Eat Pray Love; Does Your Career Need an Adventure?
By, Jessica Sitomer

In Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts plays Liz Gilbert, a role based on Liz’s true life experience of going through a painful divorce and taking off on an adventure around the world to find ‘herself’. She discovers the pleasure of eating in Italy, the power of prayer in India, and the true depth of love in Bali. 

I related to this movie so strongly that I decided against every habit and pattern in my repertoire, to embark on an adventure of my own. I was at a crossroads, like Liz, and knew I may never have this opportunity again. As of Dec 25th, 2010 for the first time in my life, I was responsible only to myself. Also for the first time in my life, my business is completely mobile and I have a place to stay in every state in the USA. Armed with this knowledge, my business tools, the foundation and credibility I’ve built for my business, and a WHOLE LOT OF FAITH & TRUST, I set up three ‘home-bases’ (none to which I have any obligation or responsibility); one in Florida, one in New York, and of course, one in Los Angeles. My goal for 2011: Speak, Play, Love. My speaking tour will take me to production cities all over the states and that’s as much of a plan as I have. The rest will unfold as I go. Sound crazy? If you know me well, it does. How can the ‘concept’ of my career adventure help your career in 2011? Here are 5 ways that I’ll start you off with, and of course, I’ll keep adding as I keep learning. You’re going to be doing some writing here:

1.    Evaluate the biggest obstacle in the way of your success. It may not be as easy as the first thing that comes to your mind (which is usually, ‘not enough contacts’ or ‘not enough money’). Think bigger, broader. For me, I had too much responsibility. I wouldn’t have recognized it, but for all the things I was responsible for, breaking down on me, begging me to let them go. Where have you noticed “breakdowns” in the past 12 months which could be clues to your biggest obstacle?

2.    Once you evaluate your biggest obstacle, decide what the FIVE scariest risks would be in order to tackle that obstacle (I’m not going to hold you to them, but if you start with the scariest, you can whittle it down to an adventurous step that is do-able for you). For me, it was giving up my ‘home’ and not having a concrete plan for the year in place. Both of these risks scare the bajeezus out of me.

3.    It is a well known fact that with big risks stands the possibility for big payoffs. Set a timer for 15 minutes, close your eyes, and imagine what the possible payoffs could be if you initiated a career adventure. For me, I came up with, to name a few: speaking in at least 15 new cities, spending quality time with family and friends I haven’t been close to for 16 years, creating new relationships nationwide, expanding my business by 50%, expanding the people I help by 125%, experiencing inner peace and balance through true love, and playing, doing fun things I enjoy, and new things that I’ve been too hesitant to try. Write your possibilities down after your timer goes off.   

4.    Does this sound impractical to you? It did to me, until I really looked at what I had in place to allow me to trust in the adventure. I have family and friends across the nation who support me taking this journey and have offered a place for me to stay, joyfully. I have a business mastermind team and a business mentor to keep myself and my business on track and accountable throughout the year. I have all of the skills I’ve acquired in my life. And so much more! What gives you the faith to trust taking your career adventure?

5.    The fifth step is the hardest, and unfortunately I wasted so much time before I took it. Make the choice! For 8 months I knew what I had to do. I was just too scared to do it. But what is meant to be will be, and as I said, everything was breaking down around me, literally, every appliance in my house broke down, my COBRA was up, my car lease was up, my health was being affected by my environment, and I was lonely. Of all of those ‘issues’ I think it was the later that finally pushed me out the door. What better cure for loneliness than having over 50 friends and family members saying, “Come stay with me?” So, before it chooses you, choose your adventure.

Now to clarify ‘adventure,’ I mean to do something for your career/life that is WAY out of your comfort zone. WAY OUT! So far out, that you’ve never considered doing it, yet suddenly the possibility and adventure of it all are so alluring and spine tingling, that you are seriously considering it right now… aren’t you?

And Action!

1. Choose your career adventure based on your level of comfort and/or determination.    

2.  Do the exercises in the article to their full extent.

3. Concentrate on the “what” you’re going to do, rather then the “how” you’re going to do it. I know, this goes against everything I teach, and this may not be for you. But if it is, I invite you to take a journey with me this year, and share your adventure with me and the Greenlight Community. 

Liz Gilbert had to hit rock bottom, to the point where she was on her bathroom floor sobbing, and praying to God to “Tell me what to do.” The only way she could begin to discover the meaning she sought, was to break out of her old ways of living and working and take the adventure of her life.