I always was one of those guys saying: I never want a tattoo!
Yet, here I am having my logo inked on my left arm.
How did that happen?
Let’s rewind to 2017. All in all my life seemed to be going great till then. I went to school, studied applied media science and found a job at a music label in the marketing department. I had great colleagues, a steady income and on top of that I liked what I was doing.
But something was missing. Somehow I managed to convince myself over the years that it is enough to do what I like. Truth is: I lied to myself.
Shure, you can be happy doing what you like in such an environment, but there is one thing you can’t do:
It was around the time when I realized that I couldn’t climb up the career ladder in the company any further that I began to question my Plan A of life.
Maybe what I was told by my parents, friends and society wasn’t the whole truth after all?
Could it be that what I did all those years wasn’t my Plan A, but an easy excuse to walk a safe path on paved ways build by our society?
I threw my old Plan A into my mental trash and began to draft a new Plan A.
First and foremost there was one important question I asked myself:
What is my passion?
In my case it was music. I write songs, play guitar and sing since I am a kid. It was a false assumption to think that my ambition is satisfied by doing this beside my 9-to-5 job as a hobby.
But with this realization, there also came the fear of leaving the known, secure paths. Weeks passed by and I had only one question stuck in my head:
Should I quit my job?
It was around that time that I stumbled upon a YouTube video that blew away my fear of the unknown.
Neil Gaiman – a British author – held a commencement speech at the University Of Arts in Philadelphia, USA in front of art student graduates. It was especially the following part of the speech that inspired me to change and became part of my philosophy of life:
Sometimes […] it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing, because you’ll have to balance your goals and hopes with feeding yourself, paying debts, finding work, settling for what you can get. Something that worked for me was […] imagining that (my goal) was a mountain, a distant mountain. […]. I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain.
Neil Gaiman, Commencement Speech to the University of the Arts Class of 2012
You can watch the full speech here:
Change. Create. Commit.
As soon as I watched the speech I took a sketchbook and drew a mountain with a minimalistic arrow pointing towards the mountains.
Before I could realize it, I had my mobile phone in my hand and arranged an appointment in a tattoo studio for the next day.
Things had to change. All I needed was a small kick in the butt.
The tattoo was a promise to me to stop wandering the safe roads and start making difficult life decisions that in the end would bring me closer to living my passion.
My arm got inked and few days later I quit my job and the journey of my life began.
The most remarkable thing about it is:
I have no regrets – either to have quit my job, nor to have stung a tattoo.
It now is part of who I am and who I will be in the future.
And it has changed my life for the better.
Always keep in mind: It is okay not to know, where your path might lead. That’s when you learn and develop the most. As long as you’ve got your fellow friends „commitment“ and „passion“ to accompany you on your journey, everything will be fine.