What Would You Be if You Dared to Break the Habit?

Haven’t we all had times when we felt we wanted to be a rock star? For most of us that is nothing more than teenaged dreams that quickly fade. But not for the son of one of my wife’s friends. My wife, Susan, used to be co-workers with the mother of Trey Anastasio, lead singer for the band Phish. As you can imagine, coming from a Connecticut prep high school and having a father who was an executive for the Princeton-based Educational Testing Service, who administered the SATs, they were looking for their son Trey to take a more traditional route in college.

trey-anastasio-22But Trey was focused on music in high school. He studied music at two universities and went on to be front man of one of the largest-grossing touring bands in history. He’s performed his own compositions with numerous philharmonics and orchestras, was featured on an album that won a Grammy Award, and was nominated for a Tony Award. The list of accomplishments is long.

They happened because Trey didn’t wait for someone to tell him what was next. He didn’t fall into the habit of doing what was easy or safe. He didn’t stick with what was expected, even when his parents were the ones telling him. He broke the habit. Trey chose for himself, and he chose himself.

You can choose for yourself, too, even now. You’ve got to create your own opportunity and go after the Next Great Next that’s going to excite you and get you motivated for what you do each and every day. Working hard and waiting for a recruiter to come knocking isn’t the path to your version of stardom/happiness/fulfillment. The path starts with having a vision for what you’d like your next challenge to be, one that involves a challenge that captures even your own attention and going for it. Your Next Great Next does not need to be a radical career change. It needs to be your next chapter – a clear pivot or step that isn’t business as usual.

So, I ask you: Do you have a defining talent that it’s past time you pursue? Or perhaps you have a reputation for something that you’d like to pursue that’s down a path different than the one you are on?

Your perfect role could be manifesting elsewhere and could be in your grasp if you’d change your approach. Maybe your singing should remain confined to the shower, but I’d like to know, if you gave yourself the opportunity…what would be next for you? What’s the big thing you want to go for, but you’ve been reluctant to break the habits that are holding you back? Trey saw at an early age that the “path of the status quo” wasn’t for him. If you stepped off your status quo path, even a bit, to write a more exciting Next chapter what would it be?

Shoot me an email and let me know! mark.anderson@execunet.com



Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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