I do envision it to be about community. I hope to inspire others to take a risk and pursue a passion- for a day, for a weekend or for a lifetime.
So I invite you to consider: if you have the space and time to do whatever you want,
what would you do?