Some might say, that not everyone can afford to live this way, but that’s up to you — if you subscribe to that thinking, it’s pretty clear you will end up being the one who can’t. So the way I see it, if you can get past that hurdle you are probably at least 50% of the way there.
What’s the other 50% — experimenting, exploring and maybe more importantly, saying no to things that aren’t what you want.
Here’s an experiment you can do right now, if you are working for someone else doing something you don’t enjoy, ask yourself this question: Why don’t I enjoy it?
Is it because…
- You have to get up too early?
- It doesn’t inspire you?
- There’s no future in it or room for growth?
- Do you feel unappreciated?
- Or taken advantage of?
Keep going until you figure out what it is you don’t like about what you are currently doing…
Maybe there’s nothing wrong with the job, it’s just that it’s not what you want to be doing.
You want to…
- Make a difference
- Invest in a dream
- Be home to spend time with your family
- Solve real problems
- Create beautiful things
And this job doesn’t give you that opportunity.
Whatever it is, zoom in on that feeling — remember it, but don’t get bitter about it. Use it to remind yourself why it’s so important to invest a little time each day in finding your ‘something else’. Maybe you can even start doing it on the side.
If you already have some way to invest not just a little but a lot of time in this — some money in the bank, minimal expenses, or maybe some paid time off — start planning an experiment with that time today.
Instead look for something that…
- Motivates you
- Gives you some freedom and flexibility
- Makes a difference
- Changes lives of those around you
Or just doesn’t suck as much as your current job…. you can take it in baby steps, there’s nothing wrong with that!
There are some trendy words right now in the startup community… likeiteration and pivot. These can be good words for you too.
First, if you can start small and keep ‘iterating’ which basically means over time creating little improvements to what you are doing — eventually you won’t recognize your life, it’ll be that good.
Pivoting may be a more familiar concept, taught by your high school basketball coach — it encourages you to look around from the position you are in and find a new angle to look at the situation. Blocked in one direction, take your idea and look at it another way — suddenly you’ll see a new opportunity.
For example, you might have a skill you’ve always seen as pigeon-holing you into a specific job at a specific place — but after reading a book about how people started their own business for $100, you realize you could take that skill or something you love and help other people directly and cut out the middle man. Suddenly the thing that had you stuck, is a strength.
I know some of us don’t see our potential at first and we feel like we need someone to believe in us — that’s why we wait for someone to pick us, we need that validation, or at least we think we do.
So, here’s what I want you to do — try choosing yourself. Get a notebook, dedicate it to this idea of choosing yourself and start writing down your dreams and scribbling notes about things you might want to do. Get a book like $100 Startup and read about others who started things they wanted to do with as little as $100 — expose yourself to new thinking. If you don’t like reading, find an audiobook or a documentary on someone doing something inspiring. Feed the idea that you have the potential. Because you do. The only time you don’t have potential, is when you stop thinking you do.
Believe in Yourself
If you need someone to choose you, be that person. If you are having trouble with that, I believe in you — if you are reading this, I’m choosing you right now. How am I qualified to choose you? Because I chose myself, that’s how you’re reading this right now.
If you need to see my credentials, look at my Good Reads profile — I had to invest in myself the same way, through experiments, reading and following inspiring people. The internet makes all this possible, for a cost that all of us can afford. Time. Sure books cost money, but blog posts are free until you can afford the books. Internet costs money, but the library internet usually doesn’t. Sure you have limited time, but you can probably find at least one thing that you don’t “have” to do, and cut that out of your schedule.Mine was TV, but you don’t have to cut it all out (wouldn’t hurt if you did) — just let go of one show, and fill that time with experiments, reading or going outside your comfort zone.
With that said, I’ll leave you with a quote that’s worth putting up on your wall or maybe next to the mirror in the morning.
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer
I’ll bet that even your current work and life will feel better after finding an outlet for your dream and ideas — but don’t just stop there keep going after what you REALLY want anyway!
Hat tip to James Altucher who inspired the Choose Yourself terminology — thanks James!
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