I recently met an ex-colleague who asked me what I was doing now. I mentioned I’m trying to build a consulting practice – with the hopes of eventually turning it into a company. Long shot, I said, but something I felt at peace pursuing.
His facial reaction to my response was something I did not expect – a look of pity. Strange, I thought. I looked at my situation as a personal breakthrough – while he saw it as something awkward to talk about.
A few days later, another ex-colleague asked me what I was REALLY doing – he didn’t believe I would actually quit my job for what I’m planning to do. I reiterated my plans. His response – a look that I was saying BS.
Strange too, I thought. While I felt the situation is as real-world a decision as they come, it is seen as a charade.
Still a few days later, I bounced into another one. This time he felt, and he meant this in a positive light, that it was a waste that I’m not part of a company. And to think that I felt the next few years will be my most productive ever since I will become a part of many companies.
All these interactions reminded me that we all see situations differently – because we see situations based on our own personal filters and bias. What one feels is a shining moment can be seen by another as a speedbump. What one feels as scary can be seen by another as liberating. What one feels as awkward can be viewed by another with wonder and curiosity.
And so ultimately, how we view our situation is what matters. How others view our situation is THEIR business and not ours to worry about. And the sooner we understand this, the better.