Today’s episode is a tiny moment with a big idea. Three years ago this month, I left my fifteen-year-long career in Software, stepped down as an executive, forfeited stock options, and embarked on a quest, a mission, to align the work I do every day with the person I’d become. I jumped in our 74 VW Bus and headed west to honor the beginning of this big transition in my life. Here’s what I captured then, not knowing what would unfold. 20/20 vision is easier to find when looking into the rearview mirror—but challenging when we’re in the beginning or middle of significant transitions, living with uncertainty and great frontier of the unknown.
Friends welcome to work life play. I'm Aaron McHugh, your host, and your guide on this adventure. In this episode today, it's another one of these tiny moments with big ideas embedded in them. I captured a bunch of audio clips over the years that just kind of sat on my hard drive and I decided to actually go through and just extract and curate a couple of these tiny moments with these big ideas and release them just as little four or five-minute episodes.
Three years ago, I left my 15-year long career in software to step down as an executive and embark on this quest, this mission to align the work that I do every day in the world with the person that I'd become. And I'll mention that that's been no small feat requiring lots of courage and support and belief from my wife and many.
I had this big void of time that I was staring at without certainty of what am I going to do next? It was 1st of November and I was looking at the holidays and just thought, I'm just going to get in our bus and I'm going to head West. Our son was living in California at the time, and I'm going to see if I can just aim our 42-year-old vehicle up the Hill in the mountains and then back down the Hill on the West coast, arrive at the ocean and visit some national parks along the way and just see if I can get a chance to clear my head a little bit.
I jumped in our bus and just really in the spirit of honoring this big transition in my life in this episode today that you'll hear as I captured the moon, you'll hear some of my reflections about what was current for me.
One of the things I'll just mentioned for each of us is as we face big challenges in our life. It is so much easier to have 2020 clarity vision when it's over. When we can look back, we look through the rear view mirror. We reflect back, we can see, Oh, that's what was going on. Or that's what this meant, or, well, maybe this is what was happening, but when we're going through it and we're facing the challenges themselves, living with uncertainty, living in this great frontier of the unknown, it's super challenging for each of us. So, whether it's today with a global pandemic and it's uncertainty related to careers and businesses and finances, and what are the holidays going to be like?
All that said in honoring and those tiny moments and those big ideas, I will let you listen to today's episode, hope you enjoy. And the spirit of these tiny moments is really to invite you into the moment and have you reflect on how it might apply to you and your life and your work and your relationships. You can do this friends. It's good for you. Keep going.
I have just always kind of dreamed of a sauntering. I have dreamed of doing a road trip in the last couple years that we've had our VW bus and just hopping in it and going. So here I am solo in Capitol Reef national park. I spent the day getting here and tried not to push it too much. 74 bus has got 173,000 miles on it. So it's kind of anybody's best. Guess what could happen? I was out in the middle of the desert today. When the signs say no services for 120 miles, it really is the bottom of what used to be an ocean.
I was listening to Ryan Adams who covered all of Taylor. Swift's 1989 album. I was listening to a couple of the tracks and I think one of the titles is actually, are we out of the woods? He repeats the chorus, but as he repeats the chorus, are we out of the woods? Is it okay yet? Are we there yet?
I thought it was really striking to me is like, Oh man, that's a deep question. Isn't it? Are we out of the woods? Are we there yet? Is it going to be okay? I have a friend that I sat with in the waiting room the other day before I left for this trip and his wife was in the O R having surgery and the doctor came out to meet us in the lobby and there were three or four other friends there. And you could see the relief on his face once the doctor gave good news. Hey I think we're okay. It's going to be okay. I think we're out of the woods now.
There's lots to do yet, but just that question of, are we out of the woods? Is it okay? Are we in the clear, safe place? I don't know sometimes, but I also know that life's too short to play it safe. So I meaning the shed a couple tears today, listening to that tune. I think the trend of our stories are usually good, but they end up with some bumps and low points in that question of, are we out of the woods is a good one.
*We’ve done our best for this transcription to accurately reflect the conversation. Errors are possible. Thank you for your patience and grace if you find errors that our team missed.
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