I logged on to Facebook this morning and found this status by a friend:
Some other friends responded back with it being the power of positive thinking and how it’s worth it in the end to follow your dream. Hanna came back with this:
And she’s absolutely right. If every single one of us chucked it all and took off to travel the world, who would be left to keep things running?
I believe it really is possible to create a life that makes you happy and the world will keep going as well. You don’t need to be stuck in a job you hate and that makes you miserable. I don’t think anybody is saying to just go be irresponsible, but to change your life in such a way that it’s fulfilling to you.
The beauty of it all is that we are all so different. The things that make us fulfilled are all different and is exactly how the world will keep on going. Some people will make the choice to travel the world. Others will choose to stay in various jobs. Follow your dream in your own way.
The important thing to remember is that that fulfillment comes in many different ways. It’s all about MAKING CONSCIOUS CHOICES and knowing/understanding a) which choices we are making and b) why we are making them.
You might choose to stay in a job you don’t particularly like because you like the benefits of that job more than you dislike the job. That’s okay – as long as you understand that’s the choice you are making. If, at any point, you decide the benefits are no longer worth the price you are paying for that job, then it’s time to quit.
I was a school teacher for many years. I dedicated my life to my students and was a dang good teacher. I enjoyed my job in many ways; in others I hated it, but the benefits (a steady paycheck, satisfaction of a job well done) were worth the sacrifices I was making.
At some point, I realized that what was more valuable to me was time with my children. I was willing to cut my pay drastically in order to have that time. We are now living on about 1/4 what we used to make as teachers (and we all know teachers don’t make a ton of $$$, right?). Money is tight, but we’re okay with that because we’ve made the conscious choice to have more time together.
Every time we make a choice to do one thing, we make a parallel choice not to do something else. It’s all about knowing and understanding which choices we are making.
Not everyone will make the choice we’ve made. Some people will decide the rewards of remaining in their job are greater than the costs. They might make that decision because the paycheck is the greater reward, or the work itself might be their reward. In any case, the rewards of the job are greater than the rewards of whatever other life they might perceive.
I remember a conversation I had with my sister-in-law many years ago. She and her boyfriend had flown to Nepal and traveled for a while with us. We had a blast.
A few years later, we visited her in Denver where she had just had her hardwood floors redone. We were talking about travel and I asked her why she didn’t travel any more. “I really enjoyed my time in Nepal and I had a blast,” she told me. “That said, I’ve only got so much money and I think I would get more enjoyment from having nice floors than I would from travel.”
I have tremendous respect for her. She’s made her choice and she knows what she is choosing against. She reaffirmed that decision just last summer. “There are parts of my job that I don’t particularly enjoy, but I do like getting a paycheck each month.”
It’s all about making those decisions consciously – being aware of both what you are choosing FOR and AGAINST. There is nothing wrong with either choice – just know which choice you are making.
Many years ago, my sister made the decision to open a scrapbooking store. It was something she had wanted to do for ages, and finally made the decision to go for it. Her grand opening was on 9/11. Of course, after that, the economy started to go downhill and people didn’t have money for hobbies. She ended up losing the store and all of her retirement savings. At one point, they were on the verge of losing their home.
Even so, she told me she is glad she did it – if she didn’t she would always be wondering. And the message for her kids? She has taught her daughters that sometimes you just need to take the risk and do it – even if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to.
My friend, Hanna, who originally wrote the status, continued.
And to that, I can only say that I am a huge believer that the universe will conspire to help us. When we most desperately need help, that’s when the universe steps in and provides what we need. We need to somehow put aside our fear of failure and trust in ourselves and the universe.
I get it – it’s easy for me to sit here in my comfy chair and say that. It’s easy for me to say that things will work out – I’m looking at things from the other side of the decision. I’ve made my choice, put myself out there, relied on the universe, and it all worked out.
I can say with certainty that I wasn’t always so confident in my trust. When we made the decision to quit our jobs, I wasn’t convinced it would all work out. When the economy crashed and the interest on our savings dried up to next to nothing, we considered calling off our journey and going back to work.
But we didn’t. We kept going, putting one foot in front of the other, and it’s always worked. Somehow.
Even now, five years after leaving my teaching job, I still have days when I think about going back to the classroom in order to have that paycheck coming in. There are times when I think about the reward/cost equation and seriously consider trading in time with my children for a steady paycheck. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I might actually do it someday.
It’s all about knowing that every time we make the decision to DO something, we make the decision NOT TO DO something else. Know what you’re choosing. Make the decision consciously. Then go make it happen.