A few years ago, I got really lucky.
I was 22 years old, just completed my service at 8200, an intelligence unit in the IDF, was working at a mobile payment start-up doing business development and got a university scholarship. Everything was looking just perfect, and unlike all of the people I knew, I was going to give up on travelling around the world for a year, from the money I had saved. “I have no reason to leave,” I thought to myself, “Everything’s perfect here, and I’m “happy”.
My luck kicked in just then, when my mom convinced me to go travel anyway. “Work will wait, take a couple of months,” she said. “You might not get a second chance for that.” So I took a “vacation”, and went to Central America with a “muchilla”.
Only a few weeks into that trip, when I experienced true happiness, did I realized how miserable I actually was. I realized that all of my career choices were done according to what other people considered to be successful, and because of that I didn’t generate any innovation, or self fulfillment.
The thing that shocked me the most was that I didn’t notice it at all. How come I was so blind? And while taking the time to think on that trip, I realized most of the people I know do the same thing. Most people choose not to choose. They just get carried away with life and routine, and choose mediocre easy decisions that will make them feel calm for a few moments. And in many cases, I’m talking about people that could be so happy; people that have the skills to innovate and to make an impact in this world.
I had attended several silence retreats and had the time to think back. I decided that this was what I wanted to dedicate my life to: reminding people of the possibilities they have for self fulfillment, and creating practical opportunities for them to succeed once they walk their path.
Self fulfillment is not a privilege. It’s a basic human need. As the song goes, “I just want to live while I’m alive”. This is not too much to ask for, to feel alive while we’re alive.
Coming back to Israel, I co-founded Ze-Ze, a social enterprise that initiates creative SMB’s to employ communities in need in self fulfilling jobs. Ze-Ze is led voluntarily by youth pursuant to their natural passions, thus enabling them to gain experience in their field of interest while creating jobs for communities in need.
While working during the last few years with young people to create jobs for communities in need, I realized that our generation is a community in need.
The job market has changed immensely, providing unlimited opportunities for brave and creative people to create their own jobs, and leaving many others behind. The institutes that are supposed to support us and help us find fulfillment along our career path, are not adapted to the dynamic job market of these days. The solution for this can only be met through education. As my friend at Grow Hack wisely wrote, “Knowledge is not only power, it’s freedom”.
If you utilize these exciting times for learning entrepreneurial and online skills, and nurture your creative skills, you can surely create a career that combines your professional goals and personal callings. Whether you decide to work from an office or from your laptop while travelling the world will depend entirely on you. But in the knowledge based economy, I encourage you to do one thing: choose to choose.
This is why we founded Elevation, an ecosystem that incubates people on their career path through personal, entrepreneurial and professional education programs. Our programs are holistic, and host top professionals who are eager to teach online skills and conduct personal development workshops to make sure you choose a path according to your needs. They also include a community of startups and people that provide you with opportunities to become “your best you.”
I am determined to keep on developing new platforms that will inspire other people to “live while they are alive”, and empower them to succeed once they follow their natural passion. This is not an easy ride. Self fulfillment is a hard path to choose, and harder to sustain. But it’s harder not to do it. It’s harder to be a modern slave, working in something that doesn’t inspire you while you’re not expressing yourself.
This is my personal manifesto.