It starts with You,
unconventional thinking and the key to happiness.
During the day to day grind of life there are often, times throughout the day, week, and month that you get a little overwhelmed, and start questioning the decisions that have led us to this point. It is during these times that we get a rush of existential questions, demanding that you dig deeper into what makes you who you are, your values, beliefs, your reasons why you do what you do. In my own life, I have often caught myself sprinting from task to task with little or no down time, in a daily grind that eventually burns me out, generally for me this is physically, getting sick, energy low, having an unhealthy apathy toward healthy pursuits. But there are as many emotional and psychological factors to being drained of the abundance of energy we all should feel each day.
I am self-employed; a challenging pursuit at best, and have been so for the last 5 years and LOVE my work. Before this I had a secure job with regular predictable (but very low) income that none the less provided me with all the essential securities in life I could need; food, shelter, clothing and even a little bit of a social life! Something was missing though; Even though I loved the work itself (which very few people can say) after a change of management the work environment became more and more toxic and difficult to navigate to the point where the manager was the biggest obstacle of your day as they hated their job and was making the enjoyment of yours impossible. We all deserve to enjoy our work so I took meaningful steps to ensure that I could continue my work elsewhere. I changed environment, jumped both feet and went fulltime self-employed. It scared the life out of me because of all the unknown realities that lay ahead of me, and all the “advice” I had received ringing around in my head making me question the move. But it had to start with me, and my unwillingness to allow someone else to dictate the terms of my life my work and my happiness. This idea was running around in my head for a while about where our inspiration comes from, that spark that makes you different from everyone else and how hard it can be sometimes to tune into your inner voice that will open the doors to an amazingly abundant life, if you allow it.
People have the power to effect immediate positive change in their lives, you do not need permission to change your circumstance and create the fulfilled happiness you deserve, all you need is to believe it is possible and take meaningful steps to make a start. Most people when they hear your ideas that are outside of their normal understanding of going to school, getting a job, getting married, having kids, buying a house, retiring, and dying, are quick to smack it down and dismiss it as your idea is too risky, and make comments like “you will lose all your money”” you are wasting your time”, “what if you fail ?”. Unfortunately, most of the time it is the people closest to us such as our friends and family that can be our biggest critics as they can only see you as the son/daughter/sibling/friend and cannot appreciate ALL of what you have to offer. Although they are well intended (most of the time) they are unconsciously holding you back from you discovering your true potential as your vision is yours and yours alone, and it is up to you to push forward with it! I was very fortunate however to have the immediate support of mum and big brother and in the last 6 years my fiancé and good friends who believed in me when no one else did, they have been rocks in my life. Even though they may not have had fully understood my actions or “the plan “they backed me every step of the way and built me up when the world had beat me down, reminding me that my vision was worth sticking to it, I am truly grateful to them.
The thing is most people are unable to see past their own thinking and often project their beliefs of what is and is not possible onto you! Why not project some of your own awesomeness onto them!!? Open their eyes, help them to understand, empower them to make the change in their lives that you are creating in your own! IT STARTS WITH YOU!!!
People have very strong opinions about what is risky while they themselves take absolutely no action to challenge the status quo of their existence but are content to give unasked for opinions (if you listen) as to why you should/should not do one thing or another; that if you wanted to change career start a business, become self-employed or all the above that you are into “risky territory”.
Forgive me if I am missing something here, but working a job you hate for 30+ years to retirement for a pension that is not guaranteed, that with inflation eating the value of your investment meaning it will not enough to support you in later life, forcing you work for the rest of your life until death and add in the fact that at any point the business providing this desired security could itself fold, leads me to think that the conventional approach is in fact the riskiest strategy of them all!
Being unhappy, unfulfilled and bored in work is something that people can tolerate for a very long time, but if a job was truly intolerable/dangerous nobody would stick it! Nobody has ever died of boredom, but what is this kind of work doing for people?
Working is a fact of life and it takes up a huge amount of our life, why not chase happiness and job satisfaction if you know that you are going to be working the rest of your life? Because it is risky?
Henry Ford said “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, either way you are right” If you believe you deserve more out of life, work, relationships, money etc. why not make a change to your thinking and take action toward what you truly value in life. You will face resistance from external forces when you move on a course of action, but the thing that sustains you as you drive forward with the life you deserve is that you are in line with your true values.
It is easy to get bogged down on all the things that need to be done before you act, but don’t worry about all that stuff, just take the first step, and that first step is to challenge some of the common beliefs you have accepted before now and use those questions to discover what is truly important in your life. When the core is good, you can push outward easily, but it begins with you…
Nathy O’Connell- December 2016