I want you to think about something for a minute — What would you be doing for a living if you could do exactly what you wanted to do? Do you have something in mind? Good, that’s terrific. Now I want you to ask yourself a few questions — Why aren’t you doing it? What’s holding you back? What’s limiting your potential to doing what you are currently doing versus what you want to be doing? Is it credit card debt? Your children? Your health?
Sure, those are all worthwhile reasons to put your true dreams and desires on hold for a bit, but in order to make them eventually happen you need to be working towards them at all times, even when the chips are down. Your current situation may be limiting your choices, but it certainly doesn’t take up all your time and effort — which means you have time to work on achieving your goals and finding your ideal lifestyle and work. Right? Right.
It’s way too easy to say “I would do that if…” or “I will do that when…” when working on life goals. We all do it! Some more than others, but most of us have found excuses throughout our lives to put off to another day what we could have done today. The problem with doing it too much is that we end up pushing everything off to the future and never accomplishing any goals whatsoever! Almost every day I run into someone who hates their job and would rather be an artist, a writer, an architect, a doctor, or anything other than what they currently are. Nothing other than their daily complaints is stopping any of them from pursuing their dreams — they are taking the easy path of complaining and avoiding the more difficult task of making something happen for themselves. This is how so many end up in dead-end jobs for 40-50 years, just waiting for the day they can retire at 67 years old. Why put your dreams off until then? Why not work towards making them happen today?
Over four years ago I quit a job I hated after suffering in it for years. The money was great but I was completely unsatisfied and miserable, which made my home life and leisure time miserable as well. I didn’t have a plan, which in hindsight was pretty dumb, but I just couldn’t take it anymore — I up and quit one day. With no plan in place and no clear idea of what I wanted to do, I just started doing what came naturally to me. I got back into coding websites and really dedicated myself to writing for fun again on my blogs. And guess what? It paid off! I got a few web clients and the popularity of my blogs took off, providing a stable (if way less valuable) income which I could live off of. Whether I got lucky or not, my situation forced me into a new way of working and living, one that I had always wanted. And while I don’t recommend jumping ship without either a lot of money saved or some careful planning, I do think that everyone has their dream or ideal job that they want to do and should work towards getting to it rather than staying in a job they hate just because it’s easy or what others think is the right thing to do.
So if you have to stay in a situation you don’t care for due to this or that but know you want to get out and do your ideal work, how can you go about working towards that? I did a little brainstorming and came up with a list of things you can do today, even while in the job you hate, to get you closer to making your lifestyle and work dreams a reality. Let’s take a look…
- Spend some time reading all the employment books at the bookstore. You don’t need to buy them all, just spend the day reading through all the titles like What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job or Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring: Take Charge of Your Career, Find a Job You Love, and Earn What You Deserve.
- Start volunteering on weekends in your ideal field. If your chosen path is not corporate in nature and stuck on the Monday – Friday wheel, you may be able to volunteer on your days off. Everyone always loves free labor.
- Sign up for newsletters, get on email lists, send notes to anyone you know in a field even remotely related to what you are interested in. Have no shame in asking for advice or assistance; this is your future you are talking about!
- Work at, practice, and take lessons for your dream if necessary. Any investment in your happiness is a worthwhile investment.
- Love writing? Lucky you, you already have the equipment you need to get back to doing it. No one is stopping you but you.
- Don’t make your job/career/work your entire life. Keep some interests outside of work, lest your ideal becomes monotony and another job you hate.
- Write yourself a letter about what you want for your future. Ask yourself in the letter how you can get to that place.
- Make a list of what you truly enjoy doing in your spare time. Can you somehow turn that into something that can pay your rent?
- Make time for yourself to really think about what you wish your work life to be like. Don’t have enough time? If you’re like most people you watch TV every night. This week, leave it off and spend the time doing something proactive.
Keep in mind that while there are many excuses why not to get started finding your ideal work/passion in life, there are also many ways to make something happen for yourself. If your current situation doesn’t allow you to up and quit or make a big change right now, there is no reason you can’t start working towards what you want in your spare time. If you can up and quit and are prepared to live out your dreams, what are you waiting for? The worst you can do is fail! You won’t die and no one will get hurt. If you fail, you can try again.
As I have said many, many times, we all only go around once here on Earth — why spend the majority of that time doing something you don’t even enjoy and/or have passion for. Go out and get what you want, detractors and naysayers be damned. It’s your life and you deserve to live it doing what you want.
Make it happen.
Have any tips for those looking for their ideal situation? Have a success story to share? Please let us know in the comments!
(photo credit: smemon87)