Pause for perspective
May 25, 2015 at 3:13pm by Jay Fleming
“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.”
- Ferris Bueller, 1986
I never thought I would quote Ferris Bueller in my first post on the john st. blog, but it seems relevant to my message and I think Ferris was on to something, so bear with me.
In our up-to-the-minute-consume-it-before-it’s-old globally accelerated lives we rarely have a spare minute. Depending on whom you ask, life is either an uncontrollable chaos, a linear sequence of connected events, or some mix of the two - and I’m not sure you could prove any of those theories completely wrong. Regardless of our opinion, what remains constant is the value in taking stock of your current position, and what led you there. So, without further ado, this is my public pause for perspective.
Life-altering changes are typically gradual shifts, like large cogs in a massive machine slowly clicking into place over months, or years. For me, life changed in a matter of minutes. I was listening to a creative director named Glen Hunt at the O’Malley lecture series at Brock University (side note: two guys named Arthur and Angus spoke at this very same lecture in 2010, sadly I missed it, although I hear they were well above average). Glen is the kind of speaker that magnetically pulls the entire room towards him. He spoke about true creativity, and about finding my passion so that I would never actually work a day in my life. I was hooked.
Leaving my comfortable career came far too easily. My application letter for the Humber advertising post-grad was finished and sent by 2am.
I knew from my first week of class that strategy/planning was where I wanted to be - I have a natural curiosity for human behaviour, can put my ideas into words, and thoroughly enjoy a good pair of New Balance sneakers with jeans. I set my sights on john st., it was clear that the agency boasted one of the strongest planning departments in the country and was pretty outstanding in all aspects (leadership, culture, client roster, self-promoting YouTube videos, etc.).
After meeting the planning team, I felt completely at home and as if I had finally found people who see the world the same way I do. They were a unique, witty, and downright brilliant bunch that had an infectious quality that made me want to be a part of it all. I was sold. I wanted in. After several interviews, they took a chance on me, and here I am, three weeks into my internship. The experience so far has more than exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait to see what’s yet to come.
So, back to Ferris. How exactly did I get here? It started on that night in the O’Malley lecture with the flicker of inspiration that set me in motion. I may not be where I am now had I not attended Glen’s lecture that day, maybe it was fate, maybe not. What’s important is a few things I’ve learned along the way: To follow my gut - if it feels scary, it’s probably a good thing. Regret only came for the things I didn’t do, and never the other way around. And finally, making time for a new idea is almost always worthwhile. So, if you have a moment (and actually read this far), take the time to think. Think about how you got to where you are, consider what you’ve learned as you move forward, and remember: if you don’t look around every once in a while, you could miss it.