I went down to the crossroads - and why you should too

I went down to the crossroads – and why you should too

This is not for those of you who love your job, who can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning and wouldn’t wish to do anything else. This article is for those of you who don’t know what that feels like.

I play the blues harmonica, I have never had lessons and have never watched one of those ‘how to play the harmonica’ videos on YouTube. I was never in a band and have never, ever sung or played in public – I was way too shy for that.

When I was 51, my daughter put a harmonica in my Christmas stocking and from the moment I picked it up I was truly obsessed.

Now I could have left it there, happy to be a ‘bedroom musician’ playing safe in my room. Instead, 4 months later, I rang up the local village band and said, “Can I come along to one of your practices and if you think I am rubbish just say and I will go home again”.

Today, three bands later, I am the vocalist, songwriter and harmonica player in the band (not THE Band obviously). We have been played on blues stations from Tennessee to British Columbia. (Have a listen)

My point is that the crossroads can be a very scary place. People do sell their soul to the devil, but the crossroads is where the magic happens. It is where you discover who you really are. It is where you find the talents and passions you never knew you had – and believe me, you do have them.

“The brave may not live forever – but the cautious do not live at all.” – Richard Branson

My problem (if you can call it a problem) is that I can’t stay away from the crossroads, I love being there.

Yes it’s scary, yes you are vulnerable and exposed, where there is nothing to protect you. You risk being laughed at and it can be an open invitation for some to kick you where the sun doesn’t shine, but the buzz is incredible. You really do feel alive. It’s a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment.

I am a regular at the crossroads, in fact I am here again now writing this article to put on Linkedin (now that is scary).

What if people think it’s rubbish? What if they pick the grammar apart or worse ignore it completely. Well the answer is – it doesn’t matter one bit.

In my business career I have met many ‘successful’ people over the years who are doing what they do for the money, for the exit strategy, for the buyout, because they have ex-wives to pay for but they hate their job. I have friends who do what they do because to do something else would risk the lifestyle they are used to and have come to depend on, so they ‘keep on keeping on’. At this moment in time some of them earn much more money than me, have bigger cars, and a longer driveway – but I wouldn’t trade places with any of them for a minute.

I read an article this morning by James Altucher in which he says:

‘When you are at the crossroads and your heart loves one path and doesn’t love the other, forget about which path has the money and the work, take the path you love’.

We can all find excuses for taking the easy path but that’s not where the magic happens and what is life without a little magic? Get on down to the crossroads and start to live your dream.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln



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