How to be what you want to be

Starting 2017, I decided that this year would be mine. It doesn’t mean everything would be given, but I would stay open to new opportunities and stay actor of my life, be what I want to be. Half way, here is time for reflection.

Cultivate excitement

I really like traveling and from London everything feels pretty close: most of European cities are reachable in couple hours flights. It sounds so easy to travel and I didn’t know how long I would have this opportunity.

That’s how I decided to visit a city every month during this year. So I started booking flights and traveling alone couldn’t be an excuse to not do it. Funny is that people are more keen to follow you if they know you’re going anyway.

And just like that, I had the chance to visit amazing cities in 9 different countries. This goal becomes a source of excitement, being out of the comfort zone and answering “what would be next?”

Commit to it

I started running when I moved in London, about 2 years ago. After couple races, I wanted to accomplish something new but also something big this year. That’s how I chose to sign up for Reykjavik Marathon in Iceland (accomplishing a trip and a race at once).

I explained in another article how I manage my training, however sticking with your decision is the hardest part: you have to not negotiate with yourself and just do it. I didn’t realize it before finishing it, but the key wasn’t the training itself, it was the commitment to it.

I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy, and maybe that’s why it felt so good once finished. When I crossed the line, I really had this feeling of accomplishment, all the time spent in training to be able to do this final step. It was definitely the best experience I had this year. Cherry on top of it, I managed to finish it in 3h55min, not so bad for a first try.

Keep growing or keep moving

During this year, I questioned myself quite a lot about my job. Every 2 months, I asked myself if I was still learning and excited about what I am doing. If not, then I tried to identify what was missing and how to fix it.

In February, I went after a lead role for the company I worked for. I didn’t feel fully accomplished and thought that if I grew in the company, it would help me doing better. However, couple months later, I realized that even if my responsibilities have changes, the rest didn’t moved enough. I couldn’t learn as much as I wanted. The changes I provoked wasn’t enough.

During a meetup, I met an entrepreneur talking about how important mentorship played a role for him. I sent him an email afterward, asking for some advices about the path I was taking.

Life is too short to not to do what you like best. My advice is to use what you got to get what you want.

It was enough for me to move on. I thought that eventually staying a year more in the same role wouldn’t help me to grow, so I had to move.

Once the decision made, everything move really fast, I had chance to find a new role matching what I was looking for: a new tech challenge, learning from seniors in a bigger structure, keeping the opportunity to grow.

In conclusion

Looking backward, I think that being open to opportunities helped a lot to push my luck. I was also supported all along, having people around chirring me at any step on my different path, that definitely gives me an extra power to pursue my goal.

At the end, believing in what you can accomplish and committing to it might be the best way to be what you want to be, and so far it works for me.

© 2023 Benoit Pasquier. All Rights Reserved
Author's picture

Benoit Pasquier

Software Engineer πŸ‡«πŸ‡·, writing about career development, mobile engineering and self-improvement

ShopBack πŸ’°

Singapore πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬