It’s been about five months since I left my job. In that time I’ve experienced just about every emotion possible, and over the last few weeks I’ve come to one very important realization.
I love my life.
Had you asked me that six months ago, I may have lied and said the same thing, but deep down I’d know it wasn’t true (and if you read older posts, you would know it wasn’t either). I was on the same path as so many others for a long time, and even though I knew there was another way to do things, I could never imagine what it would be like to actually pursue something out of the ordinary.
I couldn’t imagine working whenever I wanted on my own schedule. I couldn’t imagine staying up all night to work on projects that I was passionate about. I couldn’t fathom having the ability to head down to paradise for a week, while still being able to be productive in the process.
Now its the norm and I can’t imagine going back.
Last week Matt Cheuvront wrote a post entitled “Breaking Away From Generation Now”. It was an excellent piece about about how people from our younger generation expect things to happen quickly. We have been bred to believe that if we aren’t living our dream right now we are settling in life.
In many ways I completely agree what he is saying. We can’t continue to beat ourselves up over changes we have yet to make, and we need to be appreciative of everything that we have accomplished.
With that said, I’m going to play devils advocate for a minute.
We may be movers and shakers – we are no doubt the future of society and the world in general, but we’re also incredibly impatient – we’re inundated with stories of entrepreneurship, location independence, and “living the dream”…
- You have to quit your job…now
- You have to move across the world…now
- You have to start your own business…now
I admire the heck out what many of my fellow Gen-Yers have accomplished, but this “now, now, now” attitude is brainwashing us to think that if you’re doing ANYTHING less than your most idealistic dream, you’re “settling”.
There is a lot of truth in Matt’s statement. The now, now, now attitude can be a little much, and people may harp on it a little too much (like myself for instance).
However, the bottom line is, life is too short to keep doing shit you don’t love.
I’ve heard that said over and over by the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk and Adam Baker; and they are absolutely right. We have no idea what tomorrow holds. So to spend years in jobs we don’t like waiting for the perfect time is a waste, because there is no perfect time.
Iv’e mentioned before that it took me about a year and a half to finally work up the nerve to leave my job. Had I known what was waiting for me, I would have done it a year and a half ago.
While I agree that for many people taking a leap without planning is not possible, and frankly, foolish. But if you are unhappy and you aren’t actively preparing to make changes in your life I view that as settling, a word Matt argues should be stricken from our vocabulary.
The easiest thing in the world to do is fall into a comfortable routine that you can repeat over and over again until your death. For awhile I thought that was what I wanted. I thought I wanted to settle down, get married, and buy a house as soon as possible. And for many people they are perfectly happy doing that, and that’s fantastic. Just don’t do it because its the easy path.
Have a plan. If you are unhappy, take the time to figure out what changes you need to make and prepare to make them, don’t settle because you are scared of what might happen.
The fear of uncertainty is easier to overcome than a lifetime of taking the easy way out.
Since I’ve been in Thailand, I’ve been working with a wide variety of people who are achieving this lifestyle in radical ways. Over the coming weeks and months I plan on sharing what I’ve learned. If you want to make a change, see the world, or just have the freedom of time back, there ARE ways to do it.
I’ve written half a manifesto about how to overcome the fear of uncertainty, because after all that is what we are all afraid of isn’t it? Tell me one other thing in the world people are afraid of. Bet you can’t do it.
Think about the uncertainties in your life that are keeping you from doing the things you really want to do, and lets start solving the problem. Once that is done, the rest will fall into place. I promise.
Thanks to Matt for the inspiration to write this. Take his advice, don’t beat yourself up about the things you haven’t done…just don’t settle in the process.