I have done a lot of soul searching in the past in to what I am supposed to do in my life. One thing I found out is that a lot of others feel the same way too. I found out that if people were doing what they enjoy doing then they find that they have a good life. They also want to get the most out of it by working harder and longer than others and they don’t even feel like they are working. They get up every day looking forward to what the day may bring and are not bound by the usual nine to five a lot of us find ourselves stuck in.
For many years I found myself doing a job that I didn’t enjoy. My day consisted of hearing my alarm going off in the morning and hitting snooze a couple of times before I got up because I knew I had to go to work. I went to work early and left late because the I was expected to do more that I could fit in to the day and raced home as soon as I could. I got home tired and just watched TV and got washed went to bad and the cycle just repeated itself. WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT? What happens when someone asks “What do you do?” The ones who love their work brighten up and say that they are a fireman, teacher, doctor or whatever and then they proceed in talking about it in an animated manner. The ones who are unhappy with their job don’t, they sink. If they tell the questioner they may answer like this: I work in a computer store…it pays the bills. How wrong is that? First they didn’t say they were a computer salesman they said they work in a computer store, straight away you can tell that they only see it as a job and it is not who they are or what they want to be. If they add the second bit “…it pays the bills” it is even worse for them. It means that they are only there for the money, they don’t want to be there and they are being practically forced to work there so they can keep the life they have built up for themselves. They also feel like they need an excuse for doing it because they are so ashamed of it. On top of this they have given up on even looking for something different and have accepted their fate that this is how it is supposed to be from now on. I know exactly how they feel because this was me. After a while I did all I could to get away from being asked the question in the first place and when I was asked I became evasive and vague about what I did e.g. I sell stuff, I answer questions, I am currently looking for work ( a lie but at least I didn’t have to talk about it). If this is you too then you need to stop accepting your situation, making excuses and do something about it!
So what should you do? Which path should you take to change your life?
If you have read the blogs on this site I hope you are close to choosing your path, or even better, walking it and well on your way to your dream life or even… living it now. If not here are some ways to help you choose your path.
Start with the obvious one. You don’t like your life. What don’t you like about your life at the moment? Write a list of all the things you can think of and why you don’t like them. This could be the things you have to do, the environment you do them in, the resources, the stress or even the people involved. It may turn out that you like a lot of the job and just need to find a better place to do it. Result. The general rule for this is that it identifies the things you need to get rid of in your life. Sometimes you find out that you thought you liked some of the things on your list and the realisation is hard, for example you may find out that your partner is a big part of your unhappiness – they don’t support you, things aren’t as good as you thought, or that you aren’t suited to each other at all. This may be resolved by discussing these things with them and making adjustments or by making a drastic decision but please take time to be sure it is the right thing to do to move forward with your life. The same goes for any large part of your life such as your “friends”( those you socialise with), “family” (blood relatives and long term good friends) or your “career” (what you have dedicated your life to achieve in the work you are doing).
Then ask yourself, “what do I look forward to?” This could be anything from spending time with your “family” to catching up with TV – code for taking time back for yourself to relax and unwind. You may like going to the gym, going for walks, watching films, playing with gadgets, building furniture for your house, painting, gardening or any number of things. Write these down and think why you like them. What do you think about when you are bored or stressed at work or on your lunch break? Some will say “planning for the next holiday” or “what to do on the next night out”, the reason is going to be one of the ones in the first list – relax and unwind or spend time with friends or family. Think harder. What if you didn’t need to relax and unwind because you were loving what you do? What is it about your friends and family that make you want to spend time with them?Hopefully you will think of tasks that you like doing. If you can’t think of anything because your work has become your life try to think of a time in the past when you DID enjoy doing something in your spare time, this may even be when you were a child and played in the playground, or at home. What did you do?
Next you don’t want to feel that you have wasted your whole life up to this point. If you have been successful in your hated job you must have been good at something. What skills do you have? Have you been good at organising, making things, dealing with people, are you good at being calm in a crisis? Some skills may even be talents that could be exploited because you find them easy to do. Your dream life should include things you love to do and use the talents you have so think carefully on these.
There is a chance that at this point you now know, what you don’t like, what you like doing and what you skills are but can’t see a way to go from here. I read recently that if you see 8 paths in front of you but don’t feel compelled to run down one, you need to find a ninth path. We find ourselves at a crossroads and we see paths pointing North, South, East and West, we then ask ourselves the questions above and more options open up to us NE, NW, SE and SW. We now have our 8 paths, much better that before but still not compelled to run…yet. You may still be blind to the other possibilities, what if you could go up, or down? Now where? This is up to you. You may now know what things you are interested in and good at but are still unsure as to what to do with this information.
All I can suggest for this is looking around and seeing what fits in to the categories you have come up with and see how they feel. This may mean trying a few things out. It will probably mean training in some way but if you enjoy it you will be keen to learn how to be better and earn more money again. Don’t forget that it is never too late to live your life and enjoy it. You just need to take the first step and as I’ve said in previous posts this is worth doing. Making a plan so you can keep moving forward, also worth doing.
I hope by now that your perspective has changed. you have now decided to stop being a frightened kitten – doing what others say and being frightened to make big steps forward – and can now see something different. you can see someone willing to take charge, make bold steps forward and claim what is rightfully yours – your life.
You may find from time to time that you lose this image in your head and feel yourself returning to your old state. This is natural you have been doing it for a long time and like an addiction you will find it very easy to fall in to the trap again. A technique that I learned is something you can do everyday (and every night too if you wish) All you have to do is close your eyes and imagine that you have succeeded in your quest to claim your life back and get your dream job. Now visualise yourself, what are you wearing? how are you standing? How do you feel (emotionally)? Now imagine where you are standing, where are you? what is around you (people, things, places)? Now imagine what you can hear, are you in a city or the country or an a coast? Are people taking to you – what are they saying? Now imagine the rest of your complete vision, are there any particular things you want to smell or taste, or experiences you have managed to have ( things you have on your “bucket list”) This must seem great but… you may only see it as a reflection in a mirror or a picture with you outside it. Now you must step into the vision and see what it is like to BE THAT PERSON and hold that feeling for a couple of minutes. It feels great doesn’t it? I want this to be your new addiction, to feel great and confident and to feel what what life should be like and go out there and get it.
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