As we leave our childhood home to embark upon adulthood, there are a few things that never dawn on us. What makes a house a home? What makes a paycheck convert to our calling? And when does dating for fun transform into interviewing life partners? There is not a course to help guide us through these life decisions.
When first starting out on our own, we are so thrilled to have independence, that thoughts of comfort, retirement and making long-term plans seem like luxuries. How do we make these important life transitions? When does our first job convert to our ideal job, along a career path that stirs our souls? Are we so trapped in the hamster wheel of life that we can’t afford to think about our true callings, passions or our purpose, because surviving is our only focus?
What is the internal cost of having our job never become more than just a paycheck? Do we have the courage to dream? And, if we had the opportunity to get paid to do what we are not only great at, but that we dearly love, without the fear of failing… What would that ideal job be?
I have heard story upon story of people completing years of schooling in order to acquire a desired job within their field of study. Then, they live a life of disappointment, as they realize that particular field wasn’t the right fit after all. I personally have chosen to work certain jobs that just “pay the bills.” At that time, love of my job was a luxury, a dream that seemed unattainable… not a requirement.
What are steps we can take to transition or jump into a different career? How can we discover areas of interest that also spark joy, and don’t actually feel like work? Often we find that in these types of situations, we will work harder than ever before, while wearing a silly grin of contentment the entire time.
When you spend time reflecting on what you enjoy, what gives you additional energy? The substance of your dreams will give you hints and ideas. Exploit this phenomena! Whether you are 2 or 20 years on the wrong path, is irrelevant. You can create a side hustle. You can volunteer within your community, or add value online through your knowledge and skills. This will allow you to walk slowly into a path that will align with your career goals.
Money and the false stability it offers may seem overwhelming to overcome. And having a full-time job and a family to support will only make the obstacles more daunting. Not to mention that you are already exhausted by the stress that comes with “adulting.”
How do we find balance and when is the extra effort worthwhile? These are questions that only you can answer. Living a life of compromise definitely comes at a cost? Each day that we don’t live the life we long for, the regrets add up and make us feel that we are less than. How much regret can we endure?
I realize that each of our shoulders can bear different weights. Our mental posture may seem invisible, but it is shouting our status to all. We are telling our friends, family and co-workers exactly what we believe about ourselves, and in turn what we believe about them. When we live a compromised life, full of regret, wishing we were brave enough to walk down a path towards our dream career, our evident sadness leaves a trail of breadcrumbs. We teach our children that dreams are meant to be filled by others. We show our co-worker that being miserable and stressed in a job that we hate is normal. We find ourselves living in a world of waiting for the weekend and dreaming of vacations. We start wondering why we fight with those we love the most.
What could be accomplished if we chose more for ourselves? What is the impending reward? More fulfillment? More money? More light?
How do we break out of the rat race? How are regrets showing up? Have we made a bargain to smile less for a false sense of security? Do you want a job or a career?