“How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so? ” – Charles Bukowski
(Photo: Mark Sebastian)
One of the worst times of my life, (besides high school) was in my early 20s, when I had day jobs that I hated. I always felt out of place. I was surrounded by people eager and excited to work and complete the job at hand and I could never understand how they did it. It’s not that I physically or mentally could not do the job, it’s just I never understood the enthusiasm and the drive they had to do something that never seemed very important to me. I could never trick myself into caring or thinking that meeting some arbitrary sales quota or goal was more important than a day out of my life. This is probably the reason I sucked at every job I ever worked at besides those that I had a direct stake in.
For many years I persevered in crappy day jobs. Jobs I despised and was bad at, dreaming of the ideal life I wanted to lead. One of the saddest things I remember from that time is seeing the cubicles of my co-workers, who also hated their jobs as much as I did, but somehow managed to trick and convince themselves into caring and giving it their all. Their cubicles were lined with posters and snap shots of things they really wished they were doing, their passions. It was pictures of them skiing or playing golf in some exotic location, or relaxing on some island get-away vacation they had. To me it all seemed so cruel, like being stuck in a prison cell with a view on the free and happy world. I never understood why these people put so much energy into their day job instead of putting their energy into making plans to escape and pursue their real dreams and passions. To me it was always a no brainer.
Things have not changed much. Every Friday I see so many people on Facebook posting “TGIF”. If you are in such a vortex of hell that the only sliver of joy you get in your life is the weekend, that is not a reason to celebrate it is a reason to be sad and reevaluate the decisions you have made from birth till now.
There are many arguments you can make and you can come up with excuses why you want to stay where you are. They are all valid and I am not here to argue with you. I’m here to ask you to look at the life you are leading now and ask you if the life you are leading now sucks, then why do you think tomorrow will be different?
Break the pattern. Below are the 5 steps I would recommend to get from where you are now to where you want to be.
Define the life you truly want.
Be as specific as possible. Try to picture what your life will be like when you get to where you want to be. Write it out in as much detail as possible. Be able to see it, smell it and taste it.
Feel that you are deserving of it and have the right to it.
Remove people from your life who are negative and who don’t support your goals and dreams. They unconsciously sabotage you into believing that you are not good enough to have what you desire. To get whatever it is you desire you have to believe that you are fully deserving of it. This is crucial.
Believe that you will be a lot happier once you achieve your goals.
Have absolutely no negative thought or emotions about what you want. See that your life will be a lot better in all aspects once you get what you desire and that any actions you take towards your goal is better than staying where you currently are.
Come up with a plan to try to get there.
It does not have to be a perfect plan, as a matter of fact, when you finally arrive you will see the route you took will be a lot different than the one you planned. But having an imperfect plan is still better than having no plan at all and wishing that tomorrow will be somehow different.
Don’t get discouraged about how long it takes.
If tomorrow you are even an inch closer to the life you truly want you have succeed. Remember progress is never a straight line. It’s always 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Don’t get discouraged – every step gets you closer to your goal.
If you have a job you despise or maybe even tolerate don’t fool yourself into thinking that things will change without you taking steps to change it. Even if you go out and pursue your dreams and you fail, what have you really lost? You will always be able to find another crappy day job (which may even be better than the one you have now), but if you don’t you will suffer indefinitely. Take a chance, life is short.