One day, I went to Wal-mart.
I am not a frequent Wal-Mart shopper. This day, I totally bought into the sales- hook, line, and sinker. I believed the deals, the drama, the bargains. I walked around, looking for the two things I came for, and then, swept away in a sea of roll-back prices, I suddenly had thirty more items that I didn’t need at all!
I sat the whole basket down, and walked away.
I left everything, even what I had started shopping for in the first place.
I needed to clear my head, shopping wasn’t giving me peace.
When I was growing up, I loved to argue, and still do, sometimes. It was more to defend someone, something, or a belief, but it made me a strong contender for the courtroom- my grandfather noticed. He would joke to me, “You know, kid, you’d make a great lawyer!” Later on in life, I reflected on that. Seemed like a good idea. Broke, strapped for cash, uncertain about the future; hey- why not go to law school? It’s easier than doing the work to figure out what’s actually my burning passion. It would set me on my path for sure, I’m just not sure what one, the one I didn’t take now, I guess.
I didn’t set myself back $100k and go to law school. Forever there’s a little voice of my grandfather in my head when times get tough, saying I’d make a great lawyer, but I didn’t want to be a lawyer and I still don’t. I want to help people, and write, and do some yoga, and have a happy life- I love these things, they soothe me. When I set myself back a step, I realized a lot of what I’d been putting in my life’s basket had been set there by other people, the things I would be good at if I gave it a shot.
List of Lifestyle Preferences:
1. not working in a small office/ cube.
2. not staring at a screen constantly.
3. working with my hands, in some way, in a fast-paced environment.
4. ability to travel, work hard and make great money.
5. the feeling of peace around my life’s work.
I stepped into the jungle of the job search, hoping to come out swinging on a tree vine towards Happy-ville, the place where I would feel at home and at peace with my life’s work.
1. Make a list of lifestyle preferences, things you’ve decided would impact your day-to-day life in a more positive way.
2. Make a list of things you’d enjoy doing daily.
3. Go through the list, and match them up, until you’ve created an elegant and sustainable setup. Take the steps to get there.
Yoga school? Check. Enrolling in night school? Done. Working a lot more to save up a lot more money to invest in your first business? Fine, just don’t put it off any longer. School’s always going to be harder than you’d remembered, bills will need to get paid, books aren’t going to write themselves. Take one step, plant your feet on the ground, and revolve your career around your lifestyle, not the other way around. You’ll thank me for it.
A lot’s happened since then. I think about going to nursing school, I am studying for my GREs, I am enrolled in yoga school, I might take a scuba diving course. All things I need to move forward in my life, towards living exactly what’s on that list, on a day to day basis- monumental changes compared to where I was a year ago.
If someone doesn’t understand your ideas about how you want to live your life, don’t try to elaborate, just move on. When you’re floundering and unsure about a specific direction, think about the way you’d want to live your life, and set up your career around that.
What’s there to lose anyway- another 1-20 years in a cube?