Next Friday I’m moving from London to Sydney. I’m really excited! There’s a whole array of reasons for my move, but one of the big things for me is the desire to stay fresh. There’s a lot to be said for finding your groove, seeking steady growth in pursuit of your goals. There is also, however, a time for radical action, big leaps, fundamental change. The trick is knowing which is the right time for which…and taking appropriate action.

For me, one of the key challenges is that change can be scary while the status quo feels nice and comfy. To make sure I manned-up and didn’t get bogged down in the quicksand of indecision, I applied the 40-70 Rule, made famous by Colin Powell: “You never make a decision with less than 40% of the information. But you never wait until you have more than 70% of the information.” If you act with less than 40%, you’re shooting from the hip and could make a mistake. If you wait for more than 70% the opportunity may pass and someone else could beat you to the punch.

Also, off the back of a few chats I’ve had with readers of this blog, I’ve realised that I’m far more terrified of the potential regret I’ll feel at the end of my life if I don’t do stuff than I am of doing the stuff itself. The momentary fear of taking a leap into the unknown now is nothing compared to the existential custard pie in the face that’s waiting for me if I don’t Get Shit Done.

The other big challenge is making sure you’re acting for the right reasons. Dave Trott wrote a great blog post on this entitled It’s Not OK To Leave Until It’s OK To Stay in which he talked about the importance of running towards things rather than away from things. “By just running away from things you never look where you’re going,” he said. It feels great to be so excited about the life I’m running towards!

I remember the sense of shock around the country in 1997 when Eric Cantona unexpectedly quit football aged 30, having just won the Premiership for the fourth time. He’d been one of the most successful players ever at arguably the most successful football club in the history of the game. And there was more to come. But he’d gone stale. Many years later, asked for an autograph, he signed a kid’s football shirt with the legend “Ne jamais perdre sa passion! Ou s’en éloigner vite.” (Never lose your passion, or if you do, get away quickly.) He needed something which was going to excite him as much as football once had. That something was acting. Although he’d had no formal training whatsoever, he was passionate about cinema and the way he saw the world was very filmic. Critics told him he should have stuck to what he’s good at, that he was starting from scratch and he’d never be as good at acting as he was at football. Cantona, in typically philosophical style, replied with a phrase that’s been echoing around my mind this week as I pack my house up in preparation for my move: “He who is afraid to throw the dice will never throw a six.”

About antmelder
Creative Partner at Coffee Cocoa Gunpowder. Passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen; speaker of bad Cantonese.

8 Responses to Ch-ch-ch-changes

  1. Rob Hatfield says:

    Congratulations! I’ll wager that just the climate change will be an adventure. Get your diver’s cert. Much fun to be had down under. The water that is…

  2. johnpwoods says:

    Life’s a journey not a destination.

  3. bobashwood says:

    As John Lennon put it so eloquently in your earlier Just Do It blog …shit’s what happens when you’re busy ducking other shit. A man never realises his changes if he stay in one spot. Home coming for Lisa too. Great news. Please stay in touch Brother. I’ll be in Sydney over the next year or two. Visiting my kids. See ya then.

  4. bobashwood says:

    Sorry Ant, it should read ‘chains’ not ‘changes’ … must have been the subliminal Hunkydory reference.

  5. antmelder says:

    Thanks very much for the good vibes gents. Rob, I’m shit scared of diving, but in the spirit of this post perhaps I should man up and check it out. Bob – A man never realises his chains if he stays in one spot – Absolutely agree. It’s too easy to get stuck in the comfort zone and then, in the blink of an eye, a decade’s gone. Gotta keep moving forwards! Look forward to seeing you over there mate. xxx

  6. Rich Beer says:

    Good luck Ant. I hope you’ll still continue blogging, even though your philosophical electrons will have so much further to travel.

    Er, does this mean Iris are looking for a new Creative Director? Just asking… 😉

  7. antmelder says:

    Cheers Rich. I plan to keep blogging from Down Under. To capture the local accent perhaps I should end every sentence with a question?

    Nice bit opportunity-spotting regarding Iris…I like your style! There’s been a restructure and some new hires already I’m afraid…

  8. Martin Lythgoe says:

    Best of luck mate. I had the same feeling when I decided to give freelancing a go, a couple of years back. Terrifying and exciting in equal measure.

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