The Best Advice
The best advice I ever got was 30 years ago from a cab driver in Pittsburgh.
I was 18 years old when I decided to leave home. I wanted a new adventure so I packed my bags, said goodbye to my family and friends, and left for the airport. I was moving to a large city 1000 miles away from anyone I knew. I was both excited and terrified.
I landed at the Pittsburg airport and caught a cab. I made small talk with the cab driver as he drove me from the airport to my new apartment building. I shared that I was from a small town and this was my first time on my own. I’m sure, he could see the fear and uncertainty in my eyes. As I was about to climb out, I jokingly said something about how I may see him again very soon, needing a ride back to the airport.
“Give it 6 months”, he said.
“What?” I was confused.
“Wait 6 months and give it an honest shake. If you still don’t want to be here, then go home. But I’m telling you, you won’t want to go back. I promise.”
I smiled, thanked him, and got out of the car, thinking “This man doesn’t know me. How can you tell a stranger that??” I thought he was crazy, but it felt like a challenge. (It’s difficult for me to walk away from those.)
I kept this conversation in my thoughts over the next few weeks as I struggled to find my place in this big new world. However, as time passed, the memory was pushed to the back of my mind as a hectic life took over and demanded my attention.
Fast forward 4 months.
I was out with a group of my new friends, enjoying an outdoor concert when what he said popped into my mind. I laughed aloud. It had not even taken 6 months and I knew I was never going back home to live. The world had opened my eyes to a new life, new adventures, and endless possibilities.
It’s been 30 years since I stepped out of that cab. There have been many moments where I’ve stood at the threshold of change: excited, terrified and uncertain. Embracing change is how we grow and, while growth can be hard, it’s also exciting and makes us feel alive. It challenges us in ways we can’t understand, but it is necessary. As Tony Robbins always says, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
But how do we know if a change is needed? It is important to periodically “check-in” with yourself. “Am I where I want to be in life?” “Am I on track to meet the goals I set?” And sometimes, it might even look like “How the hell did I get here??”
Are you where you want to be in life? If yes, then great. If you aren’t, I challenge you to take a moment to self-reflect. Decide what changes you need to make and create a plan to get there. It’s only through growth that we can live our fullest lives. And it all starts with one change.