The Flight of the Hummingbird

Recently I interviewed a young man for a position at the Yoga Studio I manage. I asked him how he felt he could contribute to our studio and what value he would bring to us from his previous experiences. I sensed he was a little uncomfortable by the question, and he shyly responded by addressing the diversity of the various jobs that were all listed on his resume. He said he knew that his resume was a bit scattered, but that he got something valuable from each of those experiences and that while he began each of those positions with keen optimism, eventually his heart fell out of it and it no longer fell in line with his values and interests. I got the feeling that this left him feeling disappointed and shameful.


Typical hiring professionals traditionally look down upon this type of candidate as someone who is inconsistent, a little chaotic, or as a “typical millennial”. But after doing more real life work in this area, I feel that we shouldn’t look down upon these candidates but instead get more interested about what is missing for them and inquire if it’s something you can help support or offer.


What if we could celebrate and encourage people to do more of this exploring instead of shaming it? How different would our world be?


Our culture has been too hung up on stability and consistencies, as well as with passions and building a life and a career around that, as if it should be that easy.


I recently came across a video from Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions with one of my all time favourite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert who speaks more to this.


In her talk, called the Curiosity Driven Life, she talks about how for years she would get up on stages around the world and put on her “passion dog and pony show.” You know the talks, we’ve all heard them, just find what you’re passionate about, that thing that lights a fire in you…and just do that! For the most part, we bought it, and for those with clear passions, it makes sense. But what if you don’t have a passion, or know what that is? What then?


Elizabeth speaks about a letter she received from a guest at one of her talks, who says that for years she has been trying to find that one thing that will be her passion and that she can build her life around, but she doesn’t have one. She finds things that she is interested in, and she pursues it for a little while and then it fizzles. She feels like there is something missing for her, and that she should have it all figured out.


How many of us can relate to that? Have you started a new idea, project, or job and felt so enthusiastic and excited about it, only to have it fizzle out and then been left to wonder what’s wrong with you? Why can’t I stick with things? Why don’t I have that one passion that I would do absolutely anything for? Do you worry that people are judging you for how your resume looks or for “giving up” yet again?


Well don’t.


If you have ever felt that way or maybe even feel that way right now as you’re reading this…know that you are not alone and that there is nothing wrong with you.


Liz goes on to speak about the two different types of people in the world. The ‘Jackhammers’, those that find that one thing and can just hammer it on that thing till death do you part. Then there are the ‘Hummingbirds’. Those that flutter from place to place, while constantly staying humble and curious.


Can you compare your life to the flight of a hummingbird? One who can fly up down, left right, backwards, and even upside down. Not necessarily showing any reason, but knowing that there is something intrinsic and elegant about the path.


Those are the people that instead of getting caught up on one thing for the rest of their life, they have the privilege of finding many. Dozens, maybe even hundreds of interests. Instead of banging your head against a wall, trying to conjure up some magnificent passion for yourself, what if you could use that curiosity and joy to make life your passion?


There is a path leading somewhere beautiful for you. It may not make sense right now, but I wholeheartedly believe that each step you are taking is not without it’s meaning. Keep taking those small steps that light you up, and if it fizzles, it fizzles…keep going on with your head held high. You are a hummingbird, just like me.


Still feeling lost and unsure about where your flight is taking you? Consider asking yourself these two questions.


What do you know?

What are you becoming?


Of course I couldn’t leave you without leaving the link to that incredible talk. Let me know what you think and if you catch any other aha’s of your own.