Are you so comfortable in your job that you could do it in your sleep. In fact you have done it in your sleep, that one time you dozed off at your desk, and no-one really noticed. You took the job because it pays okay: you’ve got bills and other responsible adult things to take care of I’m sure…
Let me just interrupt you as you cruise the internet, making memes with Angelina Jolie’s right leg – do you think that maybe you could do more with your life?
Didn’t you used to paint? Didn’t you write some okay poetry (the kind that wooed an admirable number of doe-eyed lovers)? Didn’t you only take this lame job so you could do the stand up comedy circuit at night? Why did you stop auditioning? What did you do with the beginnings of your handmade soap business? Where did you put the perfected recipe for the superfood truffles that were gonna fund your holiday to Toulouse?
What HAPPENED to you?
You used to laugh, you used to be full of energy and ambition. Surely all these people in your office dressed in tight black coloured things haven’t crushed that essential part of you. The you that you always thought you’d be.
Maybe it’s time? You’ve been so responsible for so long, maybe now’s your time?
Here are the options:
If you stay, you will continue to be paid to be average.
If you leave you will have to work harder and increase your capacity.
If you stay you will have structure and routine and security. You will continue to feel like your life is on a slow conveyer belt to a rest home.
If you leave you have to back yourself despite the circumstances, reminding yourself that you can achieve your goals and your dreams are within you reach if you’d only s-t-r-e-t-c-h a little further.
If you stay you can take long service leave after just five more of years slow cooking your brain into a grey spongy matter.
If you leave you have to face uncertainty and the fear of (oh the horror) potential failure.
If you stay, you can continue to develop a ‘sort of’ career that only vaguely reflects the years you’ve invest in the industry.
If you leave, you may have to start over, at the bottom.
If you stay, you know that the embers of your spirit will be extinguished
If you leave, you could see your passion stoked to a raging fire once again.
If you stay you will face guaranteed mediocrity.
If you leave, oh the possibilities.
It’s not an easy decision. Yes it’s dangerous, yes you could fail. You could also succeed and (maybe, possibly) be happy. So make your decision and make a plan. You could look for a part time job that will free up some time to pursue the Dream. You could start applying for the jobs that may be the step in the right direction. Whatever happens, do something with that beautiful talent of yours.
Posted: March 30th, 2012
Comments: 2 Comments
I have had an awakening people. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally getting there.
I’ve spent a lot of time these last few years worrying about working hard to make as much money as possible in the short term. This worry has caused me to make short term decisions to squeeze as much as I could out of my limited time. All because you never know, this could be my last year to earn as much as possible, to use all the time I’ve got, because who knows everything could change tomorrow and then where will I be? WHERE??
Clearly I have the rationalising skills of a crazy person. But take a look at yourself. How often do you put yourself under the pump in order to secure the present or immediate future. Bills, nice shiny things, impressing people…these can all be the competitors for your valuable productivity.
Well I’ve realised that short term living is not the only way to go through life. And even though most of us live with short term thinking and agendas, this is in fact the dumbest way to live!
You know what. Our value is not the sum total of our past or even our present. Our ultimate value is infinite because it is unwritten. So instead of making this year or next year my focus when approaching my priorities, I’m going to focus on the long term.
For me that means instead of prioritising busy-ness and work that bores or depresses me (but pays), I’m going to focus on what I love (which may not pay). I will focus on what I know will matter most to me at the end of my life. My legacy will not include a detailed breakdown of the number of hours per day that I spent doing uninspired work nor will it include my net worth. It will, however, tell of the beauty I let out into the world. My legacy will be my marriage to my wonderful husband, my work in the community, my love for people, my leadership, my hard decisions, my craft, my great works (both published and unpublished). That’s what matters most.
And so my biggest challenge for you and myself is to stop being afraid to close the door on “opportunities”. Keeping all the options open is playing it safe. Doing everything is playing it safe. Saying no is a risk. Focusing is a risk. I’m still scared and maybe you can relate, because the things that I ache to do are not stable or particularly financially viable.
But I can’t do anything else and that’s a relief in a way. My soul has confirmed what my head (and it’s indecision) could never conclude.
The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau is a good book to read if you’re exploring ideas like these. Visit Chris’s blog for resources on chasing dreams and world domination.
Posted: February 6th, 2012
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