Many people choose security over passion when it comes to employment. When you were a child, you probably loved reading, writing, singing, drawing, playing a sport, etc. You might’ve even taken that craft on as an extracurricular activity. But did it ever go past a hobby? Did you ever try to pursue it professionally? Maybe you made a few attempts only to feel defeated. Maybe someone talked you out of it and got inside your head, i.e.: “That’s not practical.” Or maybe life just got in the way. This happens all the time, take Lydia Dean, the author of Jumping the Picket Fence, which is now re-published in its second edition.
Dean’s zest for humanitarian work began in her youth. Caretakers, spiritual leaders, and those who were “devoted to something bigger than themselves” were her inspirations. But she would later need to do some soul-searching before reconnecting with this passion.
Despite living what many deem the American Dream with a successful career and business, marriage, and home in the suburbs with two young children, Dean was unfulfilled.
“I felt like I was wearing somebody else’s jeans,” the entrepreneur tells So Booking Cool.
She knew she wasn’t living the life that was true to her. Although she couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was, she knew she was called to do something more. It was risky, but she quit her job and convinced her husband to continue their business while abroad. Costa Rica was their destination.
“It was just there that we had some time to actually think about what this crisis was,” Dean recalls. “It’s so awful we give that word such negativity because it’s in our moments of crumbling that something is ending and something beautiful is perhaps beginning.”
The trip to Costa Rica was the beginning of Dean finding (or reconnecting with depending how you look at it) her purpose. Her childhood passion for humanitarian work was awakened. And her marriage was strengthened. As a family, they felt connected and inspired to make a difference in the world, namely for those who lack education, opportunity, etc. Dean and her husband founded GoPhilanthropic Foundation and GoPhilanthropic Travel. The former aims to invest in and empower community-based organizations that provide access to health, education, etc. and the latter company encourages utilizing travel to learn about and participate in worldly organizations that are positively impacting their communities.
Dean clearly decided to bet on herself, which to many can pose a threat to security and stability in life. When asked whether she believes society will evolve from this traditional mentality, the humanitarian has this to say:
“I don’t know. I think in general, society does not encourage a tremendous amount of risk-taking. I think of society as wanting more, acquiring more, with so much focus on acquiring money and wealth and having things. And it’s unfortunate because I feel like life’s resources come in so many beautiful forms and experiences are one of them. It’s in those experiences that we figure out who we are. So if we put security and success in front of the maybe sometimes scary experiences that allow us to kind of really pack into who we are, we’re really shortening ourselves.”
Listen to the interview to learn more about Dean, what her children have learned from her journey, how couples can be more supportive of each other’s dream and ambition, and more! For more information, visit Dean’s official website.