When it comes to life, most of us have pretty good idea of what we want. Most would say a healthy and happy marriage, family and friends, the freedom to enjoy travel and hobbies, financial independence and the opportunity for meaningful work or service.
The world has promised us all those things but there is one condition. We first have to claw, scratch, and put our time in 8 to 10 hours a day for 20 to 30 years. We’ll give you a few weeks a year to do what you want and after that, it’s all yours!
So when we are young, we enter “The Rat Race,” hopeful and energetic, willing to lay it all on the line to get noticed. Sometimes we even stay late and work through lunch thinking that maybe we’ll get those things we want even sooner.
After a few years, we realize it isn’t unfolding the way we thought it would. But hey, maybe it’s just this particular job. So we look for a new one. Our excitement is revived and we are hopeful again. Until we realize once again, something isn’t right. I have a great job that I should be grateful for but it’s the last place I want to go every day. Most folks who work for large companies and don’t like their job, see the following 3 options.
Option 1: Grit your teeth, tolerate your uninspiring job, keep your mouth shut, play by the rules of the system and if you play your cards right, slowly get promoted over a 30 year period and retire in your 60’s.
Option 2: When your job starts to suck, find a new one and continue this cycle every few years while holding out hope that your dream job is waiting for you right around the corner.
Option 3: Quit your job, roll the dice on your entrepreneurial dream and hope you don’t end up homeless.
- Option 1 seems to provide the most security, that is if your company doesn’t lay you off or fire you. A piece of your soul may die in the process but hey, at least you’ll have about ten years at the end of your life to do what you want.
- Although option 2 offers a bit more variety, jumping from job to job could reflect poorly on your resume and you may miss out on some of the internal opportunities offered to those that have put their time in.
- Option 3 sounds fun but not fun enough to face starvation, humiliation and performing your own medical care.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!?????? This is NOT all that life has to offer?!!!!! Don’t Buy it!!!! There are many more options!!!!
This is what you need to know:
1. Your Default Way of Thinking Is Limited: There are the possibilities in your head and there are the actual possibilities. You have to get out of your own head and start dreaming bigger. What we believe about ourselves, what others have said about us, what our parents have done and what our friends are doing; all help shape what we think is possible. You’re selling yourself short if you let your thinking rest where it is. Kick the lid off of your worldview and start thinking bigger.
2. We Were Taught to Believe in Limited Options: You might disagree, after all, the American dream communicated to us since kindergarden was, “You can be anyone you want to be.” It’s the land of opportunity.” Okay, sounds great, so what’s the process?
Go to school 8-10 hours per day from the time you’re 5 years old until age 18, get good grades, get into a good college, pick a major that fits you, complete your education and the job you were made for will be waiting for you. That is how you get what you want in life.
Wait a minute. That sounds more like one way to get what you want. What about travel? Skilled trades like plumbing, electrical and carpentry? Entrepreneurship? Art? Music? Self Discovery? Faith? Apprenticeship? Exploration? The list of things that don’t fit well in this model goes on and on. Our system is one way, not the only way. Think outside the box. Create your own box. Heck, create your own octagon.
3. Become a Happy Lifelong Learner: For many of us, school has become a form of punishment or a necessary means to an end. Some of us have grown to despise reading, growth and development. It’s been associated with getting answers correct or not getting them correct. After thousands of hours in a classroom, by the time we’re done with school, we’re relieved to be done with learning. Instead of learning being a source of excitement, opportunity and wonder; it’s become an unwelcome obligation. We need to emotionally step out of the classroom and start seeing learning for what it really is, nourishment for our mind, soul and spirit.
4. Dream Like Crazy: So you’re starting to dream bigger than ever before, great, write these dreams down and add to them as your thinking expands. Think about the life you want. Where would you live, what does your house look like, who do you spend time with, what do you drive, who are you serving, how much free time do you have? How much are you giving away to those in need? How are you using your gifts to change the world?
5. Start Like a Baby: If your baby couldn’t walk at 10 months, how long would you give them before you buy them wheelchair and give up? 13 months? 15 months? The answer is, “as long as it takes!” So how long would you give yourself to live the life you’ve always wanted? As long as it takes! Just because a baby can’t walk, you don’t give up and tell them to do the more responsible thing.”Well, I guess it’s not going to work out, your mother and I decided that you should continue crawling and ride in the stroller when necessary.”
When it’s time for your baby to learn to walk, I haven’t seen any parent say, “Since you’re sick of crawling, from now on, all you can do is walk. If you don’t figure it out, you’ll have to go back to crawling permanently.” This may sound ridiculous, but so many of us treat our careers this way. We give ourselves a limited amount of time to figure out our dream and if it doesn’t work out, we give it up and choose the sensible option. If crawling is our job that pays the bills and walking is our dream job, remember that you still have to crawl while you’re learning how to walk. Hold onto the job you have and keep building and learning and growing toward the career and life you were made for. Don’t give it up!!! Don’t let your dream die, just because it isn’t working right now. Steadily work toward becoming the person who can have the life and career you’ve always wanted.